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Friday, January 22, 2010

Opera show bombs...

"I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie World"


And what lovely bombs they are! However, even Agent Triple P is ready to give up on dreadful new celebrity competition show Popstar to Operastar despite the twin attractions of Katherine Jenkins and Mylene Klass (rhymes with "arse"). Actually, isn't that four attractions? Sadly, however Mylene is looking rather too skinny these days compared with the way she looked when she soaped herself to stardom on I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of here! No such worries with Katherine, however who still looks engagingly top heavy.





The show itself is dire. For a start why do they have to merge the words together in that annoying way? "Popstar" isn't a word and neither is "Operastar". It's all a bit PricewaterhouseCoopers. Anyway, the show consists of pop "stars" you have never heard of (when Jimmy Osmond is the most famous performer on the show, you know ITV is scraping the barrel again) singing opera "arias" which largely aren't from opera. They are judged by an "expert", cringe-making panel of the Divine Jenkins; wayward Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon (whose career has gone right off the rails of late) who is sporting distractingly ridiculous hair; Meat Loaf (yes, really!) who is unable to speak without standing up and shouting in dated seventies American vernacular and hideous TV reality show interior designer Laurence Llewllen-Bowen (yes we know we haven't spelt his name right and we don't care) who is presumably included because he is another Taffy. The annoyingly hyped-up ITV rent a crowd scream and whoop, in that annoying American manner that seems de rigeur for TV "talent" shows, during the performances.



Even the presence of "official national treasure" Mylene can't ameliorate the dreadfulness of it all, as the problem is that, despite her on-screen ubiquity (we hope her agent gets a good percentage; he deserves it), she really isn't a very good presenter. Sadly, in fact, its starting to look like, pace Esther Williams, that in a swimsuit she's a star, otherwise she's not. But of course she is an "acceptable face" (very important that) of classical music. As must be the oleaginous Alan Titchmarsh, as that is the only way to explain the presence of his gardeningness on the show.




Looking at reviews of her music, Jenkins seems to attract polarised opinion. Half love her, half hate her. The people who love her often start their reviews "I have never liked classical music until I heard...wonderful voice..sings like an angel etc...". The people who hate her tend to say things like "I'm a singing coach and Katherine Jenkins is not a very good singer...doesn't really reach the high notes and cheats by going falsetto...dreadful cross-over artist etc."




Well, one thing she is not is an opera singer. Being an opera singer means..er, singing in operas. On stage. Night after night. Her critics say that her voice just isn't up to it either in tone or in strength. Her supporters say that as a mezzo-soprano her voice has yet to mature and that is why she has to resort to amplification so she doesn't damage it. Hmm. She is thirty this year so it really should have started to mature by now. Now, however, she is saying she won't do opera anyway as all the critics would slate her whatever. Hmm.



What she is is a classically trained singer (Royal College of Music, to give her her due) with a pretty face and massive tits. Ideal for record executives desperately trying to spin some money out of their struggling classical divisions. Her voice is not to our taste but, here, we are afraid that we have a terrible confession: Agent Triple P, largely, can't stand the sound of any classically trained female singer. We find the female voice when pushed into operatic mode quite harsh and unpleasant, in a way that we don't with the male voice. This is odd, as in popular music we much prefer female singers.




We tried to like her music, we really did. We do own quite a lot of dreadful cross-over music from fiddling girlies such as Bond and Escala (more of whom another time) but we just couldn't bear KJ's music. Despite sampling every album on iTunes we couldn't find a single track that we enjoyed; even a little bit. But we have to consider her looks as well as her voice so how does she come out on balance?


Jenkins with ever present microphone


Against: Is agressively Welsh (refused to sing God Save the Queen at the Cup Final in favour of some nationalist Welsh effort). Can't really sing that well. Talks about bringing classical music to the masses a lot ( that's rather like the makers of the Renault Twingo claiming that driving it will give you a Formula 1 experience). Makes horrible "cross-over" records that make people believe that the theme from The Godfather is an operatic aria (as evidenced by Popstar to Operastar-many of the featured songs so far also feature in her records. What a surprise). The latest one is so unspeakable even her fans are shuddering but she sees it as her way to break the American market (for which read "down market") towards whom she seems even more condescending than the "masses" who don't like classical music. Wears too much make-up; even for TV.
Tea with the troops. Two lumps presumably



For: Has massive tits. Sang for the forces in Iraq. Twice. You'd think she was over there every three months the way she goes on about her helicopter being targetted by a missile (an opera fan amongst the insurgents?) constantly. Has massive tits.

Ah, well, as Agent DVD would no doubt agree, there is always a place for a girl with massive tits (her record company obviously think so). Maybe, in this case, it's just not the recording studio.

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