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OperaBabes- Beyond ImaginationAmazon.com Plucked from a wet afternoon of busking Bizet and Puccini to passersby on the Piazza in Covent Garden in the spring of 2001, soprano Rebecca Knight and mezzo Karen England soon found themselves singing in slightly larger venues: the FA Cup and Champions League soccer finals. That the management company doing the plucking had recently performed a similar Cinderella crossover act for Russell Watson offered portent, and indeed the Babes--the moniker began as a joke--were soon on their way to this recording debut. The marketing shtick and its soccer connections may offend purists, but it's the football hooligans that the Babes are trying to win over here; can Borodin soothe the savage Manchester United fan? Their classically trained voices mesh gloriously, with England's warm mezzo showing particular character in her solo turns. The repertoire choices here cover material that may already be familiar to fans of Charlotte Church (i.e., Delibes "Flower Duet") and other crossover acts, but they do include some pleasant surprises, like Offenbach's Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffmann and "You Live On in My Heart," a reworking of Ennio Morricone's enchanting Cinema Paradiso theme with lyrics by Knight. But in a rush toward the musical middle of the road, it's the productions themselves that sometimes overwhelm the Babes with bathos ("Ave Maria"), hollow thunder ("Aida 2002"), and electro club kitsch (the 'Vibe Tribe' mix of "Flower Duet"). Former Art of Noise mainstay Anne Dudley's tastefully restrained coloring of Tchaikovsky's "1001 Nights" is one of the notable exceptions. They're babes, they sing opera--with fair promise--for the masses, and if they turn one in a hundred from football hooliganism to a well-mannered appreciation of Grieg and Dvorák, won't it all have been worth it? --Jerry McCulley Product description Opera Babes ~ Beyond Imagination
UPC Number: 69699878032
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