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Classical Brit Awards
May 23, 2002
Royal Albert Hall

by Vilma

It was a wonderful evening, I enjoyed seeing Andrea so much !!!!
When we arrived at the Hall, there was a red carpet at the entrance, and a few camera men. I rushed over, thinking Andrea might be arriving, but alas no, it was Russell Watson, so I made my way to our seats.
Had really good seats, thanks to Bo.de. Front row stalls. Andrea appeared after 2/3 performer's and was received very well, great applause !!!
He was wearing a tux, white shirt and bow-tie. He looked very handsome !!!!
He was brought on by Carlo, he sang "Melodramma" then he was led off. I thought this strange, as the other artist's sang 2 numbers. I knew he would return though, for his award.
When they announced, the last award, for Outstanding Contribution to Music, they spoke of Andrea's wonderful cd sales, and how long he was in the charts1.2,3 in the US.
Then he came on, and he received a standing ovation !!!!!!!!! we went wild !!!! cheering, clapping !!!
He said, thank you and he had many things to say, but his English was very poor, so he would just sing !!
And sing he did "E Mi Manchi Tu" which he sang beautifully !!!!

Classical Brit Awards, 23. 5. 2002, picture from Brit TV

Again, we cheered and clapped, and he seemed to stand on stage for ages, bowing and smiling !!!! He was eventually led off, but not before he turned, smiled that wonderful smile (sigh!) and waved !!!!!!
I rushed round to the artist's door to see if I could see Andrea leaving. I waited and waited, but there was no sign of him. So I asked a doorman, and he said, he'd already left !!!!
Oh well, I tried !!!!!
Received a nice free programe, and cd, with various artist's who appeared that evening. Andrea's "Melodramma" was one track.
I'm still on cloud 9, he was sensational !!!!!!!!


by Sue Pells
 Thought I would just send you a few thoughts on my visit to see Andrea at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday. It's taken me a while because whenever I see him, it leaves me reeling for a couple of days and I needed to try to get my thoughts in order, and in my excitement a lot of it becomes a blur. Therefore, I needed a prompt from the televised show last night.
 Again, thanks to the info I found on Bo.de I had a terrific seat. Front row on the side near to the podium where everyone collected their awards. When I saw this I was so excited because I knew that I would be really close to Andrea when he came to collect his. The atmosphere was great, and while I felt sure that some people would have come to see Andrea, I had no idea just how many, I am sure, had come just to see Andrea - judging by the applause for him. It was fantastic and I was pleased to say left him in no doubt about how popular and loved he is in the UK. In my opinion he got the biggest applause of the evening. He was applauded and cheered even when he came quietly on stage in the darkness while he was being introduced. People didn't wait until he was 'on'. But the reception he got when he was introduced was fantastic. There was applause, cheers, whistles and it went on for a long time. At this point too there were many flashes from cameras all over. The first I had seen anyway so far - in fact for the rest of the night. Anyway a huge response before and after Melodramma. He looked fabulous - of course. He sounded fabulous - of course. Although a tiny bit nervous to begin with. He went off then but was to come back later for his award and to sing again.
 I'm afraid it seemed a VERY long show after that for me, just waiting until the end for Andrea again. But finally it ended and they announced the final award - and of course everyone knew whose it was. Paul Gambacini presented it and gave Andrea such a fantastic build up and introduction (an obvious fan) quoting his exceptional record sales, talking about his voice and the fact that whether it be opera or pop, whether you understand what he is singing about or not, it doesn't matter, his voice reaches people and touches them (this bit wasn't included in the televised show), and talked of his exceptional achievements. Sacred Arias has been in the top 20 of the Classic FM charts in the UK, a charts show which Paul presents, for 2 and a-half-years!!! And is still there! At this point Andrea came on to collect his award.

Classical Brit Awards, 23. 5. 2002, picture from Brit TV

The theatre went wild. People all around the theatre, even the VIPs at the tables, gave him a standing ovation. Again they cheered, whistled and applauded. And it went on for so long that Andrea couldn't speak. He tried twice and finally the audience let him speak - just a few words of thanks, apologising for his English, as usual, which was wonderful, and said that there were many things he wanted to say but his English was not good enough, so he would "sing a little bit" instead. He sang E Mi Manchi Tu - wonderfully. It really showed that voice off at its best with the soaring notes. I tell you the contrast between that voice and another one was deliciously obvious!!! He got the most amazing response when he had finished. The applause just went on and on. Andrea looking so delightfully embarrassed, stood on stage for what seemed like 2 or 3 minutes, perhaps a little less, and the applause just went on and on. How he must have hated that - but we loved it. No-one, but no-one else received this kind of response from the audience.
 And then he was gone.
 A fabulous, fabulous night. To see and hear Andrea live again, and to see and hear the wonderful reception he received from the whole theatre. I felt so proud of him, but also for the pleasure that that reception from the UK must have given him.

by Julie
It was much better than I thought it would be. I was reasonably close to the stage on the left and had a good view. We saw AB twice!! The recording set-up seemed okay although the lighting kept changing quite a bit, and the light meter on my camera didn't like that much. Of course, dear old Russell was on and the stage was lit up like Luna Park. I've finally been able to see that he does have a place of his own, over here in Britain. They seem to give him an award every year. There were some other good artists on as well. Some I didn't even know of.

But Andrea was MAGNIFICENT and no one even comes close. Superb in his beautiful suit and his wonderful voice filled the whole of the old circular hall. A lot of the crowd was there to see him. He got quite a reception the first time. There were some young people around me and they were completely wrapped in him. I thought it was going to just be the usual award thing and that was it. But at the end they presented Andrea with his special award of Outstanding Contribution to Music. The presenter started and you could hear the whole crowd come alive, and there's a real expectant hush. They bring Andrea out to receive it, and most of the audience stands to acknowledge him, cheering and clapping. He spoke to us in English. You could almost hear a pin drop.

It was just overwhelming to see him standing there on the stage in the light with the whole crowd cheering him. TThen he sang for us " E mi manchi tu." It was something. His voice filled the hall to the roof, and the crowd just erupted when he finished and wanted more. He looked and sounded superb. It was wonderful seeing him like this and receiving the acknowledgment and recognition he so richly deserves. No one will come close to him, ever.

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