Many opera critics say that if a singer (such as Andrea Bocelli) needs a microphone to sound good then they’re not an authentic, great opera singer. But is that fair and reasonable criterion?
Why are volume and the ability to project over an orchestra valued so highly?
I’d much prefer to hear a musical, beautiful and amplified voice than a loud, less musical voice. And if amplification makes it easier to sound good, hell, why not? What’s the big deal about volume and amplification?
The public loves Bocelli and he’s made a lot of money, but the critics generally pan him. For example, see this New York Times review, where the critic says, “The critic’s duty is to report that Mr. Bocelli is not a very good singer. The tone is rasping, thin and, in general, poorly supported. Even the most modest upward movement thins it even more, signaling what appears to be the onset of strangulation.” See also Is Andrea Bocelli an Opera Singer? and the comments at the bottom therein.
When Bocellis uses a microphone is his voice beautiful? Being able to project the voice above an orchestra is impressive, sure, but beautiful tone and interpretation are more important.