It’s not often the word ‘opera’ appears in a prime time TV schedule but ITV’s Popstar to Operastar is set to begin tonight in the 9pm peak slot on ITV1. The show itself blends aspects from the tried and tested crop of reality challenge shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, X-Factor and other ratings winners, by pitting a host of celebrities against studio-based judges, with behind-the-scenes action and a chance for the public to vote off their least favourite.
With Myleene Klass and Alan Titchmarsh as presenters, the judging panel includes the show’s ‘mentors’ – the accomplished operatic tenor Rolando Villazón and popular mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins – along with ‘critics’ Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and rock star Meat Loaf. The ‘popstar’ celebrities who will be trained to sing operatic arias include: Jimmy Osmond; Alex James, of Maestro fame; Nolan sister Bernie; former Popstars contestants Kym Marsh and Darius Campbell; McFly frontman Danny Jones; Marcella Detroit from Shakespears Sister; and Vanessa White from girl group The Saturdays.
Villazón, who stands out as the show’s opera expert, says: ‘I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to tell a very wide audience what opera is all about. Singing opera is something that brings not only joy, but a special understanding of your inner life. Listening to this music can have the same effect and I want everyone to know that!’
Popstar to Operastar begins tonight on ITV1 at 9pm