Queen lead singer performs Puccini’s ‘Nessun dorma’ and it’s hugely impressive

12 July 2022, 16:19 | Updated: 12 July 2022, 16:44

Queen lead singer performs Puccini’s ‘Nessun dorma’ and it’s hugely impressive
Queen lead singer performs Puccini’s ‘Nessun dorma’ and it’s hugely impressive. Picture: Brian May/Instagram

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Puccini’s enduring opera anthem, from one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

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During an arena show in Italy, the British rock band Queen and singer Adam Lambert paid tribute to the birthplace of opera by treating the crowd to an unforgettable moment of Puccini.

Live on stage at Unipol Arena in Casalecchio di Reno in Bologna on 10 July, one of several dates on their European tour, the band gave a stunning surprise performance of ‘Nessun dorma’.

Guitarist Brian May captioned the video on Instagram: “A spontaneous gift to Bologna last night !!! So proud of Adam !!! I can see our dear departed friend Luciano smiling,”.

‘Nessun dorma’ to this day is known as the signature aria of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who died in 2007.

Lambert’s voice seems effortlessly controlled as he moves from the breathy quality in his lower range, to the full, bright belt as he reaches the lofty heights of the aria. It’s a gruelling sing, one that no singer takes on lightly, and Lambert does it with stunning strength and agility.

Read more: When Pavarotti closed the Turin Winter Olympics with a final ‘Nessun dorma’

Adam Lambert performs stunning version of Nessun Dorma with Queen in Bologna

‘Nessun dorma’ became a pop culture hit when for their coverage of the football World Cup, producers chose a 1972 recording of Pavarotti singing the aria – with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta – to soundtrack the credits.

The story goes that one producer fixated on the final word of the aria, ‘vincerò’ (I will win), feeling that it would be a fitting musical choice for the beautiful game.

“@AdamLambert and Queen performing ‘Nessun Dorma’ in Bologna tonight!” a second video of Lambert’s performance is captioned (watch below). “It was an amazing surprise!! Adam is beyond stunning.”

The band began performing with Adam Lambert, in a collaboration ‘Queen + Adam Lambert’ in 2011, after May and Taylor came across Lambert on American Idol, where he was a contestant in 2009.

Freddie Mercury, the frontman of Queen, died in 1991. Mercury loved and greatly admired opera as a genre, even duetting with the great Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé in a memorable moment of music that opened the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.