Simon Cowell, stop it.

Simon Cowell, stop it.

Jenna Simeonov

Note: an update to this story has been posted here.

Well, it’s happened. Child opera singer (and human oxymoron) Amira Willighagen will release her first album, and it’s going to be on Simon Cowell’s label, Syco Entertainment. It features the poor little thing singing things like “O mio babbino caro” and dub-over duets with Luciano Pavarotti. Wait, what? Yup. Amira sings a duet version of “Nessun dorma” with Pav’s dubbed and transposed voice. I’m not kidding. They sing the whole last half together in unison. It’s insane. Listen.

Anyway, the Pavarotti estate will make a formal complaint against Syco for basically _stealing Pavarotti’s voice.  Says Norman Lebrecht at Slipped Disc_, “They tell us that no permission was requested or granted for use of the recording. Had it been requested, it would not have been granted.”

My own opinions on the general offensiveness of child opera singers are clear. Officially: shame, shame on you, Simon Cowell.

But let’s talk for a minute about Syco’s reckless use of one of Pavarotti’s most famous recordings. Pavarotti’s recordings are arguably historical relics, preserving both his honoured voice and the music he sang. So, doesn’t it then make sense that they should be public domain?

What do you think? Should something as timeless as Pavarotti’s “Nessun dorma” be under copyright? Or should the glory of Pav be available for all, restriction-free?

And here’s Amira Willighagen’s studio rendition of “O mio babs.” You’re welcome.

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