Charlotte Church Sings Suo Gân

A Review, by Joel Ware.

I always watch new young singing prodigies with some trepidation, because of the nature of the music business.  Something that happens quite frequently in this business is that a young singer will make the charts with a lot of promotion, and little real talent.  They get a lot of promotion from their labels, and are the idols of those youngsters of their own age and slightly younger, for a short time.  And then their lack of talent, and range, and depth is discovered, or they just become boring -- and all too soon, a young and fickle audience moves on to the next idol with amazing speed.  It's a tawdry and predictable cycle.

This phenomenon is unlikely to repeat itself in the case of Charlotte Church.  Charlotte is a very genuine and unaffected Welsh girl, now thirteen years old.   She has real talent, wonderful stage presence, and a very clear and strong voice. She appeals to all ages, from pre-teens on up.  And I am pleased to note that she speaks Welsh.

I was introduced to Charlotte through a brief segment on CBS' Sixty Minutes, which showed her at home with her parents, and in her daily life.  She is girlish, and sweet with her family and schoolmates, but also becomes very focused when it comes to music.

Most recently, Charlotte was showcased in a PBS special, which aired in the Puget Sound area on August 19, 1999 on Tacoma's KBTC.   This special showed a very poised and pleasant Charlotte singing in front of the London Symphony Orchestra, on the grand stage of the Albert Hall, which appeared to be filled to capacity (she was then twelve years old).  Later in the show, the London Male Welsh Choir joined her on stage for a rousing rendition of Gwyr Harlech ("Men of Harlech"), in Welsh.
Charlotte also moved hearts with love songs, familiar ballads, the obligatory "Danny Boy", and the Welsh favorite "Suo Gân".

I think that Charlotte has a bright future -- her poise, her voice, her solid grounding in a loving family all bode well.  I do hope that Charlotte stays nice, and unaffected.   I also hope that she receives good voice and performance coaching, so she can reach her full potential.   And I hope that the world treats her kindly -- the music business is a rough place for anybody -- so I wish her well.

The clip below captures a little of Charlotte's Suo Gân -- only one minute of a brilliant hour's performance. Please note that the quality of the original video far exceeds that of its rendering here in MPEG and RealMedia -- this is but a small sample:

Charlotte Church sings Suo Gan.
(Real Media 0.5MB)
Charlotte Church sings Suo Gân, in the Albert Hall, with the London Symphony Orchestra ...
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