Music and Life

Two nights ago I went to another Russell Watson concert in Birmingham Symphony Hall. I said another, because nearly two years ago I was at the same magnificent venue and heard him live for the first time, although I’ve been a fan for quite some time, and have acquired several of his CDs.

The very first album of his I bought was  The Voice and that label has stuck on him since, which for someone without proper training, becoming famous in his 30s could only be a good thing, one would assume. When he strode onto the stage, opening the evening with Somewhere, he brought tears to my eyes as if by magic, for it was the power of that amazing voice that gave me goose bumps, making my heart sing and my eyes go misty. There was no other explanation, except to mention the obvious fact that he is tall, handsome with the most charming smile.

Mr Watson was in Birmingham for two nights in a row but I only bought my ticket a week before the concert. The first night was long sold out, so I was only able to get one ticket in the circle for the second night, which actually had a perfect view of the stage. I think my husband was quite relieved that there was no room for him, as he would have felt a little bit awkward to join in on a ladies’ night out. I inspected the beautiful Symphony Hall which was fully packed for the second night, I knew John’s estimate of an 80% female audience was about right, with mostly women in their 60s or above, some with their equally old friends and a minority having managed to ‘drag’ their husbands along too. It was not a bad feeling to be among the younger ones there, and definitely a plus with no crazy teenage girls throwing their sexy thongs or underpants at the singer. Do they still do that? That would definitely be a distraction.

When I was at his concert in 2009 with a friend of mine, I was bowled over not just by his voice, but also the range of arias and covers of pop songs which he interpreted and belted out to his fans. The fact that he had battled with life-threatening brain tumours, not once but twice just added magnetism to this man. I admired his bravery to overcome such great adversity in life and it was not short of a miracle that not only has he now defeated the illnesses but has returned with a stronger, more driven and powerful voice. For this, I applaud him.

On the night, he not only offered some of his oldies and goldies like Nella Fantasia and Nessum Dorma, he did renditions of Pino Donaggio’s Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te), Mario Lanza’s Arrivederci Roma and Parla Piu Piano, which was the theme from The Godfather, one of my favorite love songs. Listening to him was nothing less than astounding, as pure emotions just poured out from his heart and soul, all the way across the auditorium and touched mine. It was an incredible and magical experience.

Backing Mr Watson was a 35  piece orchestra, an eight person choir called Captial Voices and a special guest of the night, the Chinese X factor winner, who was a British student in China at the time, Mary Jess Leaverland. Together they sang The Music of the Night and Where You Go I Go With You. It was electrifying and heartwarming.

I thought I’d write about my night out with Russell Watson in this week’s blog, as it has always been a pleasure to share the good things in life. Having music in our lives is a true blessing, and if you have not heard of Russell Watson before, perhaps you would want to try and listen to him on Spotify or YouTube. You would then know that it is no exaggeration that his voice will touch you, as it has done to me.

Thank you for stopping by and may you always have beautiful music in your life!


About Junying Kirk

Originally from China and currently living and working in the UK, Junying has worked as an academic, international partnerships manager, researcher, teacher, professional interpreter, translator and cultural consultant. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing, and reflecting upon what's important in life. She is a seasoned blogger, topics ranging from serious stuff such as art, books, cross-cultural communications, education and politics, to more leisure pursuits including cuisine, keeping-fit, music, photography and world travels. Her "Journey To The West" Trilogy - The Same Moon, Trials of Life and Land of Hope, are available on Amazon stores Worldwide, iBook and Smashwords, both in electronic and printed forms. She is currently writing a new book, the first of her "Journey to the East" trilogy. The revival of this blog is the author’s renewed efforts to engage with her readers near and far. Welcome, friends and fans!
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2 Responses to Music and Life

  1. Allan Smith says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with the cyberworld. My wife and I were there, too, and we fully appreciate what you are saying. I’ve put a link to your ‘blog’ on our own little website in the hope of sharing it even more widely. Do please let me know if you’d prefer otherwise. Thanks again.


    • junyingkirk says:

      Many thanks, Allan. Of course, no problem to link my blog with your website, and I’ll be more than happy if more people know about Mr Watson and his music.

      Good luck and all the best!


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