Russell Watson talks about his career, his battle with illness and his recollections of performing in Kristina in concert with the Daily Telegraph ahead of the release of his new album The Platinum Collection featuring Here I Am Again from Kristina at Carnegie Hall.
Excerpt referring to Russell playing Karl Oskar: On albums and in concerts since his illness, Watson has stuck with less demanding pop repertoire (“I’ve got to earn a living, and I can sing Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles all day without stretching”), but he has been eager to return to the classical arena. A half-way step came with his role in the English-language premiere of Kristina, a critically acclaimed musical composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA.
Watson gave three performances at Carnegie Hall in New York (in September 2009) and the Albert Hall (in April this year). “At the end, there’s a section where I’ve got hold of Kristina, and she’s dying. It’s a show, but it felt real, and I just gushed; I collapsed emotionally on stage. There were tears rolling down my face. Coming off, people were saying that was some of the best acting they’d ever seen, but it wasn’t acting at all. It got me right there.