So, a couple of days ago I put a post up called A Side trip into Musical taste where I expounded the singing virtues of Dimash Qudaibergen.
As a follow up to that I thought I might make it a regular post, a video and a discussion about what I’ve experienced while watching and listening to him sing each song. On YouTube, I suppose this would be called a ‘reaction video’ except that I am not going to be pulling silly shocked faces or jumping about in a comedic manner in order to get likes and subscribers.
So, my reasons for doing this are, one, I don’t want to be on YouTube and currently that appears to be the only place to be able to do this kind of watch and discuss type of thing. Two, I want to introduce Dimash’s music to as many people as possible because his voice just makes the world a much better place to be. Countless times I have found myself crying and smiling at the same time as his voice takes me on a musical journey, and I always feel better after listening to him sing. And finally three, I love music. Plain and simple, it feeds me when nothing else can. It calms me, soothes me, and makes me feel complete.
So, without further ado, today’s video is Opera 2. This is Dimash’s second performance in the contest ‘The Singer 2017’ in China. This competition is for professional Chinese singers and bands to compete against each other and be crowned ‘The Singer’. As I said in my first post, Dimash was the first foreign artist to ever be invited to compete in this competition, although he was already a household name in his own country, Kazakhstan.
The judging for the competition is so complex I struggled to follow how it all worked, but basically, the audience is made up of 500 members of the public and what appears to be a panel of executives for the show hidden in the audience too, who vote each week for their favourite artist and then those votes appear to be broken down and split off into different sections for voting purposes. I watched the entire season and I still don’t really have a clue as to how the voting actually worked.
So the back story to this performance is that Dimash was feeling very homesick and was missing his family and homeland terribly. He just wanted to go home. He was effectively alone in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from Kazakhstan. He didn’t speak Chinese except for a smattering,(although he has since learnt and now sings in mandarin frequently) and he was reliant on a translator for communication which left him out of the general chat between the artists backstage quite a lot, he was just 23 and is very family orientated and so felt very isolated.
Regardless of that, he pulled off a spectacular performance and thrilled the audience with his vocal versatility. He performed the song in its original Russian language. (There are sub titles though!) Personally, I love his stage presence throughout this performance, he sets the scene and creates an atmosphere that immediately draws the audience in to his story telling. The contrast between this performance and his first performance of S.O.S is huge. His first performance was dramatic, emotional and heartrending. This performance is playful, cheeky and full of mischief. He completely wins the audience over especially when he adds his own section to the end of the song where he raises the operatic notes three keys! He does this with so much ease it is astounding!
I would not want to be the artist who had to follow his performance! I would hang up my mic and say the competition is over, he won!
I confess, I cried at the end when Dimash realised his Papa was in the audience and I was so touched at the expression on his face when he saw him stage side! He also made me smile when he asked his Papa if he had sung well! This boy is so humble and unassuming!
(By the way, Dimash is 6 ft 3″ tall and the costume department for the show struggled to find stage outfits that would fit his long legs. You will see him perform in some very odd outfits! Most of the time his trousers were too short for him!)
However, this performance was not without it’s drama although it came from an external source.
The song Opera 2 was originally written and performed by the Russian Opera singer, Vitas. When he heard Dimash’s version of his song he apparently threw a giant hissy fit and threatened to sue Dimash if he ever sang it live again! He insisted that Dimash was mocking him throughout the song by raising the key three times rather than just the once as Vitas does in the original. Vitas has since re-released Opera 2 in 2020 as a new and updated version, which incorporates three other singers into the performance. The video below is the original.
I just think it’s a shame that Vitas took the stance he did over Dimash’s performance of his signature song. Rather than embrace it and applaud Dimash for the way he honoured the song, he chose to be bitter and took it as a personal affront to his own technical singing abilities. Regardless, no matter how Vitas chooses to view Dimash’s version of his song, it has catapulted Vitas back into the public arena, when his light was otherwise dimming everywhere except Russia. I can’t remember the last time I heard his name prior to 2017 and I can honestly say, I listen to Opera and classical every day, I research new artists, and revisit old ones, Vitas, while I had heard of him and knew the song Opera 2, has not made any impact that I can see, on the Operatic world in quite some time. It’s a shame that he chose to make himself appear bitter and conceited when he did have the opportunity to make his presence felt again.
Personally, I don’t rate him.
You can make your own comparisons.
Hope you enjoy this little side trip into the world of Dimash’s beautiful and astounding voice.
Have a great day peeps!