‘I have been working in Local Authorities as a Chartered Surveyor for the last 16 years. Quite recently I had an unusual experience in that I had been invited to a meeting with a Director and other staff which was originally scheduled for the morning. This was moved at the last minute until late afternoon. I had a singing engagement at 6 pm the same day and had no choice but to wear a dinner jacket to the meeting. I thought I might as well wear the bow tie as well. This seemed to impress the female parties at the meeting although the men were surprised and challenged by the women to dress better at the next meeting!
This came out of a previous situation where I was running late and had to change out of my suit into a DJ in the back of a cab. Shades of Clark Kent turning into Superman’.
‘I had the pleasure of joining the Kensington and Chelsea Women’s Club for a special event last year at the RAC club in Pall Mall. I did not realise that I would be the only man with 150 very well groomed and dressed ladies! They asked me to help judge the best hat competition and to sit on the president’s table. The event was going well until I started handing out flowers while I was singing O Sole Mio. One slightly inebriated lady grabbed me and would not release me until I gave her a kiss. Fortunately, there was an instrumental section coming up so rather than create a tussle I duly obliged and escaped’.
‘I often get asked to sing at Italian weddings. These are usually well-attended events and a good place to test my Italian diction. One that comes to mind did not start well as the wedding cake collapsed just before the bride arrived. Unfortunately, the bride’s mother had made the cake and it was not fortified enough! During the panic, the toastmaster and I made a quick disappearance until order had been restored. Once I started singing a number of the Italian men joined in the more popular numbers and a very pleasant time was had by all’.
I am asked frequently what started me off on the singing path. My wife studied as an opera singer and persuaded me to have a lesson with her teacher world-renowned soprano Marie Mclaughlin. Fortunately, Marie suggested I had a good voice waiting to come out and with a bit of hard work could have a career. Well, I saw this as a challenge and have been working hard ever since. I have always enjoyed listening to Pavarotti, Jussi Bjorling and Nicolai Gedda and now have an opportunity to have a go at singing their repertoire which is a very exciting prospect. My recent CD was a great experience to organise and record and I enjoyed the experience very much. The life as a Chartered Surveyor is not so appealing as that as a singer!’
‘I love surfing especially in Wales and have some friends who run a sailing school. They have a yacht moored in Swansea harbour and this inspired me to the idea of ‘and all because the lady loves…’ as being part of my image. There is an old advert where the gentleman dives off a similar yacht after delivering the chocolates to the said lady which I thought was a very romantic adventure. I now serenade guests on the yacht as it sails into the sunset. How romantic is that!’