Two Classical BRIT Awards. Two Double Platinum, one Platinum and two Gold classified albums. Over seven million records sold worldwide. Now Russell Watson is back on tour.
Perhaps the UK’s most successful tenor, Russell recorded his latest album, La Voce , in June 2010 with the Roma Sinfonietta; Ennio Morricone’s orchestra of choice.
It was released in November and showcased a stronger, more driven and powerful voice from Russell who overcame brain cancer in the interim between his last album and this one.
The Salford-born self-styled People’s Tenor first became known for performing at a working men’s club.
He came to the attention of the wider British public in 1999, when he sang the National anthem at the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, Barcelona at the last match of the Premiership season at Old Trafford and a full set of songs at the final of the UEFA Champions League in Barcelona.
The new album includes renditions of Pino Donaggio’s Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te), Mario Lanza’s Arrivederci Roma and Parla Piu Piano (the theme from The Godfather).
‘I’ve truly given my heart and soul to this record,’ he says.
‘It feels quite poignant – this is where I started. With everything that’s happened I’ve had a lot of time to focus on the record and make the one I really wanted to make. The performances are as good as they can possibly be at this stage of my career.’
His tour comes to Portsmouth Guildhall on Thursday, when he’ll be accompanied by an accomplished orchestra, and supported by Mary-Jess.
n See Russell Watson on Thursday from 7.30pm at Portsmouth Guildhall. Tickets cost between £25.53 and £66.89 from (023) 9282 4355 or gigsandtours.com.