Some might have started thinking about Valentine’s Day, which is still two weeks away; but if the audience at the Durham Performing Arts Center hadn’t already started planning for that romantic holiday, they certainly were in the mood by the time they left the Jan. 27th performance of The Tenors: Under One Sky Tour. The quartet of Canadian men who’ve been charming audiences since their group’s debut more than eight years ago definitely went out of their way to woo their audience with a blend of operatic and pop standards, as well as singer-songwriter tunes from their latest album. To say the audience was delighted and charmed is an understatement.
From the first moment the four slim and stylish Rat Pack lookalikes take the stage in front of a paneled backdrop that served as a screen for video accompaniment throughout their performance, the audience responded with a group swoon. Clifton Murray, Victor Micallef, Remigio Pereira, and Fraser Walters, who have performed internationally since 2007, not only have the looks of screen idols but the voices of male angels. Arriving on stage to the musical strains of “There Was a Boy,” the men quickly change tempo and open their set with their version of “Besame Mucho” — sung with operative overtones to a samba beat.
Their performance is often described as a combination of classical opera with a Christian base, and The Tenors themselves admit that they like to sing positive, uplifting material. The fact that they can take a sub-genre like that and make it their own is offering them high praise, but one must admit that there are times the performance bordered on schmaltzy. This quartet is smart, however; and they offer enough diversity in their performance and deliver sentimental songs with voices that are so powerful and gifted that their tendency toward over-romanticizing is forgiven — perhaps, even embraced.
One of the most amazing things about The Tenors is that their voices are well-blended yet different from each other, even though their range is the same. Each voice has a different color and texture enabling them to harmonize as if they embodied all of the pitch levels in musical sound.
The group individually talks about growing up in musical families and dedicates individual songs, as well as a group tribute, to their mothers (against a video of each giving their mothers a letter) sung to “You Are So Beautiful.” Several choose songs written by others, but Remigio Pereira of Portuguese-Canadian descent, chose to dedicate his tribute song to his father. He plays a traditional Portuguese guitar to accompany himself to the folksy tune and sung it in his native language.
Pereira is not the only member of the quartet who can play an instrument. Throughout the evening, the other members of the group, who are also accomplished musicians, take their turns accompanying each other.
Though The Tenors performed well-loved favorites like “Nessun Dorma,” “Adagio,” “Granada,” and the aforementioned pop hit, “You Are So Beautiful,” they sprinkle in their own compositions from their most recent CD Under One Sky, as well as religious standards such as “How Great Thou Art” and “Hallelujah.” No matter how many times one has heard the songs, the way the men execute their harmonies and control their vocal projection makes for an exceptional experience with acoustics that allow even those sitting in the upper balcony to hear the slightest of inflections.
If there were any faults with the evening’s performance, it could be said that the echo technique and the projected images actually took away from rather than enhanced the men’s voices. They are talented enough to stand on the stage without a backdrop and to sing acapella better than 90 percent of the singers who visit The Triangle. Why embroider something that’s already near-perfect?
The Tenors continue their tour throughout the United States through this summer. If you didn’t have a chance to catch them at DPAC, check their website for their next tour location.
THE TENORS: UNDER ONE SKY TOUR (Durham Performing Arts Center, Jan. 27).
THE TOUR: http://www.tenorsmusic.com/tour/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.tenorsmusic.com/videos/.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.
The Tenors (Canadian vocal quartet formed in 2007): http://www.tenorsmusic.com/ (official website), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3245099/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/tenorsmusic/ (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/tenorsmusic (Twitter page), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tenors (Wikipedia), and https://www.youtube.com/user/tenorsmusic (YouTube).
[RUN HAS CONCLUDED.]
Dawn Reno Langley is a Durham, NC-based author who writes novels, poetry, children’s books, and nonfiction books on many subjects, as well as theater, music, and dance reviews. She is also a writer, editor, writing coach at Reno’s Literary Services of Durham. To read all of Dawn Langley’s Triangle Review reviews online at Triangle Arts and Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/dawn-reno-langle/. To read more of her writings, click http://dawnrenolangley.blogspot.com/ and http://poetryandgardening.blogspot.com/.