Among the more charming--and improbable--of pre-millennial success stories is the left-field crossover triumph for this Welsh soprano, 12 years old at the time of her debut, and still on the near side of her teens in thi... more »s concert video derived from a hit PBS special. At a time when "teeny pop" reigns over MTV and radio playlists, Church's serene program of Welsh and Irish folk airs, devotional hymns, and generally tranquil classical melodies gives alternative music an entirely new meaning. Then again, it's just possible that Church's very appeal rests on the delicate balance between the unapologetic sweetness of her music and the unforced girlishness she flashes between songs, rare qualities indeed against the harsher foil of sexualized pop culture. Given the degree to which various predecessors, from Brenda Lee to Tanya Tucker to LeAnn Rimes, have been groomed to transmit a precocious "maturity," Church's virginal typecasting may be methodically anachronistic, but at least it offers a calming refuge from the mixed messages and soft-core spin offered by Britney Spears. Director David Mallet, who's become the DeMille of up-market music videos and a staple for PBS fund drive specials, applies a familiar balance of sure technical craft and slick sentimentality. He dresses the Brixton Academy concert site with a faux stained glass window, flickering candle light, and delicate laser lighting units that imbue Church with a backlit radiance, just so we won't miss the angel connection. Skeptics will also note her Andrew Lloyd Webber connection (the signature Pie Jesu), as well as canny nods to Celtic chic in the inclusion of such warhorse choices as "Danny Boy" and "My Lagan Love." Still, whether or not the young star achieves her dream of singing Tosca at La Scala, for the moment Church achieves a poised lyricism that's no mean feat. --Sam Sutherland« less
Youthful maturity - she truly has a voice of an angel!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I fortunately caught a sampling of Charlotte Church from a news-type broadcast and was immediately interested in hearing more from this young talent. I purchased the CD first and the video not long after that. The video is truly captivating from start to finish. The voice that comes from this sparkling 13-year old is... well, like an Angel! You tend to forget how young she is until her bubbly youth takes over between songs. The segments after her performance was about the best I've seen done on anyone. It puts you right into Charlotte's world and let you experience her life just as she sees it... through the eyes of her personal video camera. It's amazing how far this young girl has gotten while maintaining such a both-feet-on-the-ground, "typical teenage girl" kind of character. She's fun to watch and a joy to listen to.Charlotte is truly a captivating person with a remarkable voice and I highly recommend this video as well as her CD to anyone and everyone. I'm sure you'd agree that she truly has a Voice of an Angel!"
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Far more than just a visual version of her smash CD, Charlotte Church's concert video goes behind the scenes to give us insight into the angel behind the voice. The picture that emerges is one of a completely likable and unpretentious young lady who, despite the worldwide attention she's received, remains largely unaffected by it all. The concert itself is spectacular, featuring Peter Robinson conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Vocal support is ably provided by the London Symphony Chorus and the Welsh Male Voice Choir, and Ms. Church introduces Gwilym Evans, a fine male soprano (shades of Paul Miles Kingston?) for duets of her signature song, "Pie Jesu", and "When at Night I Go to Sleep". The closer is a real treat, the rousing "Men of Harlech", which wasn't on the CD but which will surely be considered for a future recording. All in all, a very fine production. Even a five-star rating seems too little."
Charlotte Church -- Truly an Angel
Donald W West | 11/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've just watched this DVD, borrowed from a local library, on my 19" computer screen. My sound system is not the best but is quite respectable for its undistorted sound and frequency response. This review may not be couched in flowery language, but it is sincere and comes from the heart. Miss Church is everyone's darling -- a daughter, a sister, a schoolmate, a fellow performer -- and maybe in a few years, some very fortunate man's wife. She is professional in her presentations, yet she is the girl next door -- a well rounded, feisty, clean and lovely teenager with a well disciplined and self determined mind of her own. Her mother and the rest of the family are seemingly very nice people, musical and well educated. Every minute of this presentation was like a breath of fresh air. But most important is her voice. For a young operatic soprano she has an amazing resonant quality and very good breath and vocal control. It's true that at times she sounds just a bit pinched, but hopefully that will go away as her voice matures. Overall, she evokes mixed feelings, even tears. How can one so young and pure have such a powerful, clear and yet mellow voice? It is uncanny! Her facial expressions will not let you look away for a second. Her enchanting appeal comes on many levels. And her sacred numbers are worthy to truly glorify our Lord. The orchestra, director, choir, staging, her attire, the video and audio production on this disk are all superb. I am purchasing a copy here and now because this will stand as an inimitable benchmark in my DVD library, and I only wish everyone could enjoy this wonderful snapshot in time of Charlotte as I did. If you love music, quality sound and video, you'll be eager to obtain your own copy of this album. One last thing: I've been a sound engineer and designed audio equipment, recorded live performances, etc. I've believed all my life that sight and sound must go together to make a full A/V experience. Now, at the age of 65, I've seen this dream fulfilled. THIS IS THE WAY "AUDIO" ALBUMS SHOULD BE! I look forward to having many more deserving artists' perfomances preserved in the DVD medium. It has everything and eventually should be affordable to everyone. CDs have great sound but are only half the event; DVDs have it all."
Charlotte Church is divine in her first solo concert
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 12/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely adore Charlotte Church. However much some people belittle her talent or claim she is being manipulated by people who are going to ruin her voice, she is a star of stars in my eyes. She truly does have the voice of an angel; it's the most beautiful voice I've ever heard. This DVD is a special treat indeed because it allows us to hear and see Charlotte at the very beginning of her professional career. She had already topped the classical charts with her debut album, and now, mere days after her thirteenth birthday, she gave her first true concert, backed up by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus - and we can all be there time and again with the 5000 or so fans physically in attendance that night. The music is fantastic, Charlotte is as charming as she can be, and an inside look at her life at home and her preparation for the concert show us a perfectly normal child who just happens to have a magical voice.After a short introductory piece, Charlotte walks out on stage with no sign of nerves whatsoever. She brings a couple of friends with her, a white stuffed bear and a shaking critter whom she likens to her Dad before the show (as he was obviously more nervous than Charlotte was about her big night). Every trace of the adorable little child disappears once she stands before the mike, though. She leads off with Panis Angelicus, and the transformation from excited youngster to world-class soprano is amazing; while Charlotte always shows her love for what she does, she also reveals her serious commitment to each song in her whole demeanor. After each song, her youthful nature shines forth in smiles and laughs, but her seriousness never relents until the orchestra plays the final note of each song. She sings eleven songs in all in this concert performance, ten of which come from her Voice of an Angel CD, backed up by a huge orchestra and sizeable chorus. Her delivery of The Lord's Prayer is impeccable and soul-stirring, even more so in the light of the attack on 9/11 and another singer's moving rendition of the song during the national memorial service following the tragedy. Danny Boy is also a beautiful song; Charlotte's version of this song is respectfully somber but not quite as mournful as most renditions I have heard.The Welsh songs are particularly lovely, possessing a nature that really draws me into each song even though I have no idea what Charlotte is singing about. My Lagan Love, Suo-Gan, and Y Gylfinir (The Curlew) - one of the Three Welsh Bird Songs from her debut album - are quite magical. Her friend Gwilym Evans joins her for two songs: Charlotte's signature song Pie Jesu and When at Night I Go to Sleep; his high voice blends well with Charlotte's, but he appears far more nervous than Charlotte was. Charlotte's final song of the evening closes the night out in grand, exciting style, as the London Welsh Male Voice Choir joins her in a stirring rendition of Men of Harlech (the one song here that you won't find on her debut CD).The concert is fairly short, but it is followed by a wonderful look at the real Charlotte Church. We get visions of both her family and school life, showing Charlotte trying to juggle homework in between interviews for television, newspapers, and magazines from all over the world. She and her mother look to have a loving and fun relationship, and Charlotte is as proud of her family as they are of her. The little girl in her is clear to see, as evidenced by a huge stuffed animal collection and her innocent zest for life, and it is reinforced by her mother's descriptions of her sulking prowess. Charlotte is refreshingly normal and down-to-earth, and she makes it clear that she is singing and performing because that is what she loves and wants to do forever; in no way is anyone manipulating her into doing anything she doesn't want to do. The Voice of an Angel DVD is essentially Charlotte Church's coming-out party; she had proved to the world that she could sing like an angel, and with this concert she proved that she could perform in front of a large audience and not only blow the audience away with a voice of the rarest beauty but also display all the charms and poise of a true star while doing it. I don't see how anyone could watch this DVD and not love Charlotte Church."
Concert video of Voice of an Angel is divine
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 12/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Voice Of An Angel came out, people wondered just who Charlotte Church was. Despite being an ace singer, through it all, she was also a schoolgirl in Cardiff, Wales who has homework like everyone else, but who happens to be very talented and with some famous friends. Oh yes, and with more stuffed animals than I've had hot meals--(OK, maybe not that much, but you get the idea).Her televised concert at the Brixon Academy in London on 2-3 March 1999 is a visual triumph in terms of the red, blue, and yellow lighting that flash during her performance, and her red jacket and trousers outfit is a smart and stylish. The kid in her is there, as she puts two of her stuffed animals, a large white bear and a goofy-looking spider, as a kind of security and moral support. Given her performance in the concert, they should be paid overtime. Though not listed on the video box, here are the songs played in order. All but one are taken from her debut album.1) Panis AngelicusCharlotte gets help from the London Symphony Chorus on this Cesar Francke composition.2) The Lord's PrayerYes, this is the "Our father, who art in heaven" done in song, and she has to ask the conductor who wrote it, to which he responds Albert Lamotte.3) Mae Hiraeth yu y Mor (There's Longing In The Sea)In that song, the lights fan out behind her, giving her an angelic penumbra, and with her singing, she does have a voice of an angel.4) In Trutina5) Pie JesuIn her signature tune, she gets a guy her age, Gwillem Evans, to duet with her, and he does an admirable job, and has a good voice to match.6) Danny Boy7) My Lagan LoveAgain, the same penumbra lighting effect is done, making this a highlight.8) Suo-Gan9)Y Gylfinir (The Curlew)10) When At Night I Go To Sleep11) Men Of HarlechThis is a climactic closing highlight, as it features the Welsh Male Voice Choir, smartly decked out in red tuxes, singing a stirring, traditional Welsh song.Those who have Voice Of An Angel who want to program their CD in order of the concert, follow this sequence: 2, 4, 15, 3, 1, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17. Then program her eponymous CD for track 16.After the concert, there's a behind the scenes prequel of the week before the concert, including interviews with Charlotte, her family, vocal coach, Sony Music rep, manager, leading up to rehearsal at the Brixon Academy.A stunning concert debut and the signs of things yet to come."