Hitchin opera singer becomes global phenomenon after impromptu performance for colony of penguins gets 500,000 YouTube hits

Nick Allen

Nick Allen - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin opera singer has become a global sensation this week – after being filmed singing in front of a colony of penguins in Antarctica.


Nick Allen had been booked to perform on a cruise ship touring South America and Antartica, and on a well-earned day off he and two pals decided to take a trip to the frozen land mass.

Dad of one Nick – who singer wife Philippa Healey is a leading lady in the West End – decided to give an impromptu performance of O Sole Mio in front of hundreds of the birds.

However the flightless fliers with their distinctive tuxedo-like appearance were less than impressed with Nick’s wonderful singing – with all of them turning their back on him and waddling off.

The footage turned into an internet sensation overnight, with YouTube views approaching half a million at the time of writing.

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Full-time singer Nick told the Comet: “The reaction has been incredible.

“I’ve been interviewed on national American networks, as well as Brazilian, Russian and Japanese TV channels.

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“It’s been completely crazy.

“When we set foot in Antarctica I was with a wildlife expert and a geologist who both said: ‘Why don’t you give the penguins a song?’

“So I did. It was completely impromptu and unscripted.

“As an animal lover the last thing I wanted to do was scare them. Maybe I should have sung the theme tune from Pingu to them instead.

“It was a very surreal experience!”

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