'Once in a Lifetime' is a tribute to and from one of the UK's leading musical theatre stars, Dave Willetts. Celebrating his 25th year in the industry, Stage Door Records have produced an album featuring a mixture of classics, live recordings, as well as two brand new numbers for 2012.
Someone who has followed Willetts' work over the years may see this as a Greatest Hits album, which it is to a certain extent. However, this recording features 16 previously unreleased tracks, making it a must-have for any fan.
Willetts shows just how versatile a performer he is by singing a vast array of different styles, in addition to the musical theatre ones that he is most associated with. I also love the fact that we are treated to two duets, 'Someone Like You' with the legendary Petula Clark and 'We Love Who We Love' with American singing star Carol Woods; the latter being the lead focus track on the album, written by award-winning British songwriters Simon May and Don Black. Willetts is a very complementary performer and shines during these numbers - so much so that I would love to hear a duets album in the future.
The newly recorded 2012 tracks, 'Feels Like Home' and 'I'll See You In My Dreams', may be a little tamer than we are used to hearing from Willetts, although they do not highlight any deterioration in his vocals over the years. Performing non-stop and going from one show to another has clearly not damaged his vocal abilities.
Willetts has a staggeringly good musical theatre voice and from listening to this recording from start to finish, he excels most in this area. His vocals in 'This Is The Moment' and 'The Phantom of the Opera - Medley' are superb and are a great way to round off the album. Willetts being the first performer EVER to have performed as the lead roles in both The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables is a massive accolade and a title with which he will always be linked with. Therefore, it would have been a great accompaniment to the last track to also have a Les Miserables medley but nevertheless, still a wonderful showcase.
This recording encapsulates the broad spectrum of Willetts' career and I sincerely hope it has great success.
Photo: Stage Door Records