Watch: Could Puccini win America’s Got Talent?

Watch: Could Puccini win America’s Got Talent?


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2016

This is Laura Bretan’s final pitch last night to win the public vote. She chose to sing Puccini’s ‘O mio Babbino Caro’.

The judges seem to be all on her side. Laura is 14. There are nine other contestants.



  • Nick says:

    One of the scams of this “show’ is that the winner does not in fact receive the advertised $1 million. At the end of each episode there is a quick flash of a declaration stating that the winner receives $25,000 per year over 40 years. Over the last 40 years, inflation has reduced the value of the US$ by a whopping amount and one can only assume that the same will be true in future.

    Alternatively the winner can take a lump sum that is estimated to be in the region of $450,000. After taxes, that is said to be worth around $370,000. Not that I’d mind being given either. But for the show continuously to advertise the $1 million prize money is merely typical show biz hype.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Yet another instance of child abuse. Children interested in classical singing belong in choruses.
    Meantime, Puccini’s wonderful aria is fast getting a new, lousy, association.

  • V.Lind says:

    God, those judges seem to be suckers for O Mio Bobbino Caro. Does one little Diva-lite after another cart it out because it has proved so effective before?

  • Mario Denis says:

    who wrote that new ending?????
    Hearth wrenching but not in a good way
    I am all for kids making a splash into pop culture, perhaps a Carole King or a Karen Carpenter or an Andrew Lloyd Webber song would be more appropriate….
    or is this the way to bring Opera to the masses? ear it from some amateur but also check it out performed by pros?
    this show is big on Youtbe, I would have had a banner at the bottom of the screen saying: check out these performances on Youtube by Callas et al…
    Another question for the experts: how many times do you figure Puccini rolled over in his tomb over the years for instances like this? or would he simply find this performance cute?

  • Janis says:

    I think this has been going on for longer than we realize, this sort of thing. My parents once told me about the time when they were watching an old black and white TV variety show of some kind during the 1950s where someone forgettable sang something by “Puke-ini” for the television and studio audiences. My mom still tells me about how they both stared at the TV in shock and burst out laughing. (This was long before the days when singers like Fabian, Connie Stevens, and Bobby Rydell could actually use their real names in full expectation that people could pronounce them.)

    This sort of junk really is nothing new. It’s just slightly glitzier than it was in the kinescope era.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    In a world filled with the extremes of good and evil, this has to warm the heart as being part of the good–especially in our youth. May she sing for many years, grow and deepen as a musician as life takes her to wherever it takes her. What I did do, is while listening, scrolled down to not watch. The sound is indeed quite remarkable for a young voice.

  • John Kelly says:

    Puccini not a winner this season.