Belgian tenor Helmut Lotti wants to find his own style

Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:50am EDT
 
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By Belinda Goldsmith

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Belgian tenor Helmut Lotti has done Elvis, sung crossover classical music, crooned to stadium audiences across the globe, and even belted out Latino and African hits.

But now Lotti, a top-selling Flemish artist with a 20-year career jumping between easy-listening musical genres, is going to try something new -- being himself.

"I am at a point where I feel like changing radically ... it is time to be original," 39-year-old Lotti told Reuters in an interview on Thursday during an Australian tour.

"I would like to stop taking popular music and changing it around because in the end you feel is the success due to me or is it the fact that I am a touring juke box? I am going to write my own stuff."

Lotti began his career in Belgium imitating Elvis Presley but changed direction in 1995 at the suggestion of his manager Piet Roelen, making a string of "Helmut Lotti Goes Classic" albums that appealed to a global audience and put him on the world stage.

Lotti said the timing was perfect, coming as classical crossover stars like Andrea Bocelli and Andre Rieu hit the charts, so he stuck with the successful formula of adapting the classics and traditional music, backed by a big orchestra.

"In the beginning it was exciting. I grasped the momentum and I was lucky. I was the right guy at the right time in the right place," he said.

Not only did his albums sell well but so did tickets to his concerts with his fan base including more mature listeners keen -- and with money -- to buy tickets to musical extravaganzas.   Continued...

 
<p>Belgian singer Helmut Lotti points to photographers as he arrives at the Plaza hotel ahead of the Platinum Europe Music Awards ceremony in Brussels in this July 13, 2000 file photo. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Files</p>