Tenors didn't disappoint at ISC
Sitting through two-and-a-half hours of opera can be tedious unless you’re a devotee.
I’ve done it and I’m not.
That same amount of time with The Tenors, however, was revelatory.
In the hands of skilled performers even songs you think you know can hold you spellbound.
Consider Me He Enamorado De Ti.
The four Canadians were partway through it during their concert at Interior Savings Centre on Friday, Feb. 8, when I realized I had heard the song before — but it didn’t sound this good when Barbra Streisand released it back in the early 1980s.
Victor Micallef had said during an interview late last month he and the other tenors — Remigio Pereira, Fraser Walters and Clifton Murray — enjoy adapting well-known works, be they operatic or pop, and giving them a new identity.
They did it with Fare Thee Well Love, one of the signature songs of The Rankins, and, while it retained those same haunting tones the Maritimers bring to it, there was no doubt it was opera-trained singers performing.
Their interpretation of Amazing Grace was equally soaring and reverent.
I didn’t like their adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, but must confess I remain conflicted about who has done the best version — Jeff Buckley or K.D. Lang.
I’m pretty sure I am in a minority on that opinion, given the number of times parts of and, eventually, the entire audience rose to applaud.
It was obvious this was about more than the music, however, as each singer took the stage alone to talk about their background and do a solo.
Walters won the crowd over when he talked about entering ISC and seeing Scott Neidermayer’s recently hung sweater up in the rafters.
He had the audience in the palm of his hand as he talked of his sports career and the times the Richmond-born soccer player came to Kamloops for tournaments, training with the likes of Dylan Armstrong and Gary Reed, both familiar names to most Kamloopsians.
I found their story of the adventures they had in Las Vegas, where they went to film a television special, a bit bewildering but perhaps it was part of their goal of connecting with their audience, revealing themselves as nothing more than four Canadian boys who are out having a great time doing something they love.
Attention must be given to their band, which included pianist and music director Darryn Dasousa, bassist Stu Watkins, percussionist Mark Inneo and guitarist Antonio Mancini.
They were solid, commanded their own spotlights at times and provided the perfect musical curtain behind the quartet.