In The Fifth Element, opera star Diva Plavalaguna is known for her unique voice and singing abilities. When she talks, it sounds like there are two people talking at the same time, like she has extra vocal cords.
Plavalaguna means ‘blue lagoon’ in Serbian, and the character’s name is a tip of the hat to Milla Jovovich, who is half-Serbian, and her 1991 role in Return to the Blue Lagoon.
While singing, she’s able to jump all over the place with different notes. Her famous performance from the movie of the Diva Dance Opera was generated using computers to assist with the parts that a human couldn’t possibly sing (Until now…)
Plavalaguna is played by an actress from France named Maiwenn Le Besco, but the voice you hear singing in the movie is actually an Opera Singer from Albania named Inva Mula-Tchako with the help of some fancy computer editing, but it could have easily been Jane Zhang instead.
Jane Zhang, who is known as one of the most versatile singers in the world, didn’t get the memo about this song being impossible, because she totally nails it. You can tell, too, once it switches over you see the conductor looking over in awe and she starts to get a smile like “nailed it.”
For the first 3/4 it’s just a pretty song by an incredibly talented singer, but once the funky basslines come in then all bets are off.
Do you recognize the song? It’s hard to forget. You can hear the original here in case you need to refresh your memory.