Some 20 years on from the release of The Voice landmark debut album, Russell Watson celebrates his inspirational career success that has created an entire genre of classical music.
Anniversary disc '20' captures key moments from the past two decades with 13 newly recorded songs delivered in his unmistakable trademark tenor.
Russell has shown incredible resilience during the past 20 years, maintaining a dignity few could rival when struck by not one but two brain tumours, then returning to the stage in better voice than previously.
So he wasn’t going to let lockdown stand in the way of his stunning new album.
Travel restrictions meant that long-time producer Ian Tilley had to stay in his native New Zealand, so he assembled a socially distanced orchestra in Christchurch while Russell hunkered down in Wilmslow, taking instructions and overseeing proceedings via Skype.
“Normally I’d always be at orchestra sessions, but in fact this didn’t feel much different,” said Russell.“I was in a booth wearing headphones. I could have been ten feet rather than 10,000 miles away.”
The track listing is a reimagined feast of the star’s greatest hits.
“There are certain songs that needed to be there because they define my career, with regards to recording but particularly live,” Russell explained.
“Volare is a staple. I’ve sung it at every concert for at least 25 years. And obviously Nessun Dorma, which launched my career.”
And what a career! Warmly referred to as the People’s Tenor, Russell’s journey took him from a Salford estate to the world’s most prestigious concert halls, and to becoming the best-selling male classical artist of all time.
He added: “You don’t come from a Salford factory floor to conquering the classical world without being a driven lunatic”.
His 20 track listing is as follows;
Nabucco: Va PensieroIl Gladiatore (based on themes from film Gladiator)Turandot Nessun DormaParla Più PianoO Sole MioVolareYou Are So BeautifulCarusoAmore E MusicaWhere My Heart Will Take Me (theme from Enterprise’Tosca: E Lucevan Le StelleSomeone To Remember MeI’ll Be Home For Christmas
Russell’s Anniversary tour will now take place in 2021.
Rescheduled dates are;
JanuarySun 10 Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
FebruaryThu 4 Harrogate Royal HallSun 7 Crewe LyceumTue 9 High Wycombe Swan TheatreThu 11 Nottingham Royal Concert HallSun 14 Woking New Victoria TheatreTue 16 Cheltenham Town HallThu 18 Shrewsbury Severn TheatreSat 20 Birmingham Symphony HallSun 21 Southend Cliffs PavilionThu 25 Basingstoke AnvilSun 28 York Barbican
MarchTue 2 Leicester De Montfort HallSat 6 Cardiff St David’s HallSun 7 Milton Keynes TheatreTue 9 Leeds Town HallSun 14 Manchester Bridgewater HallSat 20 Hull Bonus ArenaTue 30 Buxton Opera House (on sale soon)
NewJuneSat 19 Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (on sale soon).