Oh sweet Jeeeez, this beggars belief. Turning third-rate pop-stars into three-hundredth-rate "opera singers" with the help of "opera singers" Jenkins and Bocelli?!? And WTF is Rolando Villazon doing in it? Have things really got that bad for him?
Happy new year to you too, ITV. If you were funded by my licence fee, I'd refuse to pay it. Fortunately you are not.
As for Rolando, here's an extract from Werther at the Paris Opera last year, including the great aria "Pourquoi me reveiller". The debate on YouTube (double-click on the video to acccess it), is all about whether this wonderful voice can be saved... Compare his contribution with the vocal ease of Susan Graham as Charlotte.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
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