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Top British tenor in KL for YTL concert

   
CELEBRATED PAIR: Yeoh (right) sharing a light moment with Watson. Picture: Shiraz Yasmine Ali

The Malay Mail, December 16, 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: Russell Watson, Britain's most celebrated tenor, arrived yesterday to perform at the final concert to be held in conjunction with YTL Corporation Bhd's 50th Anniversary Concert of Celebration.

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"It's absolutely fantastic to be here," said the young tenor, whose rise to the top of the charts has been meteoric. "I am honoured to be able to join in the celebrations." The Salford-born singer, who specialises in "popera" (pop opera) tunes, first came into prominence after beating 400 contestants in a radio talent singing contest.

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Since then, the former steel factory worker has performed at Old Trafford stadium (during the 1999 Premiership final match) and for world leaders, including the late Pope John Paul II.

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His debut album, The Voice, climbed to No.5 in the UK pop charts whilst topping the Classical charts for 51 weeks. When the album reached No.1 on the US Classical chart, Watson became the first British male singer to simultaneously top the UK and US Classical charts.

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Watson will be singing at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in Sentul Park tomorrow. He will be backed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO).

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"I will be singing a variety of styles," he said. "And, yes, it will include Nessun Dorma -the one song that I can never get away from!" he added with a laugh.

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Tickets for the free concert were given out via a balloting exercise, which was over-subscribed by 10, 000 bids within two weeks. About 5, 000 Malaysians will get the opportunity to see the "People's Tenor" in action.

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YTL managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh praised Watson's vocal prowess. This year's anniversary theme, 50 years of Running the Good Race, is apt indeed, as we recount all that we have achieved so far," he said.

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"This is why we organise the Concert of Celebration every year - as a thanksgiving to God for all his blessings that brought us this far, and as a pledge to keep walking His way.

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This is also a rare opportunity for us to positively contribute to the various communities we operate in," Yeoh said. Also present was the president of the ASO. Rainer Jozeps, who will conducting the orchestra tomorrow.





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