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Warmed and Cheered

Benjamin Lake

Linked Stories

Ben's November 2008 concert

A feature and interview with Benjamin Lake

Hethersett-based tenor Benjamin Lake seems to specialise in bad weather events.  

Benjamin always jokes about appearing at venues when there is snow on the ground or when it is freezing cold. For his latest appearance at Hethersett Village Hall a near capacity audience had to brave strong winds and heavy rain.  

Those who made the effort were warmed and cheered up by a huge range of music from opera including Puccini’s Tosca and Turendot, West End shows, country and western and power ballads. Benjamin proved equally at home with big Opera numbers such as Nessun Dorma, big production numbers like “This is My Life” and “The Impossible Dream”  swing numbers like “It’s wonderful” and country numbers such as “Help Me Make it Through the Night.”  

He also mixed in material from the like of Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra and some comedy in the form of the Blues Brothers’ “Minnie the Moocher.” The audience got into the swing of things by clapping along to the Toreador song from Bizet’s Carmen.  

Benjamin is a huge Sinatra fan and showcased Las Vegas memories with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and “Come Fly With Me.”  

There was plenty of show and musical songs with Edith Piaf’s “If You Love Me” from the film “La Vie en Rose,” “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera and the incomparable “Somewhere” from West Side story.  

Part of Benjamin’s success is his easy going nature and cheeky cockney character which had him ending with “O Sole Mio” in tribute to his hero Mario Lanza in which he mischievously led the audience in a verse of "just one cornetto".  

The audience appreciated the power, yet at times tenderness of Benjamin's trained operatic voice and thoroughly enjoyed the wide ranging programme which ended with an encore of Roy Orbison’s popular hit “Crying.” It was a memorable afternoon of music from a very talented singer who is happy to be just a shadow of his former self, having slimmed down from 26 to 14 stone.