Despite its small population, Estonia has a thriving music scene – this year’s Eesti Laul participants included traditional folk singers, a horror core metal act, a bouncy electronic duo, two rock acts, and an opera singer, Elina Nechayeva.
Does opera belong in Eurovision? In theory yes, but in reality, it’s usually staged horribly (evidence can be found by looking at Nova Gloria, Cezar, and Jacques Houdek). It also seems kind of unfair bringing opera into Eurovision, because it’s a specialist genre that many of us aren’t prepared to evaluate correctly. The trashiest opera singer could come into Eurovision and get kudos as long as they hit the notes; damn any actual technique.
And yes, Elina hits the notes – I’ve seen her perform the song live and her voice swallows up the auditiorium. But it feels a bit like even she doesn’t trust her voice – the whole song is anchored by the projection dress, a tired and true staging option. (Side note – she’s wearing white jeans underneath that projection dress!)
I was at Estonia’s national selection final, and loved many of the songs performed on the night, and knew that the opera would just blow them away by virtue of being opera. But just because something is technically difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s good. Or right for Eurovision. Or fun to dance to. So while I respect Elina for her opera chops, I still wish we had the weirdness of Iiris and Agoh to welcome to Eurovision. Especially because they wouldn’t have treated us to two months of ‘Will they bring the dress’ drama that Estonian fans had to go through!
TWITTER JOKES YOU SHOULDN’T BOTHER MAKING BECAUSE THEY’VE ALREADY BEEN DONE BETTER BY THE EUROFANDOM: Surprisingly few; most Twitter comments by the Eurofandom are along the lines of ‘WIG SNATCHED’
SHOULD YOU TAKE A PEE BREAK DURING THIS PERFORMANCE: If you don’t like opera, yes, although know that this one is tipped for a winner.