English National Opera to train terrible singers for new TV series

Voice coaches from the English National Opera will train up tone deaf and off-key singers for a new TV show in a bid to prove that anyone can hold a tune.

The ENO and Sky Arts have launched a search for the UK and Ireland’s worst singers to take part in new series Anyone Can Sing, which will air later this year.

The coaches will put six participants through their paces, giving masterclasses on everything from vocal technique to stage presence and setting them a series of musical challenges to take their singing to the next level – all in the space of three months.

English National Opera’s Messiah
Members of the English National Opera at the London Coliseum (Ian West/PA)

Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts and Entertainment, said: “If I were to sing to you you’d be covering your ears, running for the hills, begging me to please stop.

“So when the brilliant people at the English National Opera told me they could get anyone, and they stressed anyone, singing tunefully so your ears didn’t bleed, we had to take them up on the challenge to turn Britain’s tone deaf into singers.

“We firmly believe that participation in the arts is as important as watching and enjoying and we can’t wait to see how this experiment in joining in unfolds.”

Annilese Miskimmon, artistic director at the ENO, said: “Here at the English National Opera we know how much work opera singers put into making their singing look so effortless.

“With the amazing support of top opera stars, we’re going to prove that anyone can sing.

“Opera is all about the drama, the emotion, and the passion, so what could be more dramatic and exhilarating than going from singing in the shower to hitting the highest of musical notes?

“We think singing is pretty great, and we want everyone to give it a go.”

Anyone Can Sing will air on Sky Arts, which is now free for everyone to watch on Freeview Channel 11, at the end of the year.