‘a mini opera of underdog triumph’

(post title from Miranda Wilding)

I was still upset by the plight of the recent ‘boat people’ incident and the lack of concern among Australians for these ‘underdogs’ when I heard coming from the family computer Susan Boyle singing, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from the musical ‘Les Miserables’. I was transfixed. I could not move from my wife’s side as we listened together. We listened to her three times! Tears welled in my eyes as this so-called ‘frumpy, middle aged, unemployed woman’ just did it! Just sang. What unexpected joy. What satisfaction. What dream come true.

Susan Boyle’s triumph on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ is a story of self-sacrifice, of care for her widowed mother until her mother’s death two years ago at 91 years of age. During these years, church work, choir and village were Susan Boyle’s interests.

The story line is indeed a ‘mini opera’. The ‘mini opera’ opens with the skepticism of the judges and the sniggering of the audience sending a deadening blanket of disbelief upon her stage entry. But the ordinariness and nervousness of the singer and the cynicism of the audience and judges gives way to wonder as the singer sings. As her voice fills the auditorium there is hush, then jubilant applause, the judges’ awed acclamations and their gut-wrenchingly honest self-criticism of their initial reactions to her. A triumph indeed.

Truly, ‘a mini opera of underdog triumph’.

May our concern for the underdog ever be thus, and may we ever expect such concern, recognize it and support it: whether the underdog be a frumpy singing Scot or an asylum seeking Afghan.

May there be many more mini operas of underdog triumph.


The YouTube clip ‘Susan Boyle – Singer – Britains Got Talent 2009 (With Lyrics)’ has over 40 million views. Extraordinary!

Miranda Wilding’s excellent comment.

‘Don’t judge someone by looks alone, says TV sensation’ by Charlene Sweeny.

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