We asked a classical singer to appraise Lady Gaga's Oscars performance
23 February 2015, 13:33
Lady Gaga - 'Sound of Music' Medley With Lyrics ( Oscars 2015 )
Classic FM presenter and classical singer extraordinaire Catherine Bott delivers the verdict on Lady Gaga's much-discussed medley of Rodgers & Hammerstein's songs from 'The Sound of Music'.
Bott, who has made a plethora of acclaimed early music recordings, praised Gaga's performance at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony:
"Lady Gaga has the vocal quality of a mezzo. It was very convincing… I would think that several million people didn't know she could sing like that."
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Gaga's technical ability was also singled out: "She used portamento - gliding smoothly between the notes, very romantic phrasing - which is usually the province of straight opera singers."
"Most people who sing musical theatre now don't know anything about that - they only know either to sing very, very loud, or very very quiet."
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Despite the success of the performance, though, Bott noted that the performance was ultimately always going to be compared to Julie Andrews' original version.
"It did occur to me that she was holding the mic closer than Julie Andrews ever needed to. I am sure she would have the technique to carry over the orchestra. I think she could sing with the microphone a bit further way."
Andrews was present at the ceremony and appeared emotional and grateful for Gaga's performance: "It was a very endearing moment, a very generous performance because ultimately it was a tribute to Julie Andrews. Gaga had gone out on a limb in the service of a much greater voice."