Beauty, Truth, and Operatic Boy Bands: A Lesson from America’s Got Talent

Breakpoint 2Here’s yet another excellent article at Breakpoint about art and music, this one is by John Stonestreet (see here and here for the two previous posts). Also below is the YouTube of the performance he’s referring to.

The power of beauty and truth can overwhelm even the most skeptical among us. Including the celebrity judges on “America’s Got Talent.”

To liberally paraphrase the author of Ecclesiastes, of the making of talent competitions on network television there is no end. While there are minor variations in judging and format, they and the singers who appear on them are pretty much indistinguishable.

But every once in a while, something happens to remind us that we don’t have to settle for the addicting silliness and artistic anemia pop culture offers.

A recent audition episode of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” featured the usual fare: talented-enough wannabe pop stars. But then a trio called “Forte” trotted on stage.

According to celebrity judge Howard Stern, they looked like “schlubs.” What’s more, they had only met in person a few days before the competition. Prior to that, they had only known and been in touch with each other online. This audition – on a national television show – was their first time performing for an audience.

The judges seemed somewhere between skeptical and bemused by the trio.

But that all changed about ten seconds into their performance when New Yorker Josh Page began to sing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s arrangement of “Pie Jesu,” which is derived from the Requiem Mass.

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