The movie Bohemian Rhapsody showed Freddie’s love for opera, which he played alone at home at One Garden Lodge.
He even channelled his passion into the iconic single Barcelona with opera star Montserrat Caballe.
Opera also informed classic tracks like Bohemian Rhapsody itself, but Freddie’s love for ballet and dance also shone through his performances on stage and video.
A new film release reveals his nights at the ballet and friendships with stars like Wayne Sleep.
But we have also unearthed extraordinary archive footage of Freddie on stage at the Royal Opera House for a special gala fundraiser in 1979.
This week a new release of the documentary Queen + Bejart Ballet For Life gives an insight into Freddie’s passion for dance, which was honoured by an incredible ballet created in 1997.
It includes footage of Freddie, who says; “I would like to go and take ballet lessons. It would be nice if I could study some of the routines or exercise, so I would know how to put them across on stage. At the moment what I do is mock ballet…”
In fact, in 1979, Freddie did take lessons when he was preparing a very special performance.
The images of him in the rehearsal studio and the footage of him on stage on the night show just how much he loved being part of the world-famous ballet company.
Scroll down to watch the utterly fabulous moment it all came together.
The gala performance took place on October 7, 1979, and Freddie sang Bohemian Rhapsody and Crazy Little Thing Called Love, complete with costume change from black sequined catsuit to a silver glittering one.
Next to the highly trained ballet dancers, Freddie holds his own through sheer bravado and showmanship, gleefully kicking his leg high as they lift him over their heads. Watching the video below can not fail to put a smile on any face.
The new release of Queen + Bejart Ballet For Life includes a full performance of a ballet created by visionary choreographer Maurice Béjart in honour of Freddie and dancer Jorge Donn, both of whom died of AIDS in the early 1990’s.
It is set to Queen’s own music, with extra dashes of Mozart.
Bonus materials include behind the scenes footage and interviews with Queen bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor, as well as Royal Ballet star Wayne Sleep, who recalls nights out they spent together.
Sleep says: “Freddie Mercury came to the ballet all the time, and the opera, and when we’d go home with him afterwards he’d take us to dinner.
“We had no money, he was very generous, by the way. And we’d go back to his and guess what would go on the TV? A ballet or an opera.
“He would try and get information from us, ‘Well, if you do this, or this step, what’s fifth position?’ He would practice it. And then he got one of the Royal Ballet to actually choreograph the video to one of his numbers. “
Queen + Bejart Ballet For Life – Released on DVD, BLU-RAY & DIGITAL on September 6