Poisonous Claptrap plus an Antidote

I just spent an hour writing a terrifically clever and witty post about exactly how naff Pop Star to Opera Star was last night, how Bocelli must have got out while the going was good, how it was a desperately British presentation in which F-list “celebrities” were celebrated for not being able to do something, and in which not a note of genuine enthusiasm was to be detected among any of the contestants, judges or presenters. ITV ought to be ashamed of themselves for backing such utter, total, nauseating, toe-curlingly embarrassing naffness. Then I hit the wrong button and lost the lot, which is probably just as well. Suffice it to say: for heaven’s sake preserve your sanity by switching off and doing the washing-up instead. That at least is productive.

But if you want to hear a popular opera aria well sung, here you go: ‘Nessun Dorma’ sung in the middle of Puccini’s Turandot by the great Franco Corelli. A fitting antidote, I hope.

[Update, 21 Jan: EMI has just assured me that it’s nothing to do with them. They just have a few Villazon discs. Apologies for any confusion.]

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens