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  • Russell’s return to resort will bring back fond memories

    Henry James

    CLASSICAL singer Russell Watson is no stranger to Southport and he will be returning to the town this February with his Canzoni d Amore concert.

    Watson, who has sold seven million albums worldwide, can be seen at Southport theatre on Saturday, February 24.

    He started singing in working men’s clubs and is known as the People’s Tenor. His first album called The Voice was released in 2000 and he became the first British artist to make number one in the US and UK classical charts.

    The 51-year-old has many memories of Southport and ahead of his resort date, he told the Champion: “My Gran lived in Atherton and used to take me by train to Southport to the fairground. I remember going to the beach and the fair.

    “One of the last times I sang in the town was for a big charity event and it was a fantastic night. We always have a good night there.

    “Southport Theatre is not small enough to be intimate but not too big that you lose that connection with the audience. It is a bit like Leeds Grand theatre, which is a big theatre but you still feel the connection with the audience.

    “When you do the bigger arenas, such as Manchester, and Birmingham, you can only connect with so many people as many of the audience are watching you on a big screen. However don’t get me wrong though – there is nothing better than being out on stage at places such as Wembley Arena.”

    The tenor, who has twice overcome brain tumours, will be singing new material as well as songs from his last album True Stories. He commented on what audiences can expect: “In a time where there is a lot of negativity and the world is a volatile place, I hope people can come to one of my concerts to escape that and have a good night. Hopefully it will inspire some fond memories for the people who were there.

    “We are going to put some new stuff in there. I am also going to sing the favourites as well such as Volare, You Raise Me Up, Nessun Dorma. They are the ones that everyone will be shouting for. Although you can’t please everyone all the time.

    “Many of the songs have been by my side for some time now. They have been part of my journey. Some of the pieces of music represent memories, some are good while others are not so good. Music can help you come through the good and the bad days.

    “I like to keep things fresh. If the song does not bring a connection with the audience I lose it for a bit. I have been a recording artist for 17 years now, so I have a big back catalogue to choose from.

    “One of my favourites is Intermezzo, which is used in the film Raging Bull. My Gran used to play it and she introduced me to it. Whenever I hear Intermezzo I think of her. At the concert there will be a string section, a grand piano, a percussionist, a guitarist and a choir of between 40 and 50 people.”


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