Kelly Clarkson is one of the best American pop singers right now. She boasts a powerful voice and impressive range, but can she sing opera music?
Kelly Clarkson can most likely sing opera, but she has never done so in public before. She sings pop, Classical, and Broadway music, but has not performed an operatic work yet.
Kelly Clarkson could probably sing opera if she tried, but she has never sang opera in a performance. She has sang Classical and Broadway songs in the past. Keep reading to learn how these performances are similar and different from opera music.
Kelly Sang Classical, but Not Opera
Kelly gave a stunning classical music performance in 2008, but the piece was technically not operatic. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines opera as “a drama set to music and made up of vocal pieces with orchestral accompaniment and orchestral overtures.”
Opera is a specific subcategory of classical music. Classical music is defined as “serious music following long-established principles rather than a folk, jazz, or popular tradition.” Classical music is also distinguished by the fact that it is usually written out in staff notation.
Kelly has sung classical music, but not operatic. For example, in 2008 she performed Ave Maria, a classical song composed by Franz Schubert in 1825. This song fits the conventions of classical music, but it was not part of an opera and is therefore not technically opera music.
Kelly revealed that she had always dreamed of performing this classical song. She was honored to sing it for the Pope and said, “To have that dream come true on such a special occasion is truly a blessing.”
Kelly Clarkson’s classical performance was certainly no easy feat. The song Ave Maria is technically advanced and requires great vocal control to hit the correct notes, including some challenging high notes.
This performance was probably nerve-wracking for Kelly, but luckily she excelled and did not make a single mistake. She beautifully sang every note and the Pope himself gave her a standing ovation.
Kelly Shines in Broadway Performances
Fans may easily confuse Kelly’s Broadway performances with opera, but these songs are still not technically opera. Broadway singing technique features less vibrato, more belting, and less emoting in the singing than operatic singing.
For example, one of Kelly’s most popular Broadway performances is her 2017 rendition of “All I Ask” from The Phantom of the Opera. Kelly sang this song as a duet with Josh Groban, an easy listening and operatic pop singer.
Although Phantom of the Opera has the word “opera” in the title, it is still not an opera! Phantom of the Opera is a musical that takes place in an opera house.
Still not convinced that Kelly’s performances are not operas? Listen to some classic opera, like the “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and the differences in vocal technique are rather clear.
Although Kelly demonstrates great technical skill with her singing, she has not applied her talents to the genre of opera. She is no stranger to experimentation and cross-genre singing, so maybe she will tackle a major operatic work in the future.