Posted at 3:06 PM on February 25, 2008
by Gillian Martin
"They are all fake singers, they sing with microphones," she said. About Hayley Westenra in particular, a fellow New Zealander, Dame Kiri said, "Have you heard Hayley? She's not in my world. She has never been in it at all."
A blogger named Steve Huff succinctly explains the different worlds Dame Kiri is talking about:
What bothers me most of the time is that opera is a visceral experience; a lot of what passes for "popera" lacks that gut-punch. If you don't think opera-singing requires figurative cojones, let's see how well you would do cloaked in 30-40 pounds of costume, three layers of makeup and a very uncomfortable wig, navigating a tilted or turning stage under shifting lights for the better part of three hours while still singing page upon page of music in a language other than your native tongue, at a volume that would normally be reserved for great anger or cheering at a ball game.
I agree with Dame Kiri and Steve Huff--but the fact remains that many people prefer the sound of popera, and those people may not be interested in seeing an actual opera.
What do you think?