Who Sings “I Dreamed a Dream” Better, Kiri Te Kanawa or Susan Boyle?

  • Kiri Te Kanawa is the latest veteran star to take a poke at Susan Boyle. When an interviewer dared to compare Kiri’s version of “I Dreamed a Dream” to Susan’s, the New Zealand-born soprano responded, “Let’s get off that subject. Move on. I’m doing something classical, not whiz-bang. Whiz-bang disappears. It goes whiz then bang. You insult me by wanting to bring it into this conversation.”

    So who sang “I Dreamed a Dream” better, Kiri or Susan? Let’s compare, shall we?

    Here’s Kiri doing her straight opera take on the Les Misérables ballad:

    Here’s Susan’s performance on the Britain’s Got Talent finale:

    I find Kiri’s rendition too precious and Susan’s too tentative. In my estimation, however, no one will ever match the emotional rawness of Patti LuPone‘s version of the song. (LuPone appeared as Fantine in the original London production of the musical.) Listening to another version is like hearing someone other than Jennifer Holliday belting “And I Am Telling You.” Ms. Patti owns this tune. All those other divas are simply borrowing it for a couple minutes. End of musical theater queen-out.

    In other news:

  • Dermot O’Leary wants to host the U.S. version of X Factor, but he thinks Simon Cowell will hire a Yankee. “I would do anything to get on that show – but I think Simon will go with an American presenter. It’s a bummer.” That is rather disappointing…after all, So You Think You Can Dance has been a massive hit with a British main judge (Nigel Lythgoe) and a British host (Cat Deeley). And O’Leary is simply o’lovely. (The Sun)
  • Dustin Hoffman is slated to direct Quartet, a British comedy with Maggie Smith and Albert Finney. Surprisingly, it’s the two-time Oscar winner’s first time behind the camera.(BBC NEWS)
  • Ewan McGregor will replace Johnny Depp in Terry Gilliam‘s latest stab at making a Don Quixote movie.(Guardian)
  • David Jason is set for his first post-Touch of Frost role.(The Stage)
  • Ben Richards, Bruno from Footballers Wive$, will don drag for the West End production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.(The Sun)
  • Ian Curtis, frontman of UK post-punk band Joy Division, died 30 years ago today. (Guardian)
  • Soul legend Bobby Womack, who has been singing with Gorillaz lately, compares Damon Albarn to Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix.(NME)
  • Kate Moss‘ nudie cuties are up for auction.(Telegraph)
  • All neon like: Jonathan Ross has quite the colorful family.(Daily Mail)
  • Check out Bond girl Urusla Andress, flaunting her bosom at 74.(Daily Mail)
  • 57-year-old David Hasselhoff is romancing a 30-year-old British model.(Daily Mail)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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