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Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jonathan Antoine to perform Antwerp concert
A former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jonathan Antoine is set to woo Belgium with a much-awaited appearance at Antwerp’s Queen Elisabeth Hall on 19 November.
The classical singer is famous for his audition on the show 10 years ago, which reportedly became the world’s most viewed television audition of any performer in history.
An instant TV hit, his solo career was launched with two chart-topping classical albums in the UK. A global viral following helped him become the youngest tenor to achieve a number one selling classical album and widely credited with helping classical music reach a broader audience.
The British singer talked to The Bulletin about his break-out success why he’s looking forward to performing for a Belgian audience.
How surprising was it to fine fame so early in your career?
It was a fragmented process because the TV recording happened months before its public broadcast so there was actually quite a significant period of grace. It was clear on the day of recording that the reaction was extremely positive, and so the waiting and wondering how the broader public would react was nerve-wracking. I was at band practice with a few friends when the episode aired, and my phone was turned off. When I switched it on, it didn’t know what to do with itself; people I had only interacted with on a surface level at school were suddenly very excited to have known me!
How hard was it to cope with the media attention?
A reporter only once showed up at my family’s home, before the episode even aired. I have always found it quite cathartic to give interviews. I use them as a sort of therapy in the slight hope that someone out there might feel something similar and know that they’re not alone.
Do you miss your privacy?
I would argue that in some ways, in our hyper-digitised, ever-vigilant modern society, public figures like myself, may have the most ‘privacy’ of all. I am very aware of the information about me that exists in the physical and digital space, because for the most part I have purposefully put that information out there.
Who are your musical heroes and what influence have they had on you?
Besides the obvious one of Pavarotti influencing more-or-less every recording and performance that I’ve ever done, I have the pleasure of working with a lot of my musical heroes. Right now I’m working on a new album with Diane Warren. I grew up with her songs.
Do you have many fans in Belgium?
I’m honestly not sure! I was quite surprised to receive the offer to perform here, as I don’t get a tremendous amount of mail from Belgium. It’s comforting to know that there are people coming from across the world. I hope to meet those in Belgium who have been supporting me.
What’s your next challenge?
I do fear that we are living in the last age of performers. The accessibility and ease with which one can create a facsimile of a perfect performance will likely either erode or recontextualise the meaning of performance itself. There is an optimist in me that says that such a turn of events would place a high value on ‘authenticity’ in performance, but an equally powerful pessimist who argues that authenticity is almost impossible to value in a world where absolute truth is obfuscated.