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#1 jools


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Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:15 AM

If you find any press reviews of the concerts, please post them in here...............


12th August - Edit: ..... Many thanks to everyone who has added Press reviews from around the world :)

The thread is now locked and will be kept in this section along with your concert reports and pictures.

jools xxxxx

#2 spirit



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Posted 05 February 2006 - 02:10 PM

Review of Boston's show from the Boston Globe


Il Divo proves to be quite an audio/visual delight
By Jonathan Perry, Globe Correspondent | February 3, 2006

This is not your mother's Pavarotti. Unlike the prodigiously talented, prodigiously waistlined Luciano, the four hunks who comprise the pop opera sensation Il Divo are awfully, well, dreamy. The product of a worldwide talent search (a la the Monkees), spearheaded by ''American Idol" loudmouth Simon Cowell, the quartet is composed of American tenor David Miller, French singer Sebastien Izambard, Swiss tenor Urs Buhler, and Spanish baritone Carlos Marin.

Last year, the group's self-titled debut album moved units fit for rock stars, not opera singers, reportedly breaking Led Zeppelin's old record as the only band to hit number one on the Billboard charts without the release of a single. This week, Il Divo's follow-up, ''Ancora," also shot to number one on Billboard, knocking Jamie Foxx from the top position. At last night's sold-out concert at the Wang Theatre -- only the second show of their first world tour -- they all looked great in formal wear, of course. But here's the kicker: they can all sing, too. When the quartet lit into ''I Believe In You (Je Crois En Toi)," the house swooned in instant recognition.

It's official: Il Divo are superstars (for irrefutable evidence, one need only check the merchandise table, where tour T-shirts and posters were selling as briskly as the white wine in the lobby). For 90 sometimes vocally astounding, sometimes profoundly silly minutes last night, Il Divo acted the part like urbane Backstreet Boy toys, but with far better vocal chops. They graciously accepted rose bouquets from the women who traipsed up to the stage for a closer look at these suave dreamboats. They bantered with each other in an exchange of supremely cheesy dialogue as canned as Rat Pack hijinks. Oh, and they also did a fair amount of singing: alone, together, and in pairs, which was at least as polished as their stage chatter.

Augmented by a five-piece rock-ish combo and a 20-piece orchestra -- the instrumental interlude/theme song to ''Live and Let Die" bought the lads precious time to change costumes -- David, Sabastien, Urs, and, especially, the bombastically hammy baritone Carlos reveled in the satiny pillow talk of ''Everytime I Look At You." Both ''Isabel" and the encore-closing ''My Way" and ''Heroe" were florid heaps of outsized loveliness. Just like all those bouquets.

Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow. - Langston Hughes

#3 hotstuff1



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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:26 PM

Unfortunately the guy at the Washington Post has no taste--his review as follows:
Il Divo: Simon Says Opera, but the Ear Says Awful

By Daniel Ginsberg
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 5, 2006; Page D02

Il Divo, the vocal quartet whose new album, "Ancora," sailed to the top of the pop charts last week, says it sings popular songs in a classically inspired operatic manner.

If only.

"Feelings," no, no, no: From left, David Miller, Carlos Marin, Sebastien Izambard and Urs Buhler of Il Divo perform in New York last month. (By Paul Hawthorne -- Getty Images)
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The group's sold-out concert Friday at DAR Constitution Hall showed the group quick to hijack the accouterments of opera but possessing none of the tonal splendor and precision essential to the art. The concert was a schlocky, cloying and highly contrived display with an unvaried sound and stage act that could make any music lover turn away in embarrassment.

This collection of pretenders is the creation of the insulting "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, an impresario whose previous credits include promoting WWF superstars and such insipid "reality" shows as the short-lived "Cupid." Seeing the success of proto-opera crossover singer Andrea Bocelli, Cowell schemed up the idea of gathering a bunch of handsome and youthful mini-Bocellis. To the blind Italian singer's lonely lovelorn stage persona, Il Divo puts on a "We are so suave, we just love you" act that unabashedly feeds cartoonlike and debasing national stereotypes.

The quartet played to the audience with blatantly choreographed smiles and backslaps. The American tenor David Miller came off as clean cut and earnest, while the French pop singer Sebastien Izambard slathered on his mysterious je ne sais quoi quality. Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, who seemed so in love with his deep voice that he would hug and caress it all day if he could, was the comely Mediterranean Man. And then there was good-looking, long-haired Swiss tenor Urs Buhler.

Besides the tuxedos, about the only things that called opera to mind were the fake-marble columns and stage, an attempt to evoke classical elegance and symmetry. A traditional orchestra off to one side of the stage struggled to be heard against the thwacks and warbles of the electric guitar and drum-laden band on the other side. Cowell's clangorous gang seemed to think that performing music in a romance language actually makes it more artful.

The quartet sang numbers like "All by Myself" and "Feelings" with amplification (an opera no-no), showing little breath support, vocal purity or character. In the mid-ranges, the singers' voices were grainy and lusterless and sounded merely loud at the upper reaches. Miller was the only one who at times even mustered a little golden tone. The musical scoring was monotonous, with each singer predictably taking a couple lines on his own before they all sang a grand climax at full throttle.

The swooning audience lapped up every minute of all this. Young and old alike swarmed the stage for autographs and handshakes in the closing sets, and one member of the audience threw purple thong underwear at the performers.

The concert highlighted the dangers of the whole idea of crossover music, the well-intentioned genre meant to bring listeners into the classical music realm and vice versa. After these two hours, a newcomer would still find an opera performance completely foreign. Il Divo took the substance of a rich, beautiful genre and turned it inside out, leaving you with a bitter aftertaste.

Il Divo? Quattro formaggi .

Forgot to show the web site for the article in the Post

#4 maya


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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:46 AM

Good Morning Everyone...

Hope this perk you guys up...And especially to the Toronto gang after an unforgetable night. I will have my report and pics (dozens of them!!!) later in the day.

Mods and The Guys: hope we did you guys proud!!!


Boy wonders wow 'em
Adoring crowd of women screams, claps and cheers
But Il Divo shows a little wear and tear, John Terauds finds
Feb. 7, 2006. 12:15 AM

Everything else aside, it's pretty amazing to see a pop group that can bring all ages together in this fragmented musical world.

There was no generation gap last night at the Air Canada Centre as Il Divo, Simon Cowell's boy-wonder pop quartet, sang its first-ever Canadian show.

And judging from the adoration these 30-somethings received, they're welcome back anytime.

Women young and old cheered, screamed, clapped their hands and snapped away with their digital devices as, in number after number, the quartet raised its voices in great crescendos of sound.

Il Divo's first two albums have ridden high on the pop charts. The second, Ancorra, released last fall, is still in the Top 10. Now, after 18 months of publicity appearances in person, on TV, radio and in print, the foursome is on their first world tour.

The journey, which will literally take them around the globe, began on Jan. 31 in Connecticut, continues tomorrow in Montreal, and makes a return jog to Niagara Falls for Valentine's Day.

Last night's was only the fifth outing on this tour, but there were signs the boys — American tenor David Miller, Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, Swiss tenor Urs Buhler and French pop singer Sébastien Izambard — were already suffering from the wear and tear of 18 months of intense publicity and travel.

Not that anyone seemed to notice or care, but Miller's voice, so strong and operatic on disc, was sounding ragged around the edges.

Classically trained singers with high voices can often sing through vocal problems by pushing a little harder in their upper reaches, but this is a game of diminishing returns. One hopes that Miller's problems were due to a passing cold rather than something more serious.

Also showing some mild signs of vocal strain were Buhler and Izambard. Marin, fortunately, has one of those cast-iron medium-low voices that should stand the test of a long tour.

Given that the sound in such a big venue is heavily miked, the electronics can pick up where the natural voice trails off, so the effect on the audience was minimal. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the Il Divo vocal chords can stand the next few months of sustained fortissimo singing and high notes.

The program was largely made up of tracks from their two albums, but there were a couple of new numbers as well: a very nice, American-flavoured piece called "Come and Rejoice," nicely introduced by Izambard on acoustic guitar.

There was also a rousing rendition of Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere" from his 1950s musical West Side Story.

Accompaniment was courtesy of a five-piece band (guitars, keyboards and drums) and a 20-piece classical ensemble that was introduced as "the Il Divo Orchestra."

The two groups of musicians were split by a central stairway that joined the two levels of the classy-looking stage.

The evening got off to a bit of a late start, which meant that opening singer, New Zealand's Haley Westenra, had to begin her short set while the audience was still getting seated.

But everyone was really there for the main act. The crowd's consensus on Il Divo? Bravi!


`Divo's Divas' go middle-age crazy
Feb. 7, 2006. 05:18 AM

The heart-racing banter has been raging for months.

Between full-time jobs and raising school-age children, mature women have been chattering online like teenage groupies about the world concert tour of their pop-opera heartthrob quartet, Il Divo.

The ladies call themselves "Divo's Divas." Women, many in their forties, fifties and yes, their eighties, have been ogling and Googling over "the boys" in a craze not unlike the days in the `70s when middle-aged housewives tossed their knickers on-stage at Tom Jones concerts.

"I'm so excited, I'm feeling like a teenager!" enthused a Montreal woman named Lina in an on-line forum in the days leading up to their idols' Canadian tour.

Last night, throngs flocked to Il Divo's concert at the Air Canada Centre, including Rosa Dato, of Mississauga, and her two grown daughters. They stood anxiously at the front of the line, gushing about the quartet.

"I saw them on Oprah and fell in love with them," Dato, a 60-year-old grandmother, said breathlessly. "I need to meet them in person, I'm dying."

Lois Fulton, 51, of Toronto, painstakingly counted down the days to last night's performance, which she attended with daughter Jennifer, 28. It was almost as bad as waiting for her knee replacement surgery last year.

Fulton also first caught sight of the act on Oprah last April and was immediately swept away. "I've been listening to them ever since and driving everyone nuts!"

Does she like opera?

"Not really," she replied. "But they're so good-looking and their voices are phenomenal. Raises the hair on your arms!"

Some New York City fans who met online recently took to wearing red scarves to concerts as a way of identifying each other. They may have started a trend. Immediately, there was chat among some Canadian fans about wearing the ruby accessory — "although my complexion looks absolutely horrible next to red" — for the Niagara Falls concert scheduled for Valentine's Day.

Il Divo's renditions of such popular ballads as "Regresa a Mi" (Un-Break My Heart) and "Senza Catene" (Unchained Melody), has ignited young and older women's libidos in countries around the world. From Australia to Belgium, England and Brazil, women are busting open their hearts and wallets to buy tickets on EBay, cash in Air Miles and leave their husbands and kids at home for a chance to see their "opera hunks" live.

These are not your giggly teenybopper groupie fans going ga-ga over the Backstreet Boys. These are mature, self-respecting grown-ups who have fallen hard for four 30-something "popera" singers (Il Divo is Italian for male diva).

Critics say Il Divo — conceived by American Idol judge Simon Cowell — is successful because it marries pop with classical music, multi-nationalism with multilingualism, and natural good looks with a GQ style that includes Armani suits and ties.

The fans are usually nuts about one Il Divo or another. Urs Buhler of Switzerland's followers call themselves Uber Babes. ("He's Uberlicious.") There's also Spain's Carlos Marin (Carlos' Cuties), Frenchman Sebastien Izambard (Seb's Sirens) and American David Miller (David's Divas).

"I'm a Siren," Kirsten Ulrich, a mother of three from Hamilton, purred last night. "Seb just seems like an all-around nice guy."

Her friend, Connie Lewin, is a Cutie. "I have always had a preference for baritones and I just think Carlos has the most amazing voice."

The quartet has seen popularity swell in the past year with a string of promotional TV appearances — the Martha Stewart show, Oprah, the Young and the Restless.

Donna Layne, a 51-year-old warehouse clerk in Woodstock and her 83-year-old mother, Jean, have been following the singers since last August and felt lucky to get tickets to last night's concert — Il Divo's first appearance on a Canadian stage.

"I have several girlfriends who wished I'd told them I got tickets because they're in love with them too!"

Layne confided that her heart belongs to Carlos. "The baritone voice; when he does his little solo parts, I just get shivers."

She equates the foursome's gentlemanly manners and fast-rising popularity to the early Beatles.

"What really blows my mind away is there's a whole group of fanatics in England. Some of these women have bought tickets at every venue you can imagine. At least four of them are flying from somewhere in England to come see them at Niagara Falls.

"Mind you, I'm going to see them in Niagara Falls too."

Enjoy and what a blast it was... :)

From Toronto,

#5 WaGGy


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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:51 AM

Live Review: Il Divo in Toronto
ACC, Toronto - February 6, 2006
By BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

TORONTO -- When the panties started flying toward the stage, Il Divo's Carlos Marin beamed.

"Just like Tom Jones," the Spaniard exclaimed. "Yeahhhh."

The heartthrob factor notwithstanding, a strong mathematical argument can be made that the hottest musical group on the planet isn't U2, or INXS, or Bon Jovi, or the Super Bowl-censored Rolling Stones.

It's Il Divo, which played its first Canadian concert last night at the Air Canada Centre. The venue was truncated to provide an intimate setting for about 9,000 wedged-in fans.

Il Divo is not to be confused with Devo, or that kiddie abomination Devo 2.0, and good lord, not Bell Biv Devoe.

We're talking 'bout Il Divo, four good-looking dudes in their 30s from four different countries whose combination of pop and opera -- dubbed "popera" -- has topped charts around the world.
Il Divo may not have the political activism of U2, or the Canadian connection of INXS. They may not have the rock-star stylings of Bon Jovi, or the five-decade cachet of the Stones.

But Il Divo, which was put together by venomous American Idol judge Simon Cowell, has tapped into a market that apparently was aching to be tapped.

Il Divo's second CD, Ancora, still is in the top 10 in Canada and last week it went to No. 1 in the United States.

Of the 9,000 in attendance last night, about 80% were female. And while it seemed as if 80% of that 80% were over the age of 30, you wouldn't have known it from the girlish squeals.

There's no scientific method to measure this, but the most screams seemed to be reserved for Marin and France's Sebastien Izambard. Rounding out Il Divo are American David Miller and Urs Buhler of Switzerland.

All four have voices as big as the sky and highlights included the never-say-die Unchained Melody and Everytime I Look At You. But I Believe In You lost some of its majesty without Celine Dion, who sings on the recorded version. And overall there was a little too much echo in the building for the four singers and their accompanying 30-member orchestra.

The stage (classic columns and stairs) was sort of cheesy, and most of the group's between-song banter was heavily scripted and awkward. The Rat Pack they ain't, but language limitations are partly to blame and Il Divo should be able to improve upon that as its career continues.

A technical problem caused a lengthy delay for people waiting to take their seats prior to the show. The ACC corridors were jammed with the aged and the irritated, and it was hilarious to see 6-foot-10 Raptors forward Matt Bonner trying to fight his way toward the team's practice facility.

Sadly, most people still were scrambling to their seats when 18-year-old classical songstress Hayley Westenra of New Zealand provided an admirable opening set.


#6 tillyflop


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Posted 08 February 2006 - 07:07 AM


I just found this review

Christine xxx


Hey, hey, we're Il Divo: Opera meets boy band

Special to The Globe and Mail

Il Divo

At the Air Canada Centre

in Toronto on Monday

Conventional wisdom to the contrary, it is sometimes possible to look like a duck and quack like a duck, yet still not be a duck.

Take Il Divo, for example. Even though the hunky, international quartet boasts that three of its four members are classically trained and likes to show off big vibratos and quasi-operatic harmonies, the truth is they're pop singers, not opera guys.

Yes, they're more likely to sing in Italian than in English, even if the material in question is from the Righteous Brothers, not Rigoletto. But they sing even more frequently in Spanish, which sounds quite romantic but is not well known as an opera language. And yes, they do tour with a 20-piece orchestra (plus a rock rhythm section), and their show includes both an overture and an entr'acte. But come on -- the "entr'acte" was actually an instrumental version of Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die, and was included mainly so the guys could duck backstage and change into fresh suits.

Perhaps the least operatic thing about the group's first Canadian concert was that it took place not in a palace of song, but in a palace of ice: Toronto's Air Canada Centre. "Wow, this is the biggest venue we've played," remarked tenor Urs Buhler at one point, and there were times when that size worked against the music. The amplification left the instrumental accompaniment sounding flat and tinny, like a cassette on some giant boom box, while the singers were entirely microphone reliant, something that left baritone Carlos Marin out of the mix during parts of Passera.

Then again, it's likely that a good number of the (mostly female) fans on hand were more interested in seeing Il Divo than in hearing them. Certainly, there was much frenzied waving from the stands -- gentlemen all, the lads onstage invariably smiled and waved back -- and for the last number, the four sat on the edge of the stage, which allowed fans to dash up and shake hands or offer a token of esteem. A number of roses were tossed onstage, along with a few pairs of panties.

Holding some undies and pretending to check the size, Marin looked over at tenor David Miller and joked, "But David, these are not your size!" Sebastien Izambard (also a tenor, but credited as "vox populi" due to his lack of conservatory time) added: "I feel like Tom Jones."

Oh, the hilarity.

It's well known that Il Divo was assembled by English promoter (and snarky American Idol judge) Simon Cowell to cash in on the popularity of such quasi-operatic acts as the Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli. Watching them in concert, however, it becomes obvious that Il Divo's master plan also draws heavily from the Monkees. Each of the four takes on a "character" based on some broad, national stereotype (Miller, the earnest American; Marin, the macho Spaniard; Izambard, the love-addled Frenchman; Buhler, the dry, meticulous Swiss) and then plays the part for laughs.

So after each welcomes the audience in a different language, the banter begins. A typical exchange will have Izambard rambling dreamily about some girl he'd been kissing, only to have Buhler interrupt. "We've got to move it along -- we're already a minute and 26 seconds behind!" (Swiss precision, get it?)

The music, though equally formulaic, did at least deliver the expected thrills. Nearly every Il Divo arrangement follows the same pattern, introducing each voice individually, then slowly building harmonies into a loudly triumphant finale, yet the power they pull from such pop fare as the Toni Braxton's hit Unbreak My Heart, Mariah Carey's Hero or the Vegas chestnut My Way is undeniable. It helps that the arrangements make the most of the singers' skills, cranking the climaxes by pushing Marin's baritone into its upper reaches while leading with Miller's powerhouse falsetto. But the material is equally solid, and the few unrecorded selections included Monday -- particularly Somewhere from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story -- suggest that Il Divo's act is far from played out.

Il Divo performs at the Bell Centre in Montreal tonight, and the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls on Feb. 14.
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#7 Blazin_Vi3t


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Posted 08 February 2006 - 09:40 PM

Hey you guys! Here is an article I wrote for the brand new planet news paper in Toronto. I just found out of this thread so I hope you guys enjoy this.

Feb 06/06
A.C.C Toronto -The Fab Four, Il Divo

Written By: Mikélana Catenae

On February 06,2006, many have heard of the exciting performance at the Air Canada Centre. Non other than the fabulous quartet, Il Divo have started their world tour and has headed to Toronto, to give an amazing performance to blow their Canadian fans away. Many stories and comments have been posted on their official website from their wonderful Canadian fans. These young men are very handsome and very talented. Sebastien Izambard (32), David Miller (32), Urs Buhler (34) and Carlos Marin (37) are the gorgeous Il Divo. They each have different cultures and they were formed 2 years ago, by non other than the famous American Idol judge, Simon Cowell. Sebastien, who is French has been raise with no professional music training, but sings in pop. David (American), Urs (Swiss) and Carlos (Spanish) were taught in the opera background for many years. Il Divo sings in many different languages, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, French and many more. Simon Cowell has put together a group to satisfy his taste in music and to introduce the world to the real music of Opera. The sensation of Il Divo’s music, which is popera, made it to the top of the U.S recently. On February 06th, 2006, they visited Toronto, as said in the beginning, to express their talent to our fellow Canadians. Sadly I could not make it to the concert to interview them or hear their wonderful voices, but I visited their official website (www.ildivo.com) and have read many reports from their beloved fans. It was an amazing to experience for many to see the lovely quartet perform up close and take many pictures. Approximately 30 000 people were at the concert waiting hours in line. Many young ladies ranging from 30 and up were there to show their gratitude. These handsome men, also brought me to a surprise as many of the ladies were very young, maybe 15 to their 20’s. Il Divo was surprised as well to see how big Air Canada Centre was. They went on saying that the A.C.C was the biggest venue they’ve played in so far. “Very impressive.” Said by Urs Buhler. The night ended surprisingly well, and fans leaving overwhelmed with excitement. To end it off, Il Divo is headed to Montreal for another performance and than to Niagara Falls for Valentines Day. Il Divo has made many debut albums, Il Divo, Ancora and The Christmas Collection. I recommend watching their DVD Encore and many thanks to Il Divo for their wonderful talent and their on going love for music. All your fans wish you the best on your world tour!

#8 marichristine



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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:41 PM


Les dévots d'Il Divo

Philippe Renaud

David, le plus jeune, est Américain. Urs, les cheveux longs, est d'origine suisse alémanique. Carlos, d'origine espagnole, est cependant né en Allemagne. Enfin, Sébastien, le favori de ces dames, est Français. Leur nom est italien, et leur succès ne connaît plus de frontières, faisant d'eux l'arme de destruction auditive la plus terrifiante que la planète ait connue depuis l'annihilation des Spice Girls. Hier soir, près de 10 000 spectateurs s'étaient rendus au Centre Bell voir de près ces beuglants bellâtres.

À sa première semaine dans les bacs des disquaires, Ancora, le second album du quatuor Il Divo, a décroché la toute première place du palmarès Billboard. Plus de 150 000 exemplaires vendus de cette nouvelle fournée de chansons connues, assaisonnées d'essences édulcorées d'opéra. Mais pour mieux prendre la mesure de l'étendue de ce succès transgénérationnel, soulignons que le disque est à la première position des ventes dans 23 pays et que les quatre chanteurs ont écoulé plus de 10 millions de copies de leurs disques en deux ans seulement.

Le rideau s'est ouvert sur un orchestre imposant. Les producteurs du spectacle ne sont pas chiches sur le personnel: le Il Divo Orchestra comptait sur une section de cordes de 20 musiciens, en plus de l'orchestre pop conventionnel - basse, guitare, piano, claviers, batterie. Le pot-pourri instrumental d'introduction paraissait aussi long qu'un parcours de 100 étages dans un ascenseur.

Sous les cris du public, les quatre membres sont apparus un à un de derrière les hautes colonnes romaines servant de décor principal. Chantant Unbreak My Heart (traduite sous le titre Regresa a mi) en descendant le large escalier séparant les cordes des autres musiciens, le quatuor a rapidement enchaîné avec All By Myself, véritable cacophonie de voix sans subtilité aucune - concédons que la sonorisation de cet orchestre ne devait pas être une mince affaire et que ça s'entendait dans l'immensité du Centre Bell.

Le principal reproche à faire au spectacle de Il Divo, c'est le manque d'originalité des arrangements. L'orchestre était obsédant, bruyant par moments, et ses partitions datées. Mais surtout, j'aurais espéré qu'à quatre voix, nous aurions pu avoir droit à de belles harmonies vocales. Sauf pour deux ou trois chansons plus inspirées, l'ensemble de cette performance prenait des allures d'un concours cherchant à déterminer qui des quatre se ferait entendre le plus fort. Deux d'entre eux ont de bonnes voix, très bonnes même. Mais Carlos est un cliché ambulant avec ses gestes maniérés et sa voix roucoulante, alors qu'Urs chantait hier soir tout simplement faux. Heureusement, des interprétations plus senties comme celle de Nella Fantasia nous ont donné un peu d'espoir qu'une catastrophique version de Pour que tu m'aimes encore (le succès de Céline) est cependant venue tempérer. Moment cocasse: Sébastien a alors récupéré un slip rouge lancé sur scène par une fan; David, qui suivait derrière, avait du mal à garder son sérieux en chantant!

Ébahi par l'interprétation rock orchestral de Live and Let Die - qu'est-ce que ça venait faire là, en plein milieu du concert, sinon combler le vide occasionné par un changement de costumes? -, nous avons ensuite entendu Il Divo se reprendre bellement par l'interprétation de son principal succès, I Believe in You, suivie par une Unchained Melody (traduite sous l'appellation Senza Catene) pas trop malmenée.

Mais les chanteurs sont attachants, ainsi qu'ils l'ont démontré en toute fin du concert, assurément le moment fort de cette soirée. S'appropriant Somewhere (est-ce bien de Barbara Streisand?), ils se sont assis au bout de la scène, les pieds dans le vide, et accueillaient les admiratrices en serrant les mains. À la fin, le devant de la scène grouillait de fans, qui avaient visiblement davantage d'affection à l'endroit de Sébastien - le plus doué vocalement - que pour les trois autres. À n'en point douter, les admiratrices ont passé un beau moment en compagnie des sympathiques mecs d'Il Divo. Pour le critique, cependant, ce fut un supplice.

NOT so possitive, but it is only one man's opinion
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#9 Guest_Monette_*

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 04:24 PM

I have the article from Le Journal De Montreal..i'll have to type it because i don't have a scanner anymore...IT's in french and i hope some good translator diva will do the translation...Here it is..


Chacun son truc. Pendant que les jeunes filles craquent encore et toujours pour les Backstreet Boys, leurs mères et leur tantes, elles, n'en ont que pour Il Divo.

Le Journal de Montréal

Il Divo, pour ceux qui l'ignorent encore, c'est la nouvelle sensation opéra pop un genre de boy's band classique pour adultes. Montée de toutes pièces par le célèbre juge d'American Idol Simon Cowell, la formation réunit un Américain (le ténor David Miller), un Espagnol (le baryton Carlos Marin), un Français (Sébastien Izambard) et un Suisse (Urs Buhler).
Les quatres jeunes hommes dans la trentaine font craquer les dames autant avec leurs belles gueules qu'avec leur voir lyriques. En seulement deux ans d'existance, le quatuor a vendu dans le monde plus de 5 millions de leur deux premiers albums. (Il Divo et Ancora).
Leurs fans? Des femmes, bien sûr. Presque seulement des femmes. Pas de petites filles comme celles que se dandinaient la semaine dernière au spectacle d'Hilary Duff. On parle ici de femmes de plus de 35 ans, qui avaient pris congé de leur famille pour aller se faire chanter la pomme par quatre beaux bonshommes. Elle devaient constituer au moins 80% des 9576 spectateurs assis dans le Théâtre du Centre Bell hier soir, pour le tout premier concert montréalais du groupe.
Après une introduction musicale un brin pompeuse livrée par l'orchestre du quatuor ( un groupe de huit musiciens et une section de cordes), les quatres <<Divo>> (qui signifie <<diva mâle>>) sont arrivés sur scène chacun leur tour dans le prénombre.
Dans un décor kitsch aux allures de théâtre grec (avec des colonnes et des marches), ils ont entonné Regresa A Mi, une version espagnol du hit de Toni Braxton, Unbreak my Heart. Ils ont enchaîné avec All by myself, popularisé chez nous par notre diva locale, Céline Dion.
On suivi en vrac, Passera(du premier album), Nella Fantasia de Morricone, Pour que tu m'aimes encore (de Goldman, popularisé pas Céline), I believe in you (dont la version album comprend un collaboration de la même Céline) et Senza Catene, une version italienne de Unchained Melody.

Vous l'aurez deviné, Il Divo se spécialise dans les versions lyrique romantico-pop (parfaite pour Cité Rock Détente) de grands succès. Jouant à fond la carte des différentes nationalités (Espagne, France, Suisse, États-Unis), ils chantent autant en anglais qu'en français, en espagnol et en italien et s'emusent, entre les chansons, a imiter entre eux leurs accents et à se moquer des coutumes de leurs pays respectifs.
Si elle peut paraître terriblement ennuyantes pour ceux que n'aiment pas le genre, la formule fonctionne à la perfection sur le public cible, soit les dames qui ont passé l'âge de triper sur les Backstreet Boys.
Elle craquent toutes pour l'attitude macho de l'Espagnol Carlos Marin et pour la belle gueule du Français Sébastien Izambard, visiblement les deux chouchous du groupe. Pendant Pour que tu m'aimes encore, une madame a même lancé une petite culotte rouge a Izambard. Qui a dit que les filles arrêtaient de s'éclater après 35 ans?

Le spectacle d'hier était le second du quatuor au Canada, après celui de Toronto lundi soir. Il Divo se dirige maintenant vers les États-Unis, où ils sont attendus dans une vingtaine de villes.
Il Divo a vendu près de 400,000 copies de son premier album éponyme au Canada. Le second album Ancore figure au top 10 des albums les plus vendus au Canada.

There is a pic in black and white of the guys on stage..(sorry i don't have a scanner) :)

So if anyone can translate it , just go for it!!!

#10 sophie b

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 07:23 PM

Translation of the Le Journal article. Not perfect but it is getting late

Give me a few minutes and I'll finish off the La Press one too and whack it on here....... :)

Le Journal

Il Divo, for those of you who are still ignoring them, is the new pop opera sensation in the genre of a boy band for adults. Put together by the famous judge of American Idol, Simon Cowell, the group unites an American (tenor David Miller), a Spaniard (baritone Carlos Marin), a Frenchman (Sébastien Izambard) and a Swiss (Urs Buhler.

Four young men in their thirties who make women swoon with their pretty faces and lyrical voices. In just two years of their existence, the quartet has sold more than 5 million copies of their first two albums (Il Divo and Ancora).

Their fans. Women of course! Almost entirely women. Not the young women who went crazy last week at Hilary Duff’s concert. We’re talking about women who are over 35, who have left their families behind to go be sung at by four good looking young men. These women made up at least 80% of the 9,576 people sitting in the Theatre du Centre Bell last night, for the first Montreal concert for the group.

After a rather pompous introduction by the quartet’s orchestra (a grounp of eight musicians and a string section), the four « Divos » (it means male « Diva ») arrived on the stage and each took their turn in the first number. The kitsch décor alluded to a Greek theatre (with its columns and stairs), they sang Regresa A Mi, a Spanish version of the hit by Toni Braxton, Unbreak my Heart. They followed this with All by myself, popularised here by our local diva, Céline Dion. They followed this with Passera (from their first album), Nella Fantasia by Ennio Morricone, Pour que tu m'aimes encore (by Jean-Jacques Goldman, popularised by Céline), I believe in you (on the album the song is a collaboration with the same Céline) et Senza Catene, an Italian version of Unchained Melody.

You will have worked out by now that Il Divo specialise in the lyrical romantic-pop versions (perfect for Cité Rock Detente) with great success. The play to the hilt their different nationalities (Spain, France, Switzerland, USA), they sing less in English than in French, Spanish and Italian, and amuse themselves, between the songs, by imitating each others accents and mocking the customs of their respective countries

It could be very boring for those people who don’t like this type of music, but the formula functions perfectly for their target audience, that is, women who have passed the age of swooning over the Backstreet Boys. They all go crazy for the macho attitude of Spaniard Carlos Marin and for the good-looks of Frenchman Sébastien Izambard, obviously the two darlings of the group. During Pour que tu m'aimes encore, one women threw a pair of red underwear at Izambard. Who said women stop doing silly things after the age of 35?

The concert last night was the second for the quartet in Canada, after the one in Toronto on Monday night. Il Divo are now going to the USA, where they are waited for in twenty or so cities. Il Divo have sold almost 400,000 copies of their first album in Canada. The second album, Ancora, figures in the Canadian Top 10

#11 sophie b

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 08:13 PM

La Presse review translated

Just please don't shoot the messenger!!!!! :)

Il Divo’s devotees
Philippe Renaud
David, the youngest, is American. Urs, with the long hair, is Swiss-German. Carlos, the Spaniard, was actually born in Germany. And finally, Sébastien, the favourite with the ladies, is French. Their name is Italian, and their success knows no boundaries, making it the most terrifying musical weapon of mass destruction we’ve known since the Spice Girls split up. Last night, almost 10,000 spectators came together at the Bell Centre to be near these bellowing bucks.

In its first week on the shelves of the record stores, Ancora, the second album for the quartet Il Divo, took the top spot on the Billboard charts. More than 150,000 copies sold for this new batch of well-know songs, seasoned with an essence of opera. But to better take the measure of their cross-generational success, we need to add that the album is number 1 in 23 countries and the singers have sold more than 10 million copies of their albums in just two years.
The curtain opens on an imposing orchestra. The producers of the show don’t scrimp on staff: the Il Divo orchestra has a 20 person string section, plus a conventional pop band – bass, guitar, piano, keyboards and drums. The pot-pourri instrumental introduction appeared to be longer than being stuck in an elevator for more than 100 floors.

To the screams of the public, the four members of the group appeared one by one behind the high Roman columns that serve as the principal set. Singing Unbreak My Heart (translated under the title Regresa a mi), they come down the large stairway which separates the other musicians, then the quartet rapidly fire off All By Myself, a veritable cacophony of voices without any subtlety – although you need to concede that the amplification of the orchestra is not something that you can take lightly in the immense Bell Centre
The main thing that you could reproach the Il Divo concert for is its lack of originality in the arrangements of the songs. The orchestra was obsessed, sometimes noisy (boisterous ?) and its arrangements dated. But above all, I would have hoped that with just four voices, we could have had nice vocal harmonies. Except for two or three more inspired songs, the whole of the show seemed to resemble a competition as to who among the four of them could sing the loudest. Two of them have good voices, very good in fact. But Carlos is a walking cliché with his gestures and crooning voice, and last night Urs simply sang flat. Fortunately, the interpretations with more feeling like Nella Fantasia gave us more hope than the catastrophic version of Pour que tu m'aimes encore (Céline Dion’s hit). Comical moment: Sebastien picked up a red thong thrown onto the stage by a fan; David, who was following behind him, found it hard to keep his composure while singing.

Dumbfounded by the orchestra’s rock interpretation of Live and Let Die – what was that doing there, in the middle of the concert, if only to fill the void while they changed costumes? – we then heard Il Divo return well with an interpretation of their initial success I Believe in You, followed by Unchained Melody (now translated to Senza Catene) not too roughly handled.

But the singers were touching, especially when they came to the end of the concert, which was surely the strong point of the evening. Taking on Somewhere (was this from Barbra Streisand?), they sat on the edge of the stage, their feet dangling, and shook the hands of their female admirers. At the end, the front of the stage was heaving with fans, who were visibly taking more advantage of Sebastien’s affection – the most gifted vocally – than of the three others. You can’t dispute that the female fans had a lovely evening with the nice men of Il Divo. For this critic however, it was a form of torture.

#12 mell



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Posted 12 February 2006 - 02:26 PM

Posted Image


Since its debut in 2001, the vocal quatuor il divo gain a success shattering : it have sold more of 8 million albums through the world, of more, to dominate the prize list in more of 25 countries ( moreover it is found since months in the top 10 of sales of CD in Quebec ). Well, the fans of this singular ' cocktail ' of pop and opera music will be satisfied this week : the four singers will take assault the Bell Center, in Montréal. However, not need to move you if you dont still have tickets or if you live so far, because " flash " to pick up the pictures ( videos ) of their performance, more of to meet Carlos,Sebastien, Urs and David before that they are presented front of the Quebecois public.

( La Semaine review )

#13 sarah1974


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Posted 13 February 2006 - 08:00 PM

Going over the top from fab to prefab


February 13, 2006
One of the latest brainstorms of "American Idol" auteur Simon Cowell, Il Divo offers a new variation on the prefabricated pop group. The hunktastic foursome is like the Three Tenors crossbred with the Backstreet Boys.

Each member is a young, broadly dynamic vocalist with a specific attribute. Tenor David Miller is the tall all-American one. Baritone Carlos Marin is the seductive Spanish one. Tenor Urs Buhler is the, uh, guy from Switzerland. And Sebastien Izambard is the baby-faced French pop star - the sole Divo who is not classically trained and who has hair grazing the collar of his Armani suit.
None of these details really mattered too much when the group made its New York debut at Radio City Music Hall on Friday night.

Touring behind its latest album "Ancora" (Sony), Il Divo works an airless shtick in which every stage move is plotted down to the last centimeter, every flourish attenuated, every element of actual personality airbrushed into show-biz blandness.

The idea is fun, at least. Much of Il Divo's repertoire takes what used to be called MOR (middle of the road) pop fare - hits like Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" and the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" - and rearranges it for mini-symphonic spectacle.

With a 24-piece orchestra and a small band, the music can swoop with string-driven drama or thump with a firm backbeat.

Each vocalist gets a turn or two, delivering lyrics in English, Italian, Spanish or French, and winds up to a brief, faux aria. It's not like anyone's perverting opera for the sake of a few million CD sales. Instead, the songs already are inherently operatic, if not in the same sense as genuinely operatic-style pop musicians like Bruce Springsteen, and certainly not in the style of rock operas like The Who's "Tommy."

The set design is grandiose. Spotlights crisscross each singer as he descends to the stage, posing before fake Roman columns that evoke the Caesar's Palace casino more readily than classical antiquity.

Frequent costume changes succeed as excellent product placement for Armani, and cause the suave designer Rat Pack associations to mutate to the Off-the-Rack Pack.

These low-carb Pavarottis put more gust than gusto into their game, and seem to channel every emotion through a one-dimensional abuse of the vibrato. Rarely is there a sense of anything that happens naturally.

Even the awkward comic timing of a few skits, meant to introduce each member and warm up the sold-out, mostly age-40-and-up house, appears rigged.

Despite all that, Il Divo fulfills a popular craving for clean-cut entertainment and does it so smoothly that, like some of today's margarines, you can't believe it's not butter.

Marin, whose lower register and Latin-lover maneuvers set him apart from his cohorts, tends to an overwrought oiliness. But, hey, at least he's memorable.

Given the premise of Il Divo, it's hard to know what its members would be like holding court in some Italian cafe. Onstage, it's only a scenario they get to joke about.

Opening act Hayley Westenra comes off more fully authentic. Her taste for Irish ballads and 1960s folk-pop can't be faulted (even if the choices are obvious), but neither can her spotless voice. No matter what she sings, the primary feeling expressed is one of breeze-kissed optimism. She'd be murder on the blues. Perhaps, the living really is easier in her native New Zealand.


#14 sonrisa_mia


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Posted 14 February 2006 - 07:06 AM


Caught live IL DIVO @ Radio City Music Hall - New York

IL DIVO are like the best joke ever told - and that's a
good thing.

They're hilarious,harmless,utterly OTT,but they have
just enough of a glint in their eyes to show they're in
on the joke to.

And the punchline? Creator Simon Cowell,gets paid as
band and audience both marvel at the fact they're
really here doing this.

In ludicrously sharp suits,band members Carlos Marin
and Urs Buhler,34,long with David Miller and Sebastien
Izambard,both 32,kicked off their world tour in New
York City.

With all the subtlety of a sledgehammer,the lads
performed the number that starts off quietly then
builds to a massive climax.Followed by the one that
starts off quietly and builds to massive - well,you get
the picture.

Regresa Mi,Hero and Isabel are all interchangeable,
but it's vastly entertaining and the Yanks love it of

Spaniard Carlos,37 is a force of nature on stage,
loved by me and the crowd :) And sorry boys,but the
other three are dispensable- Carlos ain't.

But these four can sing.They should just cut the forced
banter,the boy-band posturing and just sit on stools to
show us what they've got.

But it's my aunt and yours who love that sort of stuff
and they're the ones buying the music.[/color]


*there was a small black and white picture of Carlos
to accompany the article,with the words SHARP:Carlos
below it*

Qui peut dire où je serai demain?

#15 amy515



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Posted 14 February 2006 - 02:38 PM

Il Divo: opera meets pop, and the women adore it
Pretty-boy phenoms keep fans screamin'; A 9,500-strong audience at the Bell Centre mainlines every maudlin moment

Published: Thursday, February 09, 2006

What has eight legs and makes middle-age women scream?

Not a tarantula, but four well-razed, fine-suited, 30-something studs who make up the pretty-boy phenom Il Divo, an opera-meets-pop package put together by American Idol judge Simon Cowell.

If Celine Dion can put her premium pipes to the service of pop pap, why not these four Adonises? In fact, they sing with Dion on their latest album, Ancora, which soared to the top of the pop charts last month.

To their target audience, they are every mother's son - clean-cut, good-looking Chippendales in Armani who can sing. In several languages - and without expletives.

With a small string "orchestra" stage left and the heavy-duty drums, guitars and keyboards stage right, they launched into a predictable format where each strutted and soloed a few measures of various songs until it was time to combine for the big finale with mikes practically touching their tonsils. This was usually followed by a solo coda to wring the maximum poignancy from the piece. Standards like All by Myself were sung in various Romance languages as though it made the piece more "operatic." Unchained Melody, sung in Italian, sounded as if someone had castrated the Righteous Brothers.

A 9,500-strong audience of mostly older women at the Bell Centre last night mainlined every maudlin moment.

The whole was strung together with some trite patter along the line of "In my fantasy I see a world where everyone lives in peace," and unconvincing aw-shucks-style bonhomie. Even the pink panties thrown on stage seemed rehearsed. There was some schtick about meeting each other's mothers before launching into a tribute to "Momma," which had the audience ecstatic. Then, having tried every permutation of four singers - square formation, line astern, line abreast - they sat on the front of the stage, legs dangling, so breathless fans could rush up and shake their hands.

David Miller, a tenor from the U.S. with a BA in vocal performance and a masters in opera theatre, along with baritone Carlos Marin from Spain, who has had leads in such real operas as La Traviatia, came off as having vocal potential. The two other tenors, Sebastien Izambard from France, who is self-taught, and Urs Buhler from Switzerland, who was a former rock singer, did not measure up as well.

If crossover is meant to bring pop listeners to the classical music and vice versa, this is not going to do it.

Another classical crossover, Hayley Westenra, 18, said to be New Zealand's answer to Welsh diva Charlotte Church, who opened with a selection from her latest CD, Odyssey, sounded more of a Celine-style belter.

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#16 annie2101



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Posted 14 February 2006 - 04:56 PM

A UK Daily Telegraph review of the New York concert - no I don't understand either!!

Manhattan swoons to the 'popera' boys
(Filed: 14/02/2006)

Melissa Whitworth reviews Il Divo at Radio City Music Hall, New York

Il Divo have managed to do what Robbie Williams and Kylie couldn't - that is, conquer the lucrative US market. Millions of middle-aged American women have gone wild for the four Adonises who cover pop songs in quasi-operatic tones.

Il Divo: conquerers of America's lucrative middle-aged market

(Pic of the boys here)

The elusive American audience proved no match for Simon Cowell's manufactured but classically trained "popera" group after an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show last April. This month, Il Divo arrived in New York - one of 13 cities on the American leg of their first world tour - to promote their second album, Ancora.

Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall (where Barney the Purple Dinosaur also plays later this year) was sold out. In the lobby, fans could swig a strawberry "Divo Daiquiri" before taking their seats.

As Carlos (Spanish, baritone, the Casanova), David (American, tenor, the boy next door), Urs (Swiss, tenor, the pretty boy) and Sebastien (French, vox populi, the hunk) crooned Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart in Italian, a white-haired woman in one row wiped a tear from her eye. Each song followed the same formula; starting with one Divo taking a solo turn, then all four contributing to a full-throttle, ear-shattering crescendo, complete with strobe-light display and dry ice.

The audience's cheers and screams got louder. A female voice yelled: "We love you!" Throughout it all, Carlos's quiff and quizzically cocked eyebrow stayed in place. (His personal ambition, he says on their website, is "to have all the knickers on my wall of all the beautiful girls they throw to us on stage!")

Il Divo perform with a 20-piece orchestra and a "rock" band - pianist, bass, drums and two electric guitars. The two played an instrumental version of Live and Let Die while the boys jogged off stage to change out of one Armani suit into another.

All By Myself and Unchained Melody were sung in Italian, to the crowd's utter delight. There was much frenzied clapping, arms outstretched to the ceiling. Before one song, David said: "In my fantasy, I see a world where everyone lives in peace and harmony."

The concert wasn't entirely covers. They also performed I Believe, an "original Il Divo song", recorded with Celine Dion for Ancora. "This is the song I am most proud of," said Urs.

The worst thing about the night was the boys' banter between songs: staged, back-slapping exchanges bubbling with fake bonhomie and cheesy jokes. It could have been a comedy set on a cruise ship.

Mama, the penultimate song, was dedicated to all the mothers in the audience, "because," they said, "without our mums we would not be here tonight". The lyrics went: "I am what I am because of you/I miss you."

Then, just when it seemed the cringe factor had reached its peak, they belted out My Way, each holding a red rose. The fans were in raptures.
Posted Image
Thank you so much Kathy :) x

#17 annie2101



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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:34 AM

More press, although this one is more a summary of them to date: http://www.pridesour...l?article=17577

Fantastic Four
Il Divo continues their world domination with a world tour and a #1 sophomore disc, 'Ancora'
By Brandon Voss
Originally printed 1407 (Issue 1407 - Between The Lines News)

It was late 2003 when "American Idol" icon Simon Cowell concluded his two-year international talent search and joined the vocal powers of four established singers - Switzerland's Urs Buhler, Spain's Carlos Marin, France's Sebastien Izambard and the United States' David Miller - to form Il Divo (Italian for "male divine performer"), fearlessly melding pop and opera, modern and classic, skill and sex appeal for purposes of conquering the world.

Il Divo recently embarked on their long-awaited first world tour, which makes a local stop Feb. 16 at the Detroit Opera House. After their self-titled debut became a top five record in 26 countries (half of which reached No. 1), the multilingual megagroup's latest release, "Ancora," just debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts. Performed in four different languages - English, Spanish, French and Italian - "Ancora" features new music and revisited contemporary chestnuts such as Mariah Carey's "Hero" and Eric Carmen's "All By Myself."

"This second album will make the first one sound like a rehearsal," Carlos says, "because we know each other so well, we know which part is the best for each of our voices and we know what works best for Il Divo. It's much easier now. We recorded the first album in four months and recorded the second album in six weeks."

"We're all so different and have such different voices," says Carlos. "Each of us brings something special, and that is the magic of Il Divo. Also, we combine such different cultures, so we find different meanings in - and different ways of interpreting - the songs. The fact that we can express ourselves and touch people in different languages to make it more universal is such a great thing."

The group seems most proud of the track "I Believe in You (Je Crois En Toi)," a duet - or quintet, depending on how you look at it - that they recorded with Celine Dion.

"For our voices, we needed someone who was really powerful as well," says Sebastien. "It was incredible working with her."

While they've sold millions of records worldwide, Il Divo doesn't feel the connection with fans that they'd like - especially American ones. "We haven't had a lot of chances to meet our fans in the U.S. because we've never toured until now," David explains. "Plus, we haven't had the same notoriety here because there's such a heavy trend toward hip-hop and rap in this country. Trying to find a place for us is really difficult."

Like many other fledgling artists before and since, Il Divo credits Oprah with helping launch their career in the States. "That was the first major television appearance that we had," David recalls of Il Divo's performance of Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart (Regresa A Mi)" on Winfrey's talk show in April 2005. "That support got us out to the masses."

They'll also reluctantly admit that their roguish good looks play a part in their success. "Obviously, in the pop business you must have a look," says Carlos. "You must take good care of yourself and be a little metrosexual. People will see the cover of the album and say, 'Well, that looks good - let's see what's happening inside. Then, hopefully, they'll like what they hear. So it's really a combination of everything."

Sebastien, however, disagrees. "There are many singers who aren't good-looking who have had great success. Personality is much more important than looks. It's what's on the inside that counts."

I bring up the Three Tenors, the operatic trio that isn't exactly known for being easy on the eyes. "Their traditional style of singing allows for that old-fashioned look," counters David. "One half of what we do has to do with our look. It's all about what matches. If you were to put Blink 182 in our clothes on stage - or if you had us wearing ripped jeans and stuff - it would look ridiculous."

Of course, this argument begs the question: In a brawl between the Three Tenors, Blink 182 and Il Divo, who would win? "Hmm, I don't know," says David menacingly. "Sebastian's pretty scrappy." Sebastien's endearing reply: "What's 'scrappy' mean?"

A new levity in the room leads to a candid discussion on the price of international fame. "When you have success with a group like this, it's not so much the people in the group who change, but the people around it. Friends, family, people you haven't seen in years just call up, wanting something," says Sebastien. "Girlfriends from ten years ago," adds Urs. "And all the kids," jokes Carlos, getting a rise from the other boys.

I try to get each member of Il Divo to admit that he's the best singer in the group. But much to this reporter's chagrin, there's no competition in Il Divo, only camaraderie. "The thing is that we're all in our 30s," offers Carlos. "If we were 16, 18 years old, we could play that game. But we've got 10, 15 years of experience in our own solo careers, so we know what we can do. We don't need to show off."

Indeed, each gentleman was treading his own path to personal success before Cowell commissioned him to help make his grand vision a reality. Having sung lead with opera companies on four continents, David recently appeared on Broadway in Baz Luhrman's "La Boheme." A hard rocker as a teen, Urs spent seven years performing with the Amsterdam Opera. Carlos was a star of both Spanish opera and musical theater. The sole self-taught singer of the bunch, Sebastien is an established singer-songwriter with a pop-rock solo album under his belt.

They all met together for the first time only two days before they began recording their first album. While they're far from the Spice Girls, Il Divo hope to shake the stigma of being an assembled group with the new album and tour. "When people see us singing live they'll really get to see what Il Divo is all about," Urs says.

David, who's quick to point out their vocal role in the collaborative process, admits, "People are always trying to put us in that box of being 'manufactured,' but it's the same as putting together the cast of a ballet or an opera."

Adds Urs, "Simon Cowell had the idea of Il Divo, but we had to really make it happen."

A really, really nice article! 3 cheers for Gay Pride! :)

Posted Image
Thank you so much Kathy :) x

#18 captcrabde



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Posted 17 February 2006 - 08:36 AM

thought everone would like to see this review out of new york....i am one of these old ladies that love this group

Manhattan swoons to the 'popera' boys
(Filed: 14/02/2006)

Melissa Whitworth reviews Il Divo at Radio City Music Hall, New York

Il Divo have managed to do what Robbie Williams and Kylie couldn't - that is, conquer the lucrative US market. Millions of middle-aged American women have gone wild for the four Adonises who cover pop songs in quasi-operatic tones.

Il Divo: conquerers of America's lucrative middle-aged market

The elusive American audience proved no match for Simon Cowell's manufactured but classically trained "popera" group after an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show last April. This month, Il Divo arrived in New York - one of 13 cities on the American leg of their first world tour - to promote their second album, Ancora.

Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall (where Barney the Purple Dinosaur also plays later this year) was sold out. In the lobby, fans could swig a strawberry "Divo Daiquiri" before taking their seats.

As Carlos (Spanish, baritone, the Casanova), David (American, tenor, the boy next door), Urs (Swiss, tenor, the pretty boy) and Sebastien (French, vox populi, the hunk) crooned Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart in Italian, a white-haired woman in one row wiped a tear from her eye. Each song followed the same formula; starting with one Divo taking a solo turn, then all four contributing to a full-throttle, ear-shattering crescendo, complete with strobe-light display and dry ice.

The audience's cheers and screams got louder. A female voice yelled: "We love you!" Throughout it all, Carlos's quiff and quizzically cocked eyebrow stayed in place. (His personal ambition, he says on their website, is "to have all the knickers on my wall of all the beautiful girls they throw to us on stage!")

Il Divo perform with a 20-piece orchestra and a "rock" band - pianist, bass, drums and two electric guitars. The two played an instrumental version of Live and Let Die while the boys jogged off stage to change out of one Armani suit into another.

All By Myself and Unchained Melody were sung in Italian, to the crowd's utter delight. There was much frenzied clapping, arms outstretched to the ceiling. Before one song, David said: "In my fantasy, I see a world where everyone lives in peace and harmony."

The concert wasn't entirely covers. They also performed I Believe, an "original Il Divo song", recorded with Celine Dion for Ancora. "This is the song I am most proud of," said Urs.

The worst thing about the night was the boys' banter between songs: staged, back-slapping exchanges bubbling with fake bonhomie and cheesy jokes. It could have been a comedy set on a cruise ship.

Mama, the penultimate song, was dedicated to all the mothers in the audience, "because," they said, "without our mums we would not be here tonight". The lyrics went: "I am what I am because of you/I miss you."

Then, just when it seemed the cringe factor had reached its peak, they belted out My Way, each holding a red rose. The fans were in raptures.

#19 annie2101



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Posted 17 February 2006 - 05:16 PM

Another article - I say nothing....


In "popera," it's not over till the phat ladies' boys sing
By Patrick MacDonald
Seattle Times music critic

Classical music, especially opera, has done such a good job of making itself unapproachable, elitist and mysterious that many people feel shut out. The uninitiated feel intimidated about even attending a concert. What do I wear? When do I clap? Am I smart enough to get it? What if I hate it?

But when most people get a chance to hear a quality operatic voice, they're impressed, even moved — as long as the music isn't too "arty."

That's where "popera" comes in. The phenomenon of operatic-style pop singers — which reached its artistic peak with Andrea Bocelli, the blind crossover opera/pop star, and its commercial peak, so far, with Josh Groban — is a way for ordinary people to appreciate the classical form without all the baggage.

Crafty entrepreneur Simon Cowell, the meanie judge on "American Idol" who has presented everything from professional wrestlers to TV reality shows (like the short-lived "Cupid"), was smart enough to marry popera with the Chippendale dancers.

Voilà! Il Divo! (Divo is Italian for male diva.)

A year long international search yielded the handsome hunky quartet, which, while they don't strip, romances mostly female audiences with big voices and overwrought arrangements that ape opera.

The group is made up of Carlos, the Spanish Casanova; David, the all-American boy next door; Urs, the Swiss pretty boy; and Sebastien, the French hunk (they're identified only by their first names on their recordings). They all look sharp in Armani suits.

Cowell brought them around to all the right places — Oprah, Regis & Kelly, Martha Stewart, "The Young and the Restless" — to introduce them to a female audience too old for hip-hop but young enough to appreciate a good pop song.

By the time the first "Il Divo" album came out in the spring of 2005, the pump was primed. The disc surprised the recording industry by briskly selling 2 million copies. Its follow-up was last Christmas season's biggest holiday recording, "The Christmas Collection."

Il Divo's latest album, "Ancora," brought popera securely into the mainstream when it debuted at No. 1 in Billboard last month. It's well on its way to surpassing "Il Divo" in sales.

Most of the quartet's songs are in foreign languages. Il Divo's particular affectation is to take English-language hits and translate them into Spanish or French, apparently to make them more operalike.

Thus, on "Ancora," Eric Carmen's 1976 classic "All By Myself" (already with a melody borrowed from Rachmaninoff) becomes "Solo Otra Vez," and Celine Dion's hit "I Believe in You" is transformed into "Je Crois en Toi" (with Dion as guest artist).

Almost all Il Divo songs are the same. They start with a solo and end with a big, loud, dramatic quartet finish, augmented by a booming symphony orchestra.

Hayley Westenra, a young pop singer from New Zealand with an operatic-quality voice, will open the concert here on Wednesday in Benaroya Hall, where the Seattle Symphony plays (albeit without amplification, unlike Il Divo). Il Divo will be joined by a 20-piece orchestra and a four-person rock band.

The audience, sure to be at least 80 percent female, will be able to clap, scream and shout out, "We love you!" anytime they want.

Patrick MacDonald: 206-464-2312 or [email protected]
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Thank you so much Kathy :) x

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 06:00 AM

Il Divo delivers trademark sound to loving crowd

BY ROB HUBBARD Pioneer Press

In some ways, it's astounding someone didn't invent Il Divo earlier than they did. Pop music has a rich tradition of throwing strangers together and calling them a group — see the Monkees, Backstreet Boys, N'Sync — so why not turn that focus away from accruing babysitting money and go where the real cash is: The fans of "classical crossover" who contribute to public TV and have decidedly more expendable income.

So a group of producers that included Simon Cowell of "American Idol" combed Europe and the United States for four complementary personas who could become Il Divo. And the result has been a smash success, as evidenced by a sophomore album that debuted No. 1 on the pop charts and a tour that landed them at a sold-out Northrop Auditorium on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

And these thirty-something three tenors and a baritone played their roles quite well, albeit sans subtlety. But that's part of the Il Divo trademark: Suffuse each song with import and send an audience into a swoon. And, judging from the screams of the 4,700 in attendance — about 70 percent female and spanning four generations — it's a formula that works.

Looking something like a GQ cover shoot at the Acropolis, the 90-minute show consisted of pop songs sung in Romantic languages and a little English. And it was every bit as relentlessly overpowering as on the foursome's albums. Clad in black suits, the international ensemble (American, Spanish, Swiss and French) began almost every one of the ballads — and they were all ballads — in a soft and touching mode before building the song into a full-throated shouting match. While the Celine Dion treatment worked fine for Latinized versions of "Unbreak My Heart" and "All by Myself," it seemed more than a little inappropriate on tunes that beg for a gentle touch like the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" or a slice of Faure's "Requiem."

Two members of Il Divo are opera singers and two hail from the pop realm, so it's understandable if this group doesn't yet seem comfortable together onstage. Only baritone Carlos Marin possesses a measurable sense of swagger, delivering sly smiles and button-popping passion straight from the Engelbert Humperdinck school. When this crew inevitably disbands, look for him to keep a cult following.



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