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Welsh opera stars' war of words over 'popera' TV show

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:31 UK time, Monday, 18 January 2010

Welsh opera star Rebecca Evans has criticised Katherine Jenkins' new reality TV show Popstar to Operastar, saying that it bears no relation to what she does professionally.


Evans told WalesOnline, ""I watched bits of it and I thought it was a good laugh. It had great comedy value, but what they're doing bears no resemblance to what I do.

"It takes years of hard grafting to reach the standard I've obtained, or colleagues like Sarah Connolly and Bryn Terfel.

"We're certainly not worried about our jobs! It thought it was entertainment and to be fair it must have been scary for those taking part."

Jenkins told the Western Mail before the series started, "Speaking before the series started, she told the Western Mail: "It will show people how difficult it is to sing opera. Viewers will be able to see the training sessions and understand what happens.

"The dumbing down label seems to be given to anything that makes classical music more accessible."


  • Comment number 1.

    Opera will never have mass appeal I'm afraid.Crossover genres - yes.This show is nothing to do with 'true' Opera.It's just people singing snippets of song in an Operatic style.This show is deeply flawed & will not achieve high viewer numbers which is what ITV was hoping probably.There is no end product that will result from this programme which is a big reason X-factor is popular - only one of the singers will possibly sing in this style again (Detroit).Only a marginal entertainment value - not going to work I don't think.Even the reason's they say they are airing the show is flawed - to populise Opera.Anyone heard of Pavirotti, three tenors etc.There has been enough Opera out there for most people to be introduced sufficiently.There are loads of crossover genres that incorporate operatic / classical singing as well.This programme is trying to populise something that has already had this treatment already.Overall the show is a bit pointless & the selection of some of the singers has been dreadful (Saturdays, McFly, Blur bassist singers).Must try better ITV - the format is waring a little thin as well, panel + comments + voting procedure + telephone voting etc.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Scratchy. I have to agree with you. It's a poor programme, trying to eke a format out of a subject that really doesn't lend itself easily to a talent show.

    At least they didn't try and do it with normal members of the public, though. The involvement of some reasonably well-known people makes it a little more watchable, even if (especially if?) they can't do the opera thing very well.

    Anyhow, the worst thing about it is Katherine Jenkins' involvement. Given that she's taken to singing Italian translations of Bryan Adams songs, and has never actually sung an opera herself, it makes you wonder how seriously the production team took the whole casting process.

    On that note, the decision to have Meat Loaf and Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen as judges. And as for Alan Titchmarsh as co-host... well, it seems they just got whoever happened to be available at the time. Perhaps everyone else ran away.

    Why, though, is this so much worse than the BBC's Maestro? It's a similar concept and format, but the ITV attempt seems to fall much flatter. I'm not sure why I enjoyed Maestro but can't sit through a whole episode of Popstar to Operastar.


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