Freddie Mercury, and the realisation that there will never be another performer quite like him. For who else could possibly manage to be theatrical without resorting to theatrics?

In 1981, Freddie Mercury was still using a mike with the cable. Credit: GVM

In 1981, Freddie Mercury was still using a mike with an attached cable. Credit: GVM

He may be buck-toothed, he may be sporting a bushy moustache, and he may only be wearing white jeans with white sneakers, but boy, can he put on a live show. Complemented by equally phenomenal band mates – guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor – Queen Rock Montreal has gone down in history as Queen’s most iconic concert. Staged in 1981, it was recorded live at Montreal’s Forum. Now, you can catch the concert film in full cinema format, remastered with superb surround sound, at three screenings in Golden Village cinemas.

No fancy costumes, just good music, lighting and choreography. Credit: GVM

No fancy costumes, just good music, lighting and choreography. Credit: GVM

But first, back to Freddie. I grew misty-eyed as I watched him perform the emotionally-charged Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen’s biggest hit. With a sound that has been described as a fusion of hard rock and glam rock, Bohemian Rhapsody is a seven-minute rock operetta for the album A Night at the Opera (1975). When it was released as a 5:55 single for the airwaves, it was at first deemed too long for successful airplay, but went on to top of the charts in Britain and stayed there for nine weeks.

Freddie Mercury and Brian May. (Credit: GVM)

Freddie Mercury and Brian May. (Credit: GVM)

With a larger than life onstage persona, a voice ranging four octaves, plus the ability to play the piano, keyboard and guitar, one wonders – who was he?

Here are five things you need to know about Freddie Mercury’s private life:

1. He was born Farrokh Bulsara, in Zanzibar, to a devout Parsi family. He took on the first name Freddie before he went to England and used “Mercury” as his last name about the same time Queen was formed in 1971.

On his fourth birthday, wearing a garland and a prayer cap. Credit: telegraph.co.uk

On his fourth birthday, wearing a garland and a prayer cap. Credit: telegraph.co.uk

2. He was attached to PR girl Mary Austin for six years before he came out of the closet about his homosexuality. After they broke up, he bought her a flat near his home so that they could still see each other. They remained firm friends even as Mercury had stormy relationships with subsequent boyfriends.

Mary Austin with Freddie Mercury in the mid-1980s. Credit: queenphotos.wordpress.com

Mary Austin with Freddie Mercury in the mid-1980s. Credit: queenphotos.wordpress.com

3.  He loved his cats. The album Mr. Bad Guy (1985) and the song Delilah were dedicated to his cats, many of whom were from rescue centres. They were fed fresh chicken and fish everyday and had portraits painted of them. When he died, he left some of his inheritance to them as well so that they could continue to be cared for. If they’re still alive, they live with Mary Austin in Mercury’s splendid mansion in Kensington, London.

Freddie loved cats. Credit: 4tololo.ru

Freddie loved cats. Credit: 4tololo.ru

4. Mercury’s mother had tried to get him to wear braces when he was a teenager, but he didn’t bother with them.

5. Freddie lived with the knowledge he was HIV-positive for seven years and kept it a secret up until one day before his death. Mercury died in 1991 at the age of 45, of Aids-related pneumonia, the very day after he released a press statement confirming his illness.

The Queen Rock Montreal concert features many Queen’s hit anthems, such as We Will Rock You, Killer Queen, Under Pressure, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Are The Champions, Another One Bites The Dust and Bohemian Rhapsody. While YouTube documents bits and pieces of this landmark performance, it’s the cinematic experience which will bring Freddie Mercury and Queen’s amazing sound back to life again.

Sources: www.queenonline.com, telegraph.co.uk, Biography.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, clashmusic.com, freddiemercurymagic.tumblr.com

Click on the poster to be redirected to purchase your tickets.

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GV is putting up three screenings. Details here:

1. When: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 7:30pm
Where: GV Suntec City Hall 2

2. When: Friday, June 5, 2015, 8:30pm
Where: GV VivoCity Hall 4

3. When: Saturday, June 6, 2015, 8.30pm
Where: GV VivoCity Hall 4

Pricing: $25 (Public), $20 (Members)

Buy tickets here.