Friday, October 30, 2009

Olympic Torchbearers and Opera: Connection?

The list of Olympic Torchbearers for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics was announced yesterday on the CNW Group website. Slated to start Sunday, November 1 in Victoria, BC, the goal of the relay is to "captivate new international audiences to see a trip to Canada in their future plans" when they broadcast each leg of the trip to the native countries of the Torchbearers.

Now I am a HUGE fan of the Olympics and am thrilled that Canada is on the world's stage again so why would I want to be a dissenting voice?

Because when you look at the list of international athletes it highlights the best of the best (figure skaters Katarina Witt and Philippe Candeloro, speed skaters Chun Lee-Kyung and Yang Yang to name a few) but when they decided to pull the arts into the list, they came up with German cross over soprano Anna Maria Kaufmann.

Am I a musical snob? Maybe, but that isn't the point.

The thrill and power of the human voice and specifically for opera singers is their ability to sing UN AMPLIFIED to an audience of thousands. That is the feat to be celebrated. Instead of highlighting this along side the equally incredible ability for figure skaters to do 3 1/2 rotations in the air over ice on tiny blades, or skate faster than any human has in the history of the world, they have elected to celebrate a singer who has crossed over to music that is amplified and over-produced and thus losing the thrill of the abilities of the human voice.

Am I a lone voice in the wilderness?

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