BWW INTERVIEWS: Russell Watson At The OLIVIERS 2010

Miriam Zendle talks to the People's Tenor...

Are you having a good evening?

I am - I haven't even had a drink yet!

Is that because you're nervous or because you've been busy?

I've not had a drink because it doesn't agree with my medication. [Russell has been suffering with brain tumours over the past few years]

How are you doing, anyway?

I'm loads better now. I spent the last 12-18 months getting back on the treadmill, getting myself fit again, getting myself singing again. There's a lot of really exciting things coming up for me.

Can you tell me about some of them?

I most certainly can. I've got a new record, I'm going out to Rome to record with the Roma Symphonia. We'll be out there for two weeks. It's the orchestra that Ennio Morricone uses. They are astonishing. I think we're going to get a real Rome-esque flavour on the record.

Do you feel more inspired when you're somewhere like that, rather than just sitting in a studio in London?

Oh god yeah, without a shadow of a doubt. The thing about being in a studio is it feels so sanitised. You've almost got to shut your eyes, switch off and pretend you're somewhere else. But actually being in Rome, it gives you so much in here, here and here. Obviously you can't see where I'm pointing to, but I pointed to my heart, I pointed to my eyes and I pointed to my head [laughs]. It's quite descriptive. I'm sorry!

Have you been to the Oliviers before? What do you make of it?

I haven't - I really quite enjoyed it. When I went on everybody seemed to be quite straight in the way they delivered and I thought 'maybe it'll be the right time of the evening to lighten things up a little bit' with a bit of Northern humour.

You were presenting on opera, obviously...

Yes, Oprah Winfrey. Isn't she lovely?

I can see why my boss loves you - you're very easy to talk to! Are you into musical theatre much? Do you go to shows?

I do if I get a chance. Normally if I go to musical theatre, in all honesty, I'll take the kids with me. I've got - making me feel a bit old - I've got a 9-year-old and a 15-year-old. We went to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the other year. It were brilliant. What else... the Lion King which I thought was incredible. So yeah, we go to see musical theatre when we get the chance, but it's normally with the kids.

So some of the things tonight might not be appropriate for them...

I've heard that War Horse is really good for children. I've heard it's amazing, a few people tonight have said War Horse is brilliant.

It is meant to be amazing. I wouldn't take very little kids... but yours are 9 and 15, they're au fait with the world.

They watched The Shining with me.

In the tabloids tomorrow...

Russell Watson's Kids Shining Shock Horror. Honey, I'm home!

Did you see Tristan Und Isolde?

No. The thing is, doing what I do, I seldom get the opportunity to hear other people sing and the opportunity to go and watch productions, because I'm usually doing something myself or if I'm not, I'm with the kids. It would be then something that's child-themed.


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