Let this be a warning to pop singers who want to dabble in opera, but haven’t done the hard yards.

Driving in my car listening to The Conversation Houron ABC 774 is usually not something that brings forth a bloodcurdling soprano scream. In fact, the last time I screamed like that was during a performance of Tosca– when plunging to my death over the balcony of Sant’Andrea della Valle, I noticed the sloppy stagehand had put the moth-eaten mattress too far upstage to cushion my indelicate fall.

The guest on the conversation hour was a famous baritone with a penchant for going topless. He was gushing forth about the musical South Pacific, the joys of wearing radio microphones and the “chemistry” (read: tabloid treasure trove) between himself and his fellow performers. All this was shocking enough – but in this industry sex and acoustic enhancement sell, so I was not perturbed.

It was the next bombshell that brought forth my guttural expulsion. Said baritone claimed he would like to hear Kate Ceberano, Australia’s pop and soul princess, sing Bizet’s Carmen. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Ms Ceberano in her genre. And I think her forays into the...