13th January: Last week’s top re-entries The Classical Album and The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music switch around, at no. 1 and no. 2, and Renée Fleming’s new album is the highest new entry at no. 8.
The actor and director Simon Callow was one of the judges on the TV series Popstar to Operastar, which came to an end last weekend.
Throughout the series there’s been lively debate about bringing opera to new audiences, and whether or not the TV show succeeds. We thought we’d ask Simon Callow about opera’s accessibility and the show’s success.
Callow believes that opera can be a daunting art form at first but that it is ultimately rewarding, citing the example of Cheryl Baker, who ‘thought opera was for snobs’ until she went to the Royal Opera House and experienced it first-hand.
All eight of the popstars on the show are masters in their fields, but Callow explains some of the different challenges posed by opera.
You can catch Simon Callow at Trafalgar Studios 1, where he’s starring in Being Shakespeare until July 23.