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!