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Islington’s singing dentist hammers out a new tune

PUBLISHED: 14:30 14 December 2010

Andrew Bain

Andrew Bain

Archant

DENTIST Andrew Bain will be hammering out a different tune as he takes to the stage at London’s Little Opera House.

The “singing dentist” is taking a break from drilling people’s teeth to take the title role in a new opera at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, Islington.

Andrew, who has been belting out tunes since he was a child, is playing 1950s American tenor Mario Lanza in the show – which is bound to come as a surprise to those patients who do not know about his lifelong passion for opera.

Andrew, 37, who used to work at N7 Dental Care in Holloway Road, Holloway, said: “I hope my former colleagues will come and watch it.

“I don’t know whether this will be my big break – I will just take everything as it comes.

“I am scared but I’m scared in a good way – and I can’t wait to see how it goes.”

Andrew has been singing since he was a child, was spotted by an agent while at university, and has had parts in productions such as the hit musical Les Miserables and the famous opera Cosi Fan Tutte.

He nearly had his big break two years ago when – while still working at N7 Dental Care – he landed a £1million contract with Sony BMG to record an album of modern classics such as ABBA’s The Winner Takes It All and Bryan Adams’ Everything I do.

But while the album got made, it never got released – and Andrew had to go back to dentistry.

He said: “The people at Sony BMG who were in charge of my project got made redundant and the phone just stopped ringing. I was dropped like a stone.

“So I went back to dentistry fairly full-time. I had to in order to bring the money in. It was advertised as a £1million recording contract but I didn’t even get one-twentieth of that.”

Andrew, who has now scaled down the dental work, has continued to perform in the past two years – but the opera at the King’s Head is his first attempt at writing his own show.

The production, Lanza, is a two-hander about Andrew’s own musical hero.

Andrew said: “Mario Lanza is a singer in the 50s who I have admired for a long time.

“He wanted to be an opera singer but he got lured into the movies and it all went wrong. He was treated poorly, he was badly managed, he was prone to addictions to booze and food – and he died at 38.

“It’s quite and interesting story and he was also very good at singing light non-operatic music in a classical way. I looked to him when I was doing my album.”

l Lanza is at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, Islington, until January 22.


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