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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,David Nuttall, Wakefield Criticism at singarounds (493* d) RE: Criticism at singarounds 28 Sep 15

My experience of ' Criticism At Singarounds ' has a parallel here...but with a slightly different twist ! My partner and I often sang unaccompanied folk songs in harmony together.. mainly at informal fringe sessions like the ones to be found in pubs during the Whitby Folk Festival week , at our own local Wakefield informal Sunday sessions and folk festival singarounds all over Yorkshire many of which we have hosted . She was primarily a gifted and accomplished singer of light opera and had been classically trained. She has taken the lead roles in many major productions all over Yorkshire, nationwide and overseas . She also sang solo folk songs which were always enjoyed by many. Whenever we sang together she was able to make ME sound half - decent as she had a real talent and ear for harmonising . With another friend we occasionally sang as a trio too .

I know that in other threads here on Mudcat there has been much debate ( and some bigotry ) regarding bringing operatic or similar voices to renditions of folk music. In my view it should be a case of ' Live And Let Live ' as it would be pretentious to try to sing with any voice other than the one which is natural and comfortable for us . She enjoys all kinds of music and was happy to sing for the joy of it and the enjoyment it gave to others.

One day , in an informal pub setting , as we were about to sing , we were greeted by one non - singing lady listener with a loud cry of....." Oh God ! Here comes that bloody opera singer ! " This had the resultant effect of knocking my partner's confidence and she subsequently rarely sang folk music in such settings again at all. This was in spite of many of the assembled listeners trying to encourage her to subsequently sing.

I often reflect on how many folk singers ( me included here ) could turn their hand ( or voice ) to singing most of the parts in most of the G. and S. operas ( whilst acknowledging that MANY would not wish to do so !!!!! ). SHE was able to sing both folk and opera to a very high standard...whilst remaining modest and unassuming.

Constructive, sensitive, well - timed criticism in the appropriate place , manner and context should be welcomed....but NOT if it destroys confidence or actually deters people from wanting to continue singing and have a go ...whatever the chosen genre .

David Nuttall , Wakefield

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