Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

It’s the tenors of testosterone

Definitely one for the ladies as Cowell’s man-band turn on the charm

Il Divo on stage at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast
Il Divo on stage at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast

What is it about sexy tenors? It's the combination of sweet voices and manly appearance, you'd have to say.

In the early 20th century Enrico Caruso, one of the most famous tenors of all time, was thought to have the kind of tenor vocals that appealed to the ladies, and Sébastien Izambard, Carlos Marín, David Miller and Urs Bühler of Il Divo have inherited his mantle if not 100% of his legendary vocal quality.

The Odyssey on Wednesday night was mostly given over to the HRT generation.

Fans didn't jostle, they politely pushed their way towards the stage on which the fab four would later appear in a swirl of testosterone and dry ice.

The opener, Te Amo from Moulin Rouge, was good and probably the best passages were when all four sang together, creating a serious amount of noise.

Next came an adaptation of one of classical music's greatest pops, Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings with a lyric asking Dove Amore, or ‘where is love’? Actually, it was most likely to be found among the whoopers in the stalls — later David Miller said: “Awesome, I don't have to do anything... and you whoop!”

Eventually, we got to the music the audience had really come to hear, including an early hit from the first album, Every Time I Look At You. This was the Il Divo business, emotional phrasing, loads of (manufactured) feeling and soloists doing their thing well. It was the moment that recalled the intro and one of the fellows talking about them being “four caged tigers with a lot of energy to let loose...” then growling.

Simon Cowell was responsible for bringing together Il Divo eight years ago. They're still on song, but possibly the interaction with the audience needs refreshing, although a spirited a capella performance of the Belle of Belfast City went down a storm.

Their stonking version of Mr Sinatra's My Way was a highlight, a near-perfect cover.

The only off-centre moment came with the nicely-sung Don't Cry for Me, Argentina — Andrew Lloyd Webber's moving number for Evita sounded a little strange sung by four men.

But as one fan summed up at the end: “It's marvellous to see them in the flesh”.

Who could disagree?

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