Saturday, July 21, 2007


I read Roger Simon everyday. He’s an interesting writer and we have similar views and backgrounds in that we are both disillusioned liberals. Today I had to take exception. Here is part of what he posted:

  • But I had a good guffaw when I read the following in an Evening Standard review of her recent London concert:

  • Then, such is the magic of music and music sung by probably (if we forget Ella Fitzgerald) the 20th century's finest female voice, before she had finished caressing the first line of the opening Starting Here, Starting Now, everyone had forgiven her everything.

  • Say what?

  • "The 20th century's finest female voice"? Let's be kind to the reviewer - one John Aizlewood - and assume he was referring to popular singers only and disqualify the likes of Callas, Sutherland, Sills, Tebaldi, Norman, etc. The thought of Streisand doing La Traviata sends me into a fit of giggles.

  • And if you're talking about Broadway singers, Streisand never came anywhere close to Ethel Merman when it came to belting out a song.

Say what you want about la Barbra, she is a great singer, without doubt in my mind, one of the greatest ever that it has been our privilege to hear. So I had to post a comment:

  • Of course it's all a matter of taste. To my taste Barbra was the best, airhead that she is. And I'm sure she could easily sing La Traviata. Hell, I can still sing some of the male arias from that. I never would have thought that Linda Ronstadt could have sung in Pirates of Penzance but look at the great job she did in that.

  • Don't talk about Ethel Merman in the same breath. Barbra has the greatest ear I have ever heard from any singer. (Ear meaning pitch.) Merman never hit a note on the nose in her life. She sang everything sharp. Some of us couldn't bear to listen to her.

That pretty much says it all.


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