I kind of like Black Pearls...

I kind of like Black Pearls...

Jenna Simeonov

One afternoon a few years back, after discovering these on YouTube, I showed them to a singer friend of mine; I figured they’d find the collection of operatic misses as fascinating as I did. My singer friend didn’t find it fascinating, perhaps due to the sympathy he couldn’t help but feel for the voices. Perhaps singers will find me somewhat odd for this, but I think Perle Nere, the three-part collection of onstage misses by opera singers, was one of the first ways I became excited about the capabilities and limitations of the human voice. The collection pieces together moments like the Rigoletto quartet with the tenor singing a semitone flat, crazy tenor cracks in Aida, missed high notes in Flute, onstage drunkenness, etc. It’s AfroPoli’s YouTube channel, and his commentary gives context to the clips, as snarky as it sometimes may be. So, a disclaimer for the readers who sing: this may gain a reaction similar to when a guy watches another guy get hit below the belt. But I think it’s neat to hear vocal “mishaps”, because you can start to hear how the thing should be put together. Anyway, enjoy?


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