Danny Jones, from the pop group McFly, says that his band members encouraged him to take part in Popstar to Operastar. “This offer came through, and all the boys said, ‘do it, do it, do it!’ We get asked to do all sorts of TV shows, and to be honest most of them are rubbish. But this is different. In this show, you’re really learning something. It’s very exciting. We don’t just sit in the jungle eating kangaroo’s private parts. This requires talent!”
That said, Danny confesses that before entering this competition, he didn’t know his aria from his elbow. “I didn’t have a clue about opera,” he says, with a winning smile. “But more than anything else, the challenge of Popstar to Operastar appealed to me. Also, Friday night on ITV1 is a different crowd for me. What’s great is that this show features everyone from Alex James to Jimmy Osmond – that’s a really wide fan-base.”
The 23-year-old singer, who as part of McFly has had seven number one singles, admits that he has not found the opera training easy – in fact, quite the opposite. “It’s been really hard. I’ve got lots of bad habits. But the singing coaches here have been brilliant. They have taught me all sorts of great new techniques. The other day, as part of my training, I was lying on the floor doing sit-ups while singing. It was wild!”
Danny, who with McFly won the Brit Award for Best Pop Act, underlines what a fan he is of TV talent shows such as Popstar to Operastar. “They’re just great entertainment. It’s all live, and the audience love the thrill of that. As a performer, there is also the fear of messing up and showing yourself up. Do I have that fear? Not yet!”
So how does the singer, whose group hold the Guinness World Record for the youngest band ever to top the album chart, feel about singing in a foreign language? “I’m not so worried about that. I forget the words to my own songs, never mind arias in a foreign language! If I do get lost, I’ll just make it up and have a laugh!” Danny adds that, “what’s more daunting is that I’ve got to learn each aria in just a week. That’s scary!”
The singer is less concerned about the critics’ verdicts after he performs on Popstar to Operastar. “I’m not bothered about the critics. I’m doing this for the experience and because I think it’ll be fun. I don’t want to be too serious on this show. I won’t start crying if I don’t get through!”
Danny closes by emphasising that, “I’m just thrilled to be involved with Popstar to Operastar. I think it could introduce opera to a whole new audience. I’m hoping to make opera cool!”
If anyone can do that, Danny can.