I’ve loved Beauty and the Beast since I got the VHS for my fourth birthday back in…. well a while back. That movie was one of the reasons I started to study singing at age 11. I first studied musical theater and jazz than classical. I also went on to get a degree in music, my major was singing.
So this week when I went to see the new Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, I was excited but wary. I’ve admired Emma Watson from afar for a long time (we’re the same age). She is a public figure that I respect, and I applaud her for standing up for so many worthwhile causes.
When I saw the movie, I appreciated all the work that had gone into making the story more “authentic” and representative of women’s roles at the time. But for a musical to be authentic shouldn’t the singing be too? Poor Emma’s voice had been put through the auto-tuner and at times it didn’t sound real. Good singing takes years of training, it’s not something that can be taught overnight.
I read this great article in Vulture last week, by Jackson McHenry, and he calls on Hollywood to bring back dubbing. After all, Audrey Hepburn was dubbed in My Fair Lady by Marni Nixon. In West Side Story Natalie Wood was also dubbed by Nixon. I’m sensing a pattern here… Check out these videos below of Hepburn singing and Nixon’s dubbed version. I know which one I prefer. Nixon after all was a trained singer and Hepburn was not!
So I decided to make a video. It’s my audition for Emma. The backing tracks online are pretty terrible, so it’s just me singing in my bedroom.
I also have a message for Emma.
Emma, I really loved your performance you clearly worked hard to deliver a performance for old and new audiences. But didn’t we both fall in love with the original movie becuase of the beautiful score, and Paige O’Hara’s performance? So I made an audition for you. Let me be your voice.
At the end of the day shouldn’t a musical have good singing? Shouldn’t we all enjoy the power and beauty of a trained singer?