Interview: Russell Watson hopes for sunshine at Clumber concert

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Sunshine, champagne and picnics are among the ingredients that tenor Russell Watson considers help make an outdoor concert such a special occasion.

“It’s almost a tradition here to brave the elements and go and see live music outdoors,” the singer told Chad.

“The thing I like most about them is just the fact they are completely different, in respect of the material you perfrom and the way you approach the concert.”

Russell is performing at Clumber Park this summer during one of a number of outdoor dates in his calendar.

And he knows exactly what the audience will want and expect, with all of the famous patriotic songs such as Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory on the list.

“There are always songs that people expect at whatever concert I do, the usual suspects being Nessun Dorma, You Raise Me Up and Volare,” he said.

But Russell does like to mix things up so that the set is not too formulaic andis kept fresh for himself and the crowd.

“I like to keep things fresh in the context of my show so no two shows are the same.”

For Russell, there are a few key differences between singing outdoors and indoors.

“You have not got a natural acoustic outdoors so you are completely reliant on the set up of the PA system,” he said.

“You are normally, in theatres, much closer to the audience than you are in an outdoor concert.

“Also you are really relying on the weather.”

He added: “I have been very lucky and in the 12 years of doing outdoor concerts, there’s only been two where it’s rained. I have been very, very lucky.”

Concert-goers could also be lucky enough to hear some new material, Russell told Chad.

The tenor, who is officially the UK’s best selling classical artist ever, said he is about to start work on a new record that will involve him teaming up with ‘one of the most prolific musical songwriters of all time’.

For now, he cannot say anymore but he hopes to be able to share some new music with the audience.

He said: “Potentially I am hoping that by August, we are going to have some of the music scored up for orchestra and I can do something with them.”

Russell’s special guests at Clumber will be Amore, a classical vocal quartet who met during postgraduate opera studies at the Royal College of Music.

They are rapidly gathering great acclaim and in 2012 performed for the Queen both as part of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant and also at the BBC Festival of Remembrance.

Russell Watson and his orchestra are playing at Clumber Park on Sunday 18th August.

Tickets are priced £29.95 or £22 for children and are available on 0845 075 6101.