When the new tenor on the block wants to make his mark on disc, he usually starts with the classic operatic repertoire, Italian or French, depending on his roots. Only when he’s running out of ideas (or if he’s signed to a label determined to ‘popularise’ him for a larger market) does he turn to trotting out the popular song rep (Neapolitan or otherwise). 

Freddie De Tommaso

It seems odd, therefore that 27-year-old Freddie De Tommaso has chosen to debut with material that might cause the opera buff obsessed with ‘serious’ credentials to turn up his nose. Well, more fool them, as De Tomasso has a great deal to offer, and sniff at these songs though you might, their judicious selection and the hunt for ‘authentic’ arrangements has been a labour of love in itself. 

De Tommaso grew up in Tunbridge Wells, the son of an Italian who came to the UK from Puglia, married an English woman, and later ran a restaurant. He studied French and Italian at Bristol University before being taken on...