The Purpose of Life
The Purpose of Life Website Ministry
Tenor Opera Singer
Clive Watts (my father)
Born 14th October 1933
Died 6th October 1990
This page is dedicated to the music of my father, Clive Watts. He was an outstanding tenor opera
singer, performing for the best part of 30 years, from 1960 to 1990 (largely with the Bristol Opera
Company), until his tragic death in 1990 of a massive heart attack. Sadly, even his mother, Jenny,
my Gran, outlived him by 18 years (she recently passed away in 2008).
He was born and raised in South Wales (most of my family on both sides have Welsh roots), so it's
no wonder he had such a great voice, as Wales is known for producing great voices. He also sang in
the Treorchy Male Voice Choir. He later moved to Bristol in about 1958, after he had spent some
time living in Slough, England.
During this time he had some singing lessons in London and he went on to attend an audition for
Sadler's Wells Opera Company and was accepted, but for a number of practical reasons, one of
which was his impending marriage to his sweetheart, Denise Robbins (who became my mother,
Denise Watts), he decided to decline the offer.
Then in 1959, after winning the Rosebowl in the Opera class at the Bristol Eisteddfod, he was invited
to join the Bristol Opera Company. He then played the leading tenor part for almost every opera
production for the next 30 years. One of the highlights of his singing career with BOC was performing
Aida in Malta during the 1980's. He also enjoyed performing as a soloist at numerous concerts, and
this included singing with other soloists, one of whom was well-known soprano Cynthia Glover.
After his death, a memorial concert was given in his honour by the Bristol Opera Company at St
George's Music Trust, Brandon Hill, Bristol in February of 1991.
He loved the full-on Italian operas (often called 'heavy opera') and he was in his element when he
was on stage. I fondly recall the times when I used to see him on stage at the Victoria Rooms in
Clifton, Bristol - and I especially remember him having this great sword fight in one opera. I thought it
was great! He was generally a quiet man, but that certainly changed when he was singing!
I have to admit that I've never been a great opera fan, nevertheless, I've come to really appreciate
some of the music and Arias from various opera's due to my Dad's influence. And now more than ever,
I can really appreciate the wonderful, powerful, beautiful voice that God graciously graced my father
with....though it's hard to listen to, due to the emotions that it inevitably brings.
Anyhow, on this page you will find the following:
A Jukebox that contains various archive recordings of my Dad. These are live opera and concert
excerpts covering the period from 1960 to 1989. The quality of some of the recordings are a little
below par because they were not professionally taped. I hope to be able to add a few more classic
renditions to this selection if they are made available to me.
There are also some links to two Galleries that contain various archive pictures of my Dad and his
performances, as well as newspaper clippings, reviews, and other archive memorabilia. Further
information about his involvement with the Bristol Opera Company is given in a brief biography.
There are also some archive video extracts of some of his operatic performances on the Youtube
Player below, arranged as a montage.
I hope that many will continue to enjoy the voice of Clive Watts through this site, just as thousands
of people did in the past.
My father and mother in about 1960
The original inlay card of the tape
from which most of these recordings
were taken is shown in Gallery One
Taken from YouTube:
Archive extracts of tenor opera
singer, the late Clive Watts, filmed
in the 1980's by the Bristol Opera
Company, England. Shown in
honour of him & to preserve the
memory of his vocal performances.
B. 1933 D. 1990
The footage was originally filmed on
VHS video tape and was not
professionally done, therefore, the
audio/video quality of some portions
are not too good.
Last updated 04/05/2012