The Il Divo phenomenon
Take one Spanish baritone (Carlos Marin). Add an American tenor (David Miller). Throw in a Swiss tenor (Urs Buhler). Complete the quartet with a French pop star (Sebastian Izambad). And you get the most amazing pop-opera crossover “boy group” to come along since The Beatles.
Simon Cowell auditioned hundreds of singers back in 2003 before finding the perfect blend, sending them into the recording booth to perfect their talents before emerging as one the cultural surprises of the 21st century.
Il Divo was something to experience, playing to a sold-out Providence Performing Arts audience last week, complete with full orchestra, lights, lasers, smoke and mirrors. It was quite a spectacle. And it worked. I guess I had been living in the dark these past few years, unaware of the popularity of the latest phenomenon.
Il Divo has sold over 25 million albums, sold more than 2 million concert tickets and won 150 gold and platinum discs. They were in Providence to begin their summer American tour before returning to Europe for more sold-out concerts.
Singing mostly in French and Spanish, their music is powerful and moving, mixing opera with sacred music, show tunes and even a bit of pop.
They brought down the house with their unique versions of “Hallelujah” and “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” and received the longest standing ovation that I have ever witnessed at PPAC, and I’ve seen many.
Now I know the power of Il Divo, and I will be there the next time they come to Rhode Island.