ONE of the world’s most prominent tenors, Russell Watson was back in York with his Up Close And Personal tour.

The Salford-born singer, whose debut album The Voice spent a record-breaking 52 weeks at number one in the UK, has won numerous awards and accolades, including four classical BRITs, and has performed all over the world.

The smokey hall was filled with the excited murmurs of eager spectators as the lights dimmed and the musicians took their seats, followed by Watson himself. The first half drew heavily from Watson’s opera performances, with songs from both Les Misérables and The Phantom Of The Opera, all of which went down well with the crowd, while his natural charm and chatty nature made for some entertaining and touching moments between pieces.

Guest singer Rebecca Newman also gave a strong performance, particularly her duet of Celine Dion’s The Prayer with Watson during the second half.

The second half also saw the introduction of the Prima Vocal Ensemble choir, providing backing vocals for some classical opera pieces like O Sole Mio and Toreodor, before finishing on Nessun Dorma and a double encore featuring King Of The Road and even a performance of his divisive Star Trek theme, Where My Heart Will Take Me.

Russell Watson delighted the audience with both his impressive vocal talent and his humble charm, delivering a performance worthy of the enormous standing ovation that followed him off stage.