The series is scheduled to air on Sunday evenings in June with 'expert' presenter Katherine Jenkins on board again. Seems her duties this time round include victim selection - so tweet her if you know any deserving has-beens, never-wases or plain old fame whores.
On 29 January, Rolando performed Tosti's L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra on my new favourite TV show, Popstar to Operastar. I may be wrong, but I believe this was his first public performance since his surgery.
OK so it's only one song, and it's well within his limits - but not bad, huh?
And here's another, even more impressive, performance of the same song on a different show (Alan Titchmarsh's) together with a brief interview:
Wow, he's been busy. Only a snippet of singing here - this is an introduction to opera and classical music. He recommends three great performances at the end - Bernstein's Beethoven 9, Domingo's Otello and the Barenboim, Zukerman et al Trout Quintet:
"We’ve never duetted together but it might happen on this show". Singing with Katherine Jenkins didn't damage Domingo's career, but his protégé's reputation is currently more fragile. Agreeing to appear on Popstar to Opera Star in the first place was a dubious move for Rolando Villazón. Could he really be ready to destroy his last shred of credibility?
And what of the show itself? The full spectrum of opinion is canvassed in the only sensible and balanced piece about the controversial new reality contest I've seen so far. Karen Price of Wales Online is the author.
"I think it’s exploiting the world of opera yet again,” says soprano and ROH regular Rebecca Evans.
But “it will take the mystery away from opera and make it less scary," thinks Isabel Murphy, Director of Artistic Administration for Welsh National Opera. And Katherine Jenkins claims “it will show people how difficult it is to sing opera. Viewers will be able to see the training sessions, like on Strictly Come Dancing, and understand what happens.”