Russell Watson is in Buxton during April, performing an intimate concert at the town’s Opera House. Alex Belfield spoke to the singing sensation about his musical talent, getting married and his new zest for life after getting his health back.
Russell, good to talk to you. This has probably been the best year of your life hasn’t it?
It’s definitely up there, particularly having come out of the darkness of previous years. I’ve had a fantastically successful year touring, and of course I got married as well. It’s just been a year of incredible events: head-lining the Proms in the Park in Hyde Park, the performance on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC for memorial day, in front of 350,000 people.
To think from where you came from with the darkness of the tumours and then finding love, then getting your career back, you must have wondered if you would have any of that?
Yes there was lots of moment when I wondered. I’ve always maintained that success in its early stages is relatively easy, but sustaining it is incredibly difficult. I’m so grateful to have sustained my career.
What I love about you is that you don’t get involved with shenanigans like jungles or big brother houses; you make your talent sing the loudest.
Well I believe (not everyone else will) that I’m a singer. That’s what I do best, and that’s all I really want to do.
Your new tour is arguably your best yet; I’ve never seen you look more comfortable.
I think that’s the way I feel on stage right now. If you feel comfortable and life is good and you’re happy I think that does very much shine through onto the stage. During the time I battled on with the illness, and I wasn’t happy, it did transcend onto the stage, it comes with you like suitcases on a holiday.
I wonder if you thought you ever would find true love again? When you are a mega star with a few quid in the bank, it’s not easy to find people who are sincere.
I was on my own for five years. I was very ill and I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a relationship. When I eventually met Louise, I have to be honest, yes, there was a certain amount of scepticism. But as we got to know one another, I saw a person who was really down to earth, grounded, and incredibly supportive of me. Not a bit financially motivated, in fact quite the opposite. I’ve never seen a human being have so much affection for living things and as a result of that my once empty five bedroom house is now full of life. We have a full on menagerie: dogs, cats, a horse, chickens, and ducks. I’d say Louise was also responsible for drawing my family back in and that’s been something that I’ll be eternally grateful for.
Russell Watson, Buxton Opera House, Saturday 16 April 7.30pm. Tickets £48, Box Office 01298 72190 or visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk