The Tenors of the season
The Ten Tenors is back in the United States for its December holiday tour, which includes a concert, “The Ten Tenors: Home For The Holidays,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.
The Meistersingers of Southern Lehigh High School open the concert.
Following 20 years of sold-out performances across the globe, the vocal group’s 18-date tour of the East and Midwest has “pure electricity and undeniable drama,” according to the Los Angeles Times. With more than 2,000 headliner concerts, The Ten Tenors is Australia’s premier classical-crossover vocalists.
“The tangible facts are that we have been around the longest. We have done more shows than any other crossover group. We have recorded and released more albums than any other crossover group in Australia, maybe the world, and audiences have more fun at our shows,” says Michael Edwards, the Tenors’ Assistant Music Director.
Celebrated for dramatic stage presence, breathtaking arrangements and powerful performances, The Ten Tenors blend rock, pop and opera, tipping their hats to the great classical composers, as well. The New York Times has said the Tenors’ “unique mix of traditional and unconventional music offers a fresh and highly original take on the staid traditions of opera.”
The Ten Tenors has appeared on “The Today Show,” “Oprah’s Australian Adventure” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” among other TV shows. The Tenors has shared the stage with Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Andrea Boccelli, Willie Nelson, Alanis Morissette and Christina Aguilera.
“Our group first formed in 1995 for a one-time event, but we have been touring full-time since 1997-98. This show is different from our standard touring show because it is predominantly a holiday show,” Edwards says in a phone interview.
Partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the release of the Tenors’ album, “Our Christmas Wish,” raises funds for the organization that is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Selections from the album expected to be on the concert program include “Joy to the World,” “O’ Holy Night,” “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin and “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” a Mariah Carey hit.
“I would say that there is about 70 percent holiday music,” says Edwards. “Most importantly on this tour, we are spreading the word about the good work that the good folks at St. Jude do for research into childhood diseases. We are honored to be associated with St. Jude and we are very pleased that the net proceeds from the sale of our Christmas CD will be going to St. Jude,” says Edwards.
“We will do one of our own Christmas songs in this show as well, called ‘A Thousand Candles,’” Edwards says.
After the Tenors sang at its first event, one of the original singers thought that they had such a good time that they should seek professional management to help them make it “a thing.” The Ten Tenors started touring soon after.
In addition to Edwards, who has sung with the group for six years, the Tenors are: Paul Gelsumini, Music Director, seven years; Cameron Barclay, four years; James Watkinson, a new singer; Oliver Samson, two years; Jared Newall, six years; Keane Fletcher, eight years; JD Smith, two years; Florian Voss, one year, and, Daniel Belle, who after three years took two years off and is now back on tour.
“This is a holiday show for the whole family. You can sing along. You can dance along, and we encourage you to. And you may even get invited up on stage to sing in a special number with us. Then after the show, we will all come out into the foyer and say ‘Hi’ to everyone,” says Edwards.
The Southern Lehigh High School Meistersingers is an auditioned choral ensemble. One of the oldest activities-organizations in the Solehi school district, the chorus of 30 students perform 20 concerts per year. The group has also toured internationally, including Ireland and Scotland in 2010.
Tickets: State Theatre Center for the Arts box office, 453 Northampton St., Easton; statetheatre.org; 1-800-999-7828; 610-252-3132