Wednesday, August 29, 2007
An unlikely tenor took the world by storm the other day when he sang out, some say, with tuning that was "all over the place" - "... the voice was strained and uncontrolled," according to a music critic, Philip Hensher in the Independent of London.
But that did not stop the humbling masses from screaming out "Bravo" on blogs all over the world after Paul Potts, who appeared on a Televised Talent Contest in Britain , garnered first prize for what many have crowned a triumphant rendition of "Nessun Dorma" - a Tenor aria.
Of course, Nessun Dorma" is an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Turandot". The aria, whose title translates from Italian as "Let no one sleep", follows the proclamation by the Princess Turandot that no one shall sleep: they shall all spend the night attempting to find out the name of the unknown prince, Calaf, who has set the challenge. Calaf sings, indicating his certainty that their effort will be in vain.
The aria achieved pop status after Luciano Pavarotti's rendition of it was used as the BBC's theme for the 1990 Football World Cup held in Italy. It has been that tenor's signature song outside Italy since the 70s, as his rendition of it garnered him worldwide fame.
After Potts' performance, the Internet was abuzz - at issue?
The opera snobs, of course, noted a handful of Potts' supporters; in particular, those who roundly criticized the singer's lack of operatic training.
A Robert Burns quote may be worthwhile to cite in this instant case:
"Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.”
"He may not be the greatest opera singer," quipped one. "We don't know dip about opera like him and can't wait to see him perform. We know what uplifts us and makes us feel good. Go away, snobs."
The segment which showcased Potts' vocalizing was the "most viewed", a "top favorite", and the "most discussed", according to YouTube.
One observer noted, "...he sounded just like Pavarotti, unless you've heard Pavarotti."
Actually, Paul first sang opera at the age of 28 for a karaoke competition where he dressed up as Pavarotti.
The response to the telly show ranged from "soul piercing song" to "absolutely delightful."
All the acclaim has brought Potts a $200,000.00 prize, a chance to sing for her Majesty, the Queen, and a record deal.
Of course, the Tonight Show will undoubtedly invite him on as a guest, too, so that he may conquer America , as well.
Congrats, Paul Potts!