Saturday 22 June 2019

Saturday Night Is Music Night

One thing the BBC covers to its credit, albeit now tucked away on BBC Four, is the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

It's a highly prestigious international prize, historically not always linked to the BBC. Yet the BBC sticks with it and now places itself first-ranked in its title. 

Tonight's grand final featured five singers, all of whom I'd be more than happy to listen to again and again.

And the best singer (the Ukrainian chap, Andrei Kymach) won. 

Yet were we just another race-obsessed website I'd now doubtless point out, despite that, that the three main presenters were pure 'BBC tick box', identity-politics-wise.

One was a traditional older white man - BBC Radio 3 mainstay Squire Petroc Trelawany - but the two others were a young, attractive black woman with only the barest tangential links to classical music but bags of enthusiasm (Josie d'Arby) and a young, attractive Sri-Lankan-American-Australian woman (Danielle de Niese) who at least sings in operas but who bubbled along almost as brightly and largely as light-wittedly as Josie. And the two guest critics were one man and another woman - the man the magnificent Samoan-New Zealander (bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu) and, that rarest rose of rarest roses, a white, older female BBC mainstay Mary King (always good value, as - unlike the rest - she actually says what she thinks).

As we're not a race-obsessed site though I'll say none of that and bid you good night and leave you with a favourite bit of Wagner of mine, part of which the losing American contender sang tonight:

1 comment:

  1. It's a programme I enjoy but tonight I found Josie D'Arby's over the top excitable screechy reactions jarring. It's not Top of the Pops or X Factor. Well, sort of not. Of course I understand she's there because every presenter on the BBC - Trelawny in this case, a Radio 3 man - if not black, must have a black minder. I missed the beginning and the winner's singing - a shame - and I didn't know who that woman was with the American accent.


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