Superstar tenor Russell Watson brought his Up Close and Personal Tour to the City of Culture and gave a near full-house a treat with his flawless voice and a very personal touch.
From the moment he stepped onto the stage at this beautifully intimate, yet slightly grand, venue he had the audience in raptures as he took them on a musical and spoken journey through the last 25 years of his life.
Stories were recounted, from 25 years ago when he won a Karaoke at The Railway Inn in his hometown of Salford, through to the present day and his tour with new classical singing sensation Rebecca Newman, A.K.A The People’s Soprano.
He delighted the audience as he came down from the stage to shake hands with several of them and, for most of the evening, he had them spellbound as his magnificent voice took on both classical songs and some classic pop songs.
He had the star quality to combine Cavalleria Rusticana with Ave Maria, belt out classic hits like King of the Road and The Sound of Silence and get up close and personal as well.
The performance of The Prayer between him and his special guest was simply electric and his combination with the All For One Choir also resonated with stunning effect and his interaction with the audience, such as allowing them to take pictures for a flashing light effect was quite magical too.
Rebecca Newman’s performance just into the second half of the show also added a sprinkling more of star quality as she treated us to a hugely polished performance of the title track to her Number one selling classical album Dare to Dream which will live long in the memory for all those who were there to see it.
The Voice himself also showed more of his vocal range as he took on the normally female sung I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables.
This tour finishes this month but, after the welcome he received here, it must surely only be a matter of time before Russell Watson returns to Hull.
Between now and then however classical music fans will have another treat as Rebecca Newman will be back here on 7 July to headline Opera on the Marina.