Popstar To Operastar: Profile of Kym Marsh

Kym Marsh is thrilled to be involved in Popstar to Operastar. For one thing, she cannot wait to get into her glad rags for the live shows!

“You can be sure I’ll be wearing something glamorous,” laughs the singer, actress and mother of two, who stars as Michelle in Coronation Street. “You can’t sing opera in a pair of jeans. I spend enough time in tracksuits looking after the kids and going back and forth to Corrie. I love getting dressed up!”

She has also adored the learning process for Popstar to Operastar. “The lessons have been so good,” enthuses the 33-year-old. “It’s great to set yourself a challenge: am I capable of learning a new skill?

“I’m learning to place my voice differently and to breathe differently. It’s been fantastic for my singing technique. In pop, you can get very lazy, but it’s really good to train up your voice. I’ve found it so rewarding and exciting to find out all these new things the voice is capable of.”

The biggest challenge for Kym has been attempting to sing in a foreign language. “I’m finding that very hard,” she smiles with resignation. “I can’t even speak my own language – I’m constantly being pulled up for my grammar! You never know, after doing this show, I might take up foreign languages!”

She has found the experience of opera very far removed from the world of pop. “It’s very different from jumping around the stage in your trainers,” Kym observes. “You can wing it in pop, but you can’t get away with anything in opera.

“One thing I didn’t like about the pop industry was that a lot of the time on stage you were miming. That was no fun. We certainly won’t be miming on this, I can tell you!

Sometimes if I forgot a pop song, I’d pretend the mic had gone off, so watch for that!”

Kym believes that the programme will help broaden the appeal of opera. “It should be an eye-opener for the people who watch it,” she ventures. “With people like Vanessa and Danny involved, I hope we’ll bring in the younger demographic. Viewers always like to learn something new. It might well convert a lot of people to opera, which can only be a good thing.”

Kym is a very experienced singer – she was one of the winners of ITV1’s Popstars in 2001 and ended up (alongside Myleene) in the victors’ band, Hear’Say. They enjoyed a Number One hit with “Pure and Simple.” All the same, she admits to nerves about the live performances on Popstar to Operastar.

“If I was asked to learn a script or sing a pop song, I’d be fine. I’m used to doing those things. But this is completely out of my comfort zone. On the live shows, there is nowhere to hide. Get it wrong and that’s it!”

Kym closes by underscoring just how much she has revelled in Popstar to Operastar. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before, and it’s been absolutely brilliant. Am I brave to do it? Some might call it mad!”

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!