Opera star recalls memories of Christmas past in Hainault with new album
- Credit: PA
Opera singer Jonathan Antoine is bringing back old memories of growing up in Hainault for his first Christmas album.
The tenor is releasing ChristmasLand on December 4, and is hoping it brings a bit of normalcy to people and memories of Christmas past during a bizarre year.
The album was recorded during lockdown at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, St John’s Wood, and was produced by Grammy award winning Gregg Field remotely from LA.
It features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, New Zealand’s Choristers of Wellington Cathedral of St Paul and the Tudor Choir performing across three time zones with the choirs recording from New Zealand.
Jonathan told the Recorder: “To me the album brings me right back to being a young boy celebrating Christmas with my family and while this year will feel very different, I wanted to bring people a little comfort to recall memories of other Christmases we’ve had, particularly at this bizarre time.”
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The Christmas Song is Jonathan’s favourite holiday track. It’s a song he first performed in high school, and he said when he first heard the album version it brought him right back to that moment and made him cry.
Jonathan first shot to fame in 2012 following his audition on Britain’s Got Talent. It became the world’s most viewed television audition in history, with 132m views on Youtube.
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ChristmasLand follows Jonathan’s first album in four years, Going the Distance, which was released earlier this year, going on to become a #1 best seller in the UK Classical Chart.
He was touring in America with that album when the pandemic first hit and he said it was terrifying to see how it transformed the country.
“As we were travelling we saw how it hit different cities. Airports just became so quiet and we started seeing more and more people wearing masks and then just as we went back home we went into lockdown.
“I have had the luck to spend the last 25 Christmases with my family, surrounded by people who love me.
“With this album I just want to give people a small gift that can hopefully bring some people a little further out of the darkness this year has brought them into.”