Pop showstopper to woo city with opera

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 12 Desember 2014 | 22.23

Paul Potts is coming to town. Not be confused with the late communist dictator who led the Cambodian genocide, Potts is the moon-faced opera singer who went on to win Britain's Got Talent in 2007. His is the unlikely success story that makes these talent shows such addictive viewing. Singing the aria "Nessun dorma" to an audience roused to its feet, Potts' first audition has since garnered a staggering 130 million views on Youtube. Now on a world tour, Potts will be performing at Johnnie Walker The Journey, a concert with an eclectic roster of acts including electronic artist Bonobo, instrumental fusion band Snarky Puppy, and acrobatic aerial theatre company, Dislocate.

In keeping with the dramatic flair of opera, his was a simple life working odd jobs at retail stores and supermarkets, as a Bristol city councillor and then manager of mobile phone store, before being catapulted to fame. But opera remained a constant, helping him get through being bullied in his mid-teens, and he later performed in amateur opera between 1999 and 2003. During that time, he worked 13-hour days to eke out an income that would allow him to spend around 5 months studying opera in Italy, and attending a master-class with Pavarotti. When he went on to top the charts in 13 countries, perform about a 100 concerts a year, commanding the attention of Oprah, NPR and a slack-jawed audience at Times Square, many naysayers called into question his amateur status.

"I think the public got the impression that I was completely untutored, and of course I've never said that," stated Potts. Adding, "[When I sang for Pavarotti,] he didn't give instructions or make suggestions or even pass a comment...but I was the only one he asked to sing again so I took that as a great compliment." This controversy didn't divert Potts' meteoric ascent, with the launch of his memoir and a Weinstein-produced biopic last year, both named "One Chance" after his debut album. He's also undaunted by the fact that some in Mumbai's audience might be unfamiliar with opera.

"It's more than a genre of music, it's a journey and experience unlike any other."

Potts will perform at the Mehboob Studios, Bandra on Saturday.

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