Updated: Nov 18, 2019
23rd August 2020 19:30
We are absolutely delighted to announce that Russell Watson 'The Voice' will be joining us for Castell Roc 2020. Having performed with some of the greatest singers in the world at the greatest venues in the world, we are over the moon Russell will be taking to the stage at Chepstow Castle.
Never in his wildest dreams could Russell Watson have imagined he would someday, be hailed as one of the world’s most popular classical singers. He was described once by the New York Times, as a performer “who sings like Pavarotti and entertains the audience like Frank Sinatra”, the accolades kept coming but his was not a conventional route to stardom.
Russell left school at the age of sixteen with no qualifications and spent the first eight years of his working life in a factory making nuts and bolts. His desire to escape the monotony of the shop floor led him to clubland where he spent nine years treading the boards, learning his trade and entertaining audiences nightly. He spent his evenings performing and his days honing his vocal skills. Russell has trained with some of the UK’s leading vocal coaches, namely, David Dubrey (RNCM), William Hayward (RCM) and Patrick Mcguigan. In the USA Seth Riggs and more recently Kate Gavaghan, Estill vocal coach.
Since the year 2000 he has released eleven studio albums. His debut album ‘The Voice’ raced up the uk charts and held the number one spot for a world record 52 weeks. At the same time, Russell held the number one spot in the USA, making him the first British male artiste to attain a simultaneous transatlantic number one. ‘The Voice’ subsequently became the first and only album by a uk classical artiste to achieve 1,000,000 sales !
His second studio album ‘Encore’ soon followed, respectively replacing the voice at the top spot. It became an even greater success selling almost two million copies worldwide and held the UK top spot for 36 weeks. During this period Russell was rewarded with various awards including, four Classical Brits.
His career has seen him perform for some of the world’s leading figures. From Presidents to Popes and Emperors to Queens. The list includes, HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (to whom he is an ambassador for the Dukes Fellowship Charity), HRH Prince Charles (where he is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust), the late Pope John Paul II who requested a private audience with Russell at the Vatican, former US presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barak Obama. The Emperor of Japan, the president of Uzbekistan and the king of Malaysia.
He has an exceptionally strong link with prestigious sporting events. 1999 saw him sing at Manchester Uniteds Old Trafford to a crowd of 60,000, it was the clubs treble winning season. In the post match report respected sporting journalist Paul Hince wrote of Russell,
“You know when you have witnessed something special, when even the cynical hacks in the press box rise to their feet and join the ovation. I swear, even the pigeons on the roof of the stands flapped their wings when he belted out the last invert of Nessun Dorma”.
This triggered a series of sports-related performances, from the 1999 Champions league final at the Nou Camp stadium, the rugby union World Cup, Englands FIFA World Cup bid and the rugby league challenge cup final. After a string of appearances at Wembley-stadium, one journalist was quoted as saying “there’s only one person to have appeared more times at Wembley stadium than David Beckham this year, and that’s Russell Watson !”
Among other prestigious appearances was a performance at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in 2002, where he sang to a worldwide TV audience of one billion. Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Coronation Gala Festival in 2013, The BBCProms in the Park 2002 and 2015, The National Memorial Day Concert, Capitol Hill Washington to a live audience of 350,000 and the opening ceremony of the world games. Russell is the only UK artiste to have appeared on the PBS televised 4th July celebration concert, this saw him sing to a live audience of over 500,000.
Collaborations include Meatloaf, Lionel Richie, Sir Paul McCartney, Lulu, Aled Jones, Alexandra Burke, Shaun Ryder and the late, great Luciano Pavarotti.
His performances in stage shows have also earned him great critical acclaim. He played Parson Nathaniel in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds arena tour. A run of shows in New York City saw him play the role of Karl Oscar in Benny and Björn’s ‘Kristina’. The New York Times stated, “Watson’s ‘Puccini ready voice was crystal clear”. His collaboration with Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, meant he fulfilled a lifetime ambition to work alongside the writers of the world’s most successful musical ever, Les Miserables.
On top of all this and unbeknown to most, Russell is the voice behind the iconic Star Trek series Enterprise. Russell sang the first ever vocal soundtrack for Star Trek demonstrating the versatility of his gift once more. His voice was used more recently in December 2014 to wake up The New Horizons Pluto Probe. No other voice in history has been heard further from our planet.
Russell’s eleventh studio album has seen him collaborate with long time friend Aled Jones. The CD ‘In Harmony’ was the best selling classical crossover record by a UK artiste of 2018 !! He continues to sell out venues all over the UK and indeed the world.
A rare talent not to be missed!