You might find this amusing as you watch the attached video clip.
During the late nineties, I was asked by the film production company, Warner Lambert if I would be interested in making an advertising video to promote the product ‘Benylin Expectorant’. This would then be viewed by the client to see if they were interested in proceeding.
Warner Lambert wanted the aria ‘Nessun dorma’ from Turandot as their selling point. The day came for the recording in a studio close to Shepherds Market in Central London. I unfortunately had contracted a throat infection and was unable to sing live, however I offered them the opportunity of playing a recording of mine, with orchestra, to which I would mime or lip-sync.
Even though you know a piece so well, and the way you sing it is so familiar, it is really difficult to get everything together. We did ten takes of the extract (the last part of the aria), taken from different camera angles and with different lighting.
Eventually the company decided to adopt this as an advertising campaign, but they said that they could not use me, as I was too well established and therefore not able to endorse their product. They eventually took an unknown tenor, hired an orchestra and a venue, and produced the advertisement. I won’t comment on the tenor they used, but it seemed that the Benylin didn’t work!
Enjoy the end of ‘Nessun dorma’ ten times. You won’t have to rewind the video!