Scarborough Open Air Theatre
The concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre was a great success, with the afternoon showers dying away to give a clear evening, but we needed the big TV screens at each side of the stage as it was separated from the audience by a shallow lake.
Russell had been featured in the printed edition of The Scarborough News before the concert (on pages 2, 3, 59 and 63 of the August 2nd edition) and they briefly reported on the performance online afterwards.
He had been on Yorkshire Coast Radio earlier in the day chatting to Steve Jordan and giving away just a little of his future plans. Steve has kindly made a recording of the interview available and it can be downloaded and saved, if you’d like, from our MediaFire account.
Rob Emery surprised the crowd with his running, barefoot entrance, it not being the warmest of evenings.
Below is a summary of the songs we remember but it might not be complete or in the correct order, sorry, but we were just having too a good a time to make contemporaneous notes.
After the National Anthem Russell sang Abide With Me, Danny Boy, Bridge Over Troubled Water, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Caruso, O Sole Mio, and Volare at which point he looked over the edge of the stage at the water and said that he wouldn’t be going walkabout! He finished the first half with Funiculi Funicula.
When he returned after the intermission he sang Race To The End. A flock of Canada geese flew, in V formation, across the lake at just about the height of the top of the stage and Russell said it was a fly-past by The Grey Arrows.
Rob must have felt the chill as he’d put socks on and Russell teased him that he’d “wimped out”.
Possibly the biggest cheer of the evening came when Russell announced that he’d had a quick look at the TV during the break and local girl Jessica Ennis had won a gold medal, so he dedicated We Are The Champions to all the athletes taking part in the Olympics.
Russell’s Special Guests “Amore” impressed with Nella Fantasia, Ave Maria and a specially written version of Scarborough Fair that was, of course, very well received. They then sang another song in which they danced and roped Rob in as well.
Russell continued with great versions of A Vucchella (which was lovely), Vesti La Giubba (which was brilliant), Nessun Dorma (which was brilliant and gained him a standing ovation) and, while folks were up, Jerusalem. This was flag-waving time of course and he was then joined by Amore for Rule Britannia. Land Of Hope And Glory finished the concert and Russell made a sharp exit as the superb fireworks show began.
Just on a personal note we’d like say how pleasant and professional we found all the staff to be. The security personnel were helpful and even thanked folk for coming as the theatre was emptying. Not a ‘jobsworth’ in sight. Refreshing.
Rob has since posted a brief YouTube video of the view from the stage during Pomp And Circumstance (Land Of Hope And Glory). You have to hand it to him; he gets some amazing shots and video clips from his backstage and onstage perspectives but conducting a 32 piece orchestra with an iPhone is something special! Thanks Rob! Love the waistcoat, by the way.
4th August “Russell in fine voice at Open Air Theatre”
The Scarborough News
2nd August The Scarborough News (print only)
Pages 2, 3 and 68 feature the forthcoming concert.
23rd March “Russell Watson to perform at Scarborough Open Air Theatre”
Scarborough Borough Council
23rd March “Singing sensation Watson ups the tenor of open-air programme”
Beautiful North Yorkshire
31st March “Top star on way to Scarborough” Scarborough Evening News
2nd April “Russell Watson tickets go on sale on Good Friday”
Scarborough Borough Council