Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans joins Welsh National Opera for an emotional Pride performance like no other
Luke Evans is proving that no one can celebrate Pride like Gaston, joining the Welsh National Opera for an emotional cover of Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever”.
As is the case in much of the world, in-person Pride celebrations and concerts are both off the menu in Wales this year, with the out actor and members of the WNO Chorus and WNO Orchestra instead performing virtually while decked out in rainbows.
The video, which utilises what we can only describe as wizardry to hauntingly digitally superimpose the performers over Welsh landmarks, was released to coincide with what would have been the culmination of the Pride Cymru festival, which was forced online this year due to coronavirus.
Luke Evans joins Welsh National Opera for ‘uplifting and fitting’ Pride celebration.
Evans tweeted: “The Welsh National Opera and I have collaborated on a very special recording of Queen hit ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’. It features 80-plus people who all recorded their contributions from home.”
The WNO’s Emma Flatley said: “We are delighted to be able to share this video which celebrates Pride Cymru. We are very grateful to Luke Evans for being so generous with his time, and of course to our wonderful Chorus, Orchestra and the whole team behind the scenes who exceeded all expectations in bringing this project to life.
“The result is an uplifting and fitting way to celebrate Pride, and we hope this collaboration will mark the beginning of a closer partnership with Pride Cymru in the future for many years to come.”
Of course, there’s no one better Pride celebration than Freddie Mercury, and no more fitting a song for 2020 than “Who Wants to Live Forever” – as chorus master Dave Doidge explained.
He said: “It’s no secret that many of Queen’s greatest hits are fashioned with operatic moments, so when I was choosing a song for the forces of WNO to perform alongside Luke Evans, I wanted to do something that would best represent WNO, Luke, and uphold the message of diversity, inclusivity and bring lots of people together after a difficult year of separation and isolation.
“Pride represents many things, the main value being love, and we want to share that with all of our nearest and dearest – and although COVID-19 may have taken away our opportunity to celebrate in mass, here at WNO we certainly won’t be denied the chance to spread the message of love far and wide! Stay safe, best wishes and happy Pride 2020.”
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People are thrilled with Queen tribute.
The performance has gone down a storm online.
One YouTube commenter wrote: “This took my breath away. Stunning, both in sound and visually. Luke Evans really puts heart and soul into this song. Congratulations to everyone involved. Amazingly beautiful.”
Another added: “What a fabulously put together piece. The accompanying imagery is quite something too. Bravo all.”
Evans, 41, posted a rare selfie with boyfriend Rafa Olarra in June to celebrate Pride Month.
He captioned the snap: “Always try and be the best, most authentic version of yourself. Hold that person tight. Smile, breath deep, stand tall and be proud.”