"Katherine the Great: Katherine Jenkins" featured in the Independent.
Katherine Jenkins is so pretty, so cute, so wholesome and so winning, it's hardly surprising some people can't stand her. [...] She brings a voice of exceptional purity to the singing of hymns and light classical tunes, but neither she nor her record company will call her an opera singer.
Tim Ashley of The Guardian wrote, "She can't really be called a classical singer." Norman Lebrecht of the London Evening Standard complained that she'd "never sung in an opera house." David Mellor wrote in the Mail on Sunday, about her performance of Holst's "Jupiter", "The great soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf once coined a word that sums up perfectly the sheer awfulness of this bathetic rubbish: vomitacious." And the online opera gossip website Opera Chic is always harping on about her "bewbs", calling her a "pOperaTart" and complaining that she hasn't a trained singing voice.
I can't imagine the likes of her in Portobello. That's my favourite area of the city!
I don't know if she's really 12, if she is and keeps up her lessons, she may have a future. She reminds me of Charlotte Church, frankly, but with a slightly more developed voice.
Kelly Clarkson singing "Ave Maria" for the Pope. As a Catholic, I thought it was kind of cool for the Pope to be touring. This is just painful to listen to. Why couldn't they get an American SOPRANO to sing, like Renee Flemming or Kathleen Battle? Probably because the general public don't know who they are.
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Anne Fortescue, Portwine Galleries, 173 Portobello Road. Sat. only.
Linda Gumb, Stall 17 Red Tea Pot, 101 Portobello Road. Linda@lindagumb.com. Sat. only.
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Vintage Modes, Grays Mews, 1-7 Davies Mews, Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm
Jane Stewart, Stand L25, Gray’s Market, Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm
Times Remembered, Showcase V007, Gray’s Market, Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm
So...Church's going back to popera instead of pop. Hm...she was good at that, but I didn't like her pop album and her chat show. Now that's she's a mum and has quit smoking, maybe she'll turn thing around...
Finally, SOMEONE has some sense! Dame Kiri talks about popera stars.
"People call them up-and-coming, but they never last. They are the new fakes for the new generation."--Dame Kiri, on stars such as Katherine Jenkins, Hayley Westenra, and Charlotte Church. Well said!
Classical crossover is taking over the classical music industry. And people my age are probably to blame. Why do young people find REAL opera so boring, anyway? If they'd just listen to the lyrics (translated or not), they would see that the stories are compelling and the music divine-just like what they'd see at the cinema. It's not a screaming match.
Now, I have no personal problem with Hayley Westnera--I think we'd get on well if we went down the pub. But her singing is in dire need of improvement. She's nearly reached the prime age of training...but has apparently decided to skip it in lieu of an even more "popera" repetoire. There was a time when I thought she'd be different from other popera stars, namely Charlotte Church and Katherine Jenkins (my fellow countrywomen!). The only serious artist at the moment (and one I'm really proud of, as she comes from my hometown) bringing genuine classical music to the masses (at least in the UK) is Elin Manahan Thomas. She's known as the "Bach Soprano" and is off to a promising career. We are both almuni of the National Youth Choir of Wales, and there was a time I wanted to persue a career in opera, and while I still sing from time to time, my life is far too busy. More info: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Manaha
Anyway, back to Hayley...
There goes any thought/hope I had of her ever improving her technique…
I happen to really like Loreena McKennit, but this is just a cheap imitation:
And what the hell is this? The lad's not TOO bad, but she is.
Other offenders include, but are not limited to:
Katherine Jenkins and her protege, Juliette Pochin (www.juliettepochin.com), Russell Watson, Josh Groban, Emma Shaplin, Filippa Giordano, Sasha Lazard, Summer, Izzy, and Aimici.
What's really sad is that that there's an entire industry based on this! I really recommend the book "The Life and Death of Classical Music" by Norman Lebrecht. While I don't really like Lebrecht, he makes several valid points about the Classical Crossover genre.
I'm open to new things and most genres a listen. Even if I don't like what a friend is listening to, I'll still go to a concert, because I'm her friend and I'll be supportive. But classical crossover is like a cheap imitation of the real thing. Why have sugarless chocolate when you can have the real thing? (If you're not exempt from having it, of course). It doesn't make any sense to me. I know people enjoy classical crossover, I just don't understand why. Is it the same reason why anyone like any genre? Still, why have something so obviously manipulted when you could have it in it's original, unadulterated form? Maybe times are changing. There's a reason people keep coming back to Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, and Bizet--they are timeless and have created real art. Classical crossover should be a passing phase, but its rise since the late 20th century is astonishing. It's as simple as that.
Westenra biggest classical singer of the decade in UK:
I was flipping through a magazine (can't remember which one, some tabloid), and Emmy was one of the stars asked about what they watched with their families during the holidays. Next to a smug picture of her was the quote, "Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm," and the she went on to say how dysfunctional families are like "most families". Most? And I've seem a few episodes of Curb, and it doesn't look so holiday-ish to me.
And Katherine Jenkins is sounding a lot like Emmy. Look at this from The Daily Mail:
One of the criticisms of her is that she has never sung opera, and would be exposed as underpowered if she were to try. There is a semantic nicety here, for while she has sung countless arias, she has never performed in a full-length stage opera. She leaps with surprising alacrity to the side of her critics. “I agree, I agree. I’ve never actually called myself an opera singer. Classical, yes. But I’m too young to be doing full opera. I’m still training with my teacher from the Royal Academy, and we are getting there. Give it three years. And then, I’m sure it will be, what can I say . . . up for discussion by the critics.”
Um, then why has eveyone been billing you as one, Katherine? And I think at this point it's too late to change. She'll always be a popera singer to me.
From The Daily Mail:
"One of the criticisms of her is that she has never sung opera, and would be exposed as underpowered if she were to try. There is a semantic nicety here, for while she has sung countless arias, she has never performed in a full-length stage opera. She leaps with surprising alacrity to the side of her critics."
“I agree, I agree. I’ve never actually called myself an opera singer. Classical, yes. But I’m too young to be doing full opera. I’m still training with my teacher from the Royal Academy, and we are getting there. Give it three years. And then, I’m sure it will be, what can I say . . . up for discussion by the critics.”
I doubt it...