'People's tenor' Russell Watson will raise you up at Audley End picnic concert

PUBLISHED: 17:32 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:49 31 May 2010

A FORMER bolt-cutter from Manchester, the people s tenor Russell Watson has come a long way from performing pop songs in his local pubs and clubs. On Saturday (July 11) the working-class boy who became one of the country s most successful classical singer

A FORMER bolt-cutter from Manchester, the people's tenor Russell Watson has come a long way from performing pop songs in his local pubs and clubs.

On Saturday (July 11) the working-class boy who became one of the country's most successful classical singers will take to the stage at Audley End House and Gardens for the first in a series of Picnic Concerts.

After catching his break singing Barcelona at Old Trafford for Manchester United's last game of the season in 1999, Watson's rise to the top was meteoric. A five-album record deal was followed by a number one classical chart position in both the UK and America.

But for all the success in Watson's life there has also been heartache and struggle. In September 2006, while recording in Los Angeles, he was taken to hospital and discovered he had a brain tumour.

The tumour was removed during an operation in London and his two daughters Rebecca and Hannah helped him through his recovery, but in October 2007 results showed he had been struck again.

After more surgery Watson had to rebuild his life again and still has to take a concoction of drugs every day. But despite this he remains positive and continues to produce albums and sell out concert halls.

Fresh from a 20-date UK tour Russell is preparing to open the Picnic Concerts with a show akin to Last Night of the Proms. With his 70-piece orchestra he will perform rousing classics such as Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem.

The set will include all the songs that endeared Watson to the public and him the people's tenor including You Raise Me Up, Volare, You Are So Beautiful and the soaring Nessun Dorma.

Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £30 or £28.50 for concessions. They can be purchased from the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre (01799 524002) on the Market Square or by visiting www.picnicconcerts.com


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter