The Milli-Vanilli of the Olympics?

The New York Times has an account from the post-performance world of music education: at the opening of the Beijing Olympics, a central moment featured a young girl singing (who, it turns out, wasn’t actually singing. A good read, with this great quote:

By Tuesday, the Chinese media had already pounced on the story, instigating a national conversation that government censors were trying to mute by stripping away many, but not all, of the public comments posted online. The outrage was especially heated over the cold calculation used to appraise the girls.

“Please save the last bit of trueness in our children,” wrote one person with an online name of Weirderhua. “They think Yang Peiyi’s smile is not cute enough? What we need is truth, not some fake loveliness! I hope the kids will not be hurt. This is not their fault.”

Another person added: “Children are innocent. Don’t contaminate their minds!”

Mr. Lin, the father, said his daughter had been under strict orders not to discuss plans for the performance. He got only the 15-minute notice about her role and was thrilled. He only later learned of the voice switch when he saw a video clip of the interview by the musical director, Mr. Chen.

Explore posts in the same categories: New Frontiers, Recommended Reading

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