Dave Willetts has been critically acclaimed both Nationally and Internationally for numerous leading roles in some of the most renowned musicals of our time.
In 1985, he played the leading role of Jean Val Jean in the Royal Shakespeare’s production of Les Miserables, directed by Trevor Nunn, at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End.
He then went on to play the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, at Her Majesty’s Theatre – London, thus becoming the first person in the world to play the leading roles in both these coveted musicals. He also played the Phantom at the Opera House in Manchester, for which he won the Evening News award for best performance. Dave created the role of Major Lee opposite Petula Clarke in Someone Like You, at the Strand Theatre – London. He also created the role of Zero Janvier in the British première of Tim Rice’s Tycoon at the Sydmonton Festival. He also created the role of tom in Trish Ward’s Lonely Hearts.
He received great critical acclaim when he sang the role of Jesus in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican Centre, London, and then went on to perform the same role in the 1993 European tour.
Dave has many international concert appearances to his name including such venues as the Ahoy Stadium, Rotterdam, the concert halls of Monterrey and Mexico City and the Royal Albert Hall, London, as well as many sell out concert tours of the UK.
In 1992 he was invited to be the only British performer for a concert in Los Angeles on behalf of the American Cinema Awards Foundation, to honour James Stewart and Lauren Bacall.
In 1995 he starred in a gala concert in Munich to honour the achievements of director Hal Prince.
As well as his own concerts, Dave has starred in numerous highly successful staged concert tours. These include The Magical World of the Musicals (1995), Something Wonderful, a celebration of the work of Rogers and Hammerstein (1996), A Lot of Living, celebrating the work of American composer Charles Strouse (1997), and more recently, national tours of The Magic of the Musicals (1999 and 2000).
Dave worked closely with the great American composer John Kander for a special concert broadcast by the BBC, and subsequently released on CD.
He is also closely connected with the work of Stephen Sondheim, having played the role of Ben in the Irish première of Follies in Dublin (1996). His portrayal of Sweeney Todd, in another Sondheim classic Sweeney Todd, was described by the critics as ‘ The definitive performance…’. More recently he played the role of George in the regional première of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George (1999).
In 1996, he created the roles of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the World première of Jekyll at the Churchill Theatre.
His varied musical abilities were shown to great effect when he appeared for a season at London’s famous Pizza on the Park, receiving great critical acclaim for his ‘Jazz ‘n’ Chat’ style of ‘dinner shows’.
He has presented his own radio shows on National BBC radio, and has guested on most TV shows, and was delighted when he was surprised by Michael Aspel to be the subject of This is Your Life.
Dave has a very successful recording career, with three solo albums and numerous show albums to his name.
In 1997, he recreated his portrayal of Jean Val Jean for the 10th Anniversary production of Les Miserables, at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia.
In 1999/2000, he took on the role of Captain Hook in JM Barrie’s Peter Pan opposite Toyah Wilcox. 2000 also saw another National tour of Something Wonderful and the highly successful Magic of the Musicals.
More recently, Dave starred in the popular concert version of Hollywood and Broadway, and then teamed up once again with Andrew Lloyd Webber to star in the 20th Anniversary production of Cats as Old Deuteronomy.
2002 saw Dave playing the lead in the highly acclaimed UK Productions tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, before returning to the West End in 2003 for the new production of Ragtime, at the Piccadilly Theatre.