Today I read a really interesting comment in an online article called "How to become a pop star".
The author gave several useful tips for how to make you dreams come true. One comment he made really stood out to me as thought provoking. It was on the topic of studying music. Here's what the author said:
"Study right. There’s no escaping it: if you don’t study at all, it’s difficult to sing with an amazing voice, write unique songs, play an instrument like an angel, and dance like a devil. On the other hand, if you study too much, you run the risk of alienating yourself from the mainstream, becoming a virtuoso appreciated only by connoisseurs of whatever style you are into."
REALLY? Did I read that right?
So why did this jump out at me?
Because I have always been taught that the more your study the better you get.
I never once considered that there could come a point where you become too educated and then alienate your audience. MAYBE this is why Katherine Jenkins is so popular in the mainstream - because she has educated herself to exactly the right point that makes her accessible. She has balanced the scales in learning enough in order to be able to be good at what she does, but not over tipped the balance by becoming a virtuoso and over intellectualizing her artwork.
But wait - so many opera fans hate her. If you haven't already read this article (or viscous attack) in The Telegraph on the mezzo-soprano, then I think it very articulately describes why opera officianados don't find her credible. Steve Silverman calls her a pretender whom "hasn't got the voice or the technique to sing opera." - Meow!
Yet at the same time Katherine defends herself in an article in the same newspaper by arguing that it sells VERY well. So a huge majority of people must love her art in order to pay money for it and keep her producing more albums."Classical music snobs who want to preserve opera only for the elite are being proven wrong by record sales, the singer Katherine Jenkins has suggested, as she argues the genre must be accessible for everyone."
Do the mainstream really want a watered down, less educated version of something? Does that make it more accessible?
If Katherine educated herself more and became the opera buff that critics would like her to be - would she then become less marketable?
Your thoughts please...
Jennifer Coleman is a soprano who works as a classical singer and vocal coach. Available for performances across the UK and internationally.