August 5: le pouvoir de l’argent

My olde dad, when he was in his eighties, used to listen to what he called his cassette every night before going to bed. If you were staying with him sitting in the living room at 11 o’clock, you had to put up with this cassette, which you may have liked on first hearing but over time you came to execrate. It was Sarah Brightman (is that her name?) singing a selection of popular numbers, arias from popular opera or so-called classic ballads. Sarah Brightman has a fragile voice in a pure, innocent style, as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
Then, one Christmas, someone (one of my sisters, not sure which one) had the bright idea of buying for olde dad a DVD of Sarah Brightman live in concert. We put it on some time on Christmas afternoon. There was Sarah Brightman dressed up in thigh-length leather boots engaged in a highly choreographed kitsch rendering of those ‘classics’ sexed up for modern tastes. There were provocative dance moves with a troupe of semi-naked male dancers wearing leather gilets and ticket inspector caps. It was soon clear that in the interim between the production of that cassette and DVD technology Sarah Brightman had become a gay icon.
Olde dad was bemused. What had been an angelic voice from the ether had now become the whore of Babylon. Ah! Le pouvoir de l’argent. I don’t know what happened to that DVD.

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