Emma Watson’s voice is too auto-tuned in Beauty and the Beast, says professional soprano

10 January 2017, 10:39

Beauty and the Beast Emma Watson and Dan Stevens

By Lizzie Davis

The first clip of Emma Watson singing in the new live action Beauty and the Beast has been released and we asked a professional singer to give us her views

Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast is one of the hotly anticipated films of the year. And one of the reasons is that it’ll be the first time that actress Emma Watson has had to sing as part of a role.

This week a clip of Emma singing ‘Belle’ was released. We played it to Catherine Bott, a soprano and Classic FM presenter.

“Within two notes it was fairly obvious to me that auto-tune had been deployed,” said Catherine.

“I think Emma Watson’s voice sounds fragile – she’s not a singer – but actually I think it has an innocence to it. And Belle is supposed to be an innocent girl embarking on a great, exciting story. 

“I’m really sorry that the studio hasn’t had the courage of their convictions, and has tinkered with Emma Watson’s fragile but pleasant voice. She no longer sounds like Emma Watson.”

Listen for yourself here:

“I’m actually quite excited by the possibilities of auto-tune, but not when it’s just used as a cover-up,” said Catherine. “We want to hear Emma Watson sounding like Emma Watson – this doesn’t really match her spoken voice at all. This makes me rather sad.”

“I guess that the studio just isn’t ready to have it less than perfect and it’s how things are now – everything in recording has got to be absolutely clean as a whistle. And I think we’ve lost that feeling of a live performance, when somebody’s just going for it. If there’s a bit of a mistake it doesn’t matter because it’s so exciting.”

Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, is out in the UK in March.

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