Gok Wan has joined forces with Warner Classics to release Gok’s Divas, an album of his favourite arias.
Released on 10th March 2017, Gok’s Divas brings together some of the most celebrated and beautiful showstoppers from the opera world. Gok has curated the release, infusing his well-known passion into the project.
“Opera, as we know it, is quite a closed community. But I wanted to build bridges for people who felt just like me, people who loved the music and wanted to find out more, I suppose I’m here to say: Opera is for everybody. It’s for all of us.”
Gok’s Divas features 30 classic numbers from opera and musical theatre. It features works by Puccini, Bellini and Mozart alongside Bizet, Gershwin and Bernstein along with favourite performances by Maria Callas singing Casta Diva, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa singing Un bel di vedremo and Montserrat Caballé’s O Mio babbino Caro.
The collection features some newer versions of old classics such as Natasha Marsh with Alfie Boe singing the ‘drinking song’ from Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ and Katherine Jenkins singing the original French language version of I Dreamed A Dream from ‘Les Miserables’.
“I think I first discovered opera in the 1980s,” Gok says. “I remember watching a film called The Hunger, with Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. It was about vampires, and it had this song in it, The Flower Duet by Delibes, which I just absolutely loved. My ear immediately became sensitive to it.”
He has been developing that ear ever since. By his late teens, he was studying performing arts. “That was when I started listening to opera more and more: to Madame Butterfly, to Tosca and Puccini and beyond. The more I heard, the more I loved.”
Gok’s Divas will have you falling in love with opera as much as Gok has!