Singing superstar Russell Watson is coming to Blackpool next year.
The former engineering apprentice, who spent more than a decade performing on the working men’s club circuit before hitting the big time, will play the Opera House on Saturday March 29, 2014. Tickets for the gig go on sale on Friday.
It will feel like a return home for Watson, who started his march towards world stardom with a season on North Pier supporting Lily Savage.
“That was a turning point,” he said.
Within a couple of years, Watson’s released debut album The Voice which made history – the first time a British artist had held both the US and UK classical number one.
He has since been credited with bringing classical, operatic music to the masses and is dubbed the People’s Tenor.
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the 46-year-old. He has had to endure a much-publicised health battle after being diagnosed with two brain tumours and undergoing extensive treatment.
But feeling healthy and fit again – and about to release his 11th studio album Only One Man on November 11 – Watson has announced a UK tour, including a night in Blackpool.
It isn’t too long ago since he was last in these parts, performing what was widely regarded to be a stunning headline set at Lytham Proms in the summer.
He is looking forward to returning.
“I absolutely love the Fylde coast and I say that without any hesitation,” he said. “I have lots of fond memories there, friends there.”
He also has fond memories of the Opera House, playing the venue shortly after news of his illness had broken.
“There was a 3,500 sell-out audience in and they were brilliant,” he said.
“I walked out on stage and the response gave me goosebumps. I fought back tears. There was genuine warmth. I have a real affinity with Blackpool.”
Tickets for Watson’s Opera House show are priced £25-£85.
They go on sale at 10am on Friday and are available from the usual ticket websites and www.blackpoollive.com.