Thursday, August 12, 2010

Little girls, big voices

Lots of people today are talking about this little girl with the really big voice:

Of course, there are the usual naysayers out there, saying that this little girl, age 10, couldn't possibly be the one singing, that she was lip-synching the song, etc. I think they might be forgetting something: America's got a history of producing little girls with really big voices. Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin were 13 and 14 respectively when they appeared in this short, for instance:

(The whole short, just over 10 minutes, is fun--but if you don't have time, go to the 3:49 mark to hear Durbin and the 5:48 mark to hear Garland--and the 8:30 mark to hear them together.)


Lindsay said...

I missed this one, but are people really saying its not her? The hosts/judges are a bit over the top for dramatic effect, I suppose, but I can't think they really doubted her. She's lovely, and she obviously has a big voice for 10, but on the low notes, you can clearly hear that she is a young girl. Have people forgotten Charlotte Church so quickly?

Thanks for sharing! How lovely to hear a young girl sing an aria for a change rather than a pop song!

Rebecca in CA said...

Astounding. I am just amazed. You know though I always worry for these very talented young girls--I worry that I'm watching the beginning of the destruction of their lives. Kind of a sad thing to be thinking when you've just heard an angelic voice, I would you do this right, as a parent?

Red Cardigan said...

Rebecca, I think that would be a very hard call. On the one hand, not having your child take part in a contest like this one might be better--let her mature, continue to study voice, pursue a career as a singer when she is grown, etc. On the other, though, the world of professional music (opera especially, from what I hear) is *so* cutthroat and competitive--and so terribly expensive. A contest like this might make the difference between being able to develop one's talent to the fullest and not.

I think parents of exceptionally talented children face these dilemmas all the time. Heck, us parents of blessedly normal children do, too. When is an interest just an interest? When is it a hobby? When is it something that the child *must* be allowed to pursue? Whether the talent is for sports, music, academics, or something else altogether, parents don't always make the right calls--and, sometimes, they lack the means to help their children develop something in which they have real potential.

MacBeth Derham said...

I think I would choose not to expose her like this at this age.
I am no expert, but I am told that voice is a particularly tricky commodity, requiring very careful training. Many teachers tell me they will not formally train a young voice until the age of 14, and Juilliard will not even audition anyone under 14 for the pre-college division. My daughter has college friends in the voice program who are just now singing with vibrato under strict supervision. I wonder who takes a child this age and makes the decision to train her like this--or is this just how she sounds naturally? Makes me cringe a does holding Judy Garland up as an example. Let's hope this young girl meets a happier end!

Red Cardigan said...

MacBeth, I certainly wouldn't hold Judy Garland up as a model of how to live your life--only as a talented young singer.

I didn't know that about voice training. Perhaps it's not wise for her to be learning such sophisticated technique at such a young age, but it's an area I don't know much about.

texasoperastar said...

Just perhaps this little girl is the new Deanna Durbin!!

Alice said...

If my child had a voice like that at 10, I'd be trying to find her a teacher so that she WOULDN'T ruin her voice. As a professional church musician, I am always scratching my head over the lack of vocal training for children in America. Boys had to be trained to sing the difficult Bach arias. (And, no, they weren't sung by castrati or women.) Boys in the Vienna Boys Choir rehearse for 2 hours a day, have private coaching, and perform about twice a week without ruining their voices. Whenever I ask the professionals in my field about it, I get the idea that it's taboo to even talk about it. I just want to make sure I help my choristers reach their potential without ruining their voices. :P