Classical Brits - Royal Albert Hall, 14 May 2009
Well, I have survived my first (and probably last) Classical Brits. The things I'll sit through for five minutes of Jonas Kaufmann.
Onr of the low points came early on. A scratchily-amplified Plácido competing with caterwauling Jenkins. Words by the Pope (the ex-goalie, not the ex-Nazi), tune forgettable. Waste of a tenor.
David Mellor gassed on for an eternity before presenting Sir Charles Mackerras with an award for his Mozart CD.
Lang Lang bashed out Chopin's 'Heroic' Polonaise in crowd-pleasing style.
............ oh yus, there's more of this stuff............
In the interval, Sir Charles Mackerras chatted with Joanna McGregor (in braids).
The Priests (never heard of them but apparently Britain's best-selling 'classical' 'act') request the pleasure of the acquaintance of Alex James. Earlier, Alex (a Classic FM DJ and reserves-bench host) queued cheerfully for his ticket at the box office like everyone else.
The stage is set for Lang Lang's keyboard duel with Herbie Hancock.
They thumped out Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue without much finesse or co-ordination (you need some secret winks guyz) but interval drinks ensured a cheery reception. Check out the TV cameraman lurking 'secretly' in the bushes.
Jonas! He's not really yellow, that's just me. He made no concessions whatsoever to the cheesy format, just sang E lucevan le stelle and La donna è mobile with the same passion and style he would at Covent Garden. And he sounded magnificent despite the miking.
Somebody told me they'd be pleased to see the back of Katherine Jenkins. Delighted to oblige.
Dame Kiri tells everyone why José Carreras deserves the lifetime achievement award he's about to be handed by Mrs Windsor. Plácido waits patiently to add his tuppence worth.
Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock listen intently.
Standing ovation for José (on big screen, attempting to slip from Myleene Klass's clutches).
There were a couple of press snappers there with big costly lenses, so expect some seriously good quality pictures in Friday's papers.
And highlights will be broadcast on ITV1 at 10.35pm on Tuesday 19 May.
a selection of scary pics from the ever-reliable Daily Mail:
Best-dressed - trumpeter Alison Balsom: