Review: Russell Watson at the Ipswich Regent, May 8
Russell Watson, Ipswich Regent, Sunday night
What a fantastic night was had at the Regent. ‘The Voice’ was well and truly back.
Russell Watson, pictured, was welcomed with a standing ovation from the packed theatre.
He began the evening with a moving performance of one of the most recognisable songs from West Side Story, Somewhere (There’s A Place For Us).
Watson was accompanied on stage by the Art Symphonic orchestra conducted by a rather energetic but brilliant Robert D C Emery, and the Capital Voices Choir.
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The tour promotes his new album La Voce, but also included some old favourites.
After thanking the audience, Watson told them that he likened himself to a rock climber who had been injured, but now had made it to the top of Everest on his best tour ever.
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He dedicated Ave Maria to his beloved grandmother who he lost at the beginning of the year. It was beautiful.
Bringing the first half to a close, Watson performed Volare with a twist – audience participation! Even coming down into the stalls where the women bombarded him with presents and flowers!
The Phantom of the Opera interlude kicked off the second half and he was joined on stage by 21-year-old Mary-Jess who won the Chinese version of The X Factor. They duetted together on The Music of The Night.
From Phantom to Sinatra to Tony Bennett – Watson told us that he had left his heart in ‘sunny Ipswich’.
He brought the show to a patriotic end with the audience on their feet, waving Union flags and singing along to Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory – it was magnificent, and he returned four times for encores as the audience didn’t want to let him go. He really is the ‘people’s tenor’ and they loved him for it.