I don’t get opera.
That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate certain elements of opera, or understand its importance, or get why I think other people like it. I just don’t really get it myself. It’s the wide vibrato and wandering recitatives maybe, or perhaps it has something to do with suspension of disbelief. All I know is, when I took a humanities class at BYU-Idaho, I was determined to “get” opera. We watched clips from The Magic Flute, Aida, and Wozzeck, which I believe gave me a pretty good cross-section of what opera is capable of, and so I checked out a stage production video of The Magic Flute, determined to watch, appreciate, and ultimately enjoy it. Halfway through the opera I couldn’t stand it anymore and I discovered that I could get the gist of things by fast-forwarding through and just reading the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. I tried. Maybe I’m just too dumb or unrefined, but it was all just lost on me. Maybe I’ll try again someday.
When I wrote a little snarky piece a couple weeks ago about David Archuleta’s memoir Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song, and the Power of Perseverance, I was not anticipating the response I would get. Continue reading “David Archuleta – Chords of Strength review”
I recently read an article at the Chicago Tribune about the long-term success (or lack thereof) of singers from American Idol. It’s a bizarre system to begin with, to be sure – American Idol is in its 9th season, and, as the article points out, it has now churned out 80 would-be stars since it began. Add my skepticism about the whole venture to the pile, considering that the whole Idol concept is based around contestants singing truncated versions of songs they didn’t write, and being judged by critic-celebrities and text messages from viewers at home. Not winning first place seems almost preferable, as the fine print of the recording contract one “wins” at the end of the season is actually pretty weak, and gives the artists stiflingly little creative leeway. Then, these artists are all pushed out into a market that is decreasingly able to support big stars.
Gee, when I put it like that, one might wonder how anyone who graduates from that system could get anywhere at all. However, there have been a couple notable exceptions, one being baby-faced David Archuleta, a Latter-day Saint from Sandy, and later Murray, Utah. David has actually sustained a relatively substantial fan base over the last few years, though I think his greatest achievement is undoubtedly his David Archuleta Vietnam fan blog, run by the downright enthusiastic Vietnamese girls Huong, Dung, and (other) Huong. Continue reading “David Archuleta memoir “Chords of Strength” available June 1st”