Ten Tenors Pitch it High
was hard to know just what to expect from the Ten Tenors as I entered
the decadently Deco Pantages Theater (6233 Hollywood Blvd) last night
for the opening of “The Ten Tenors”– the high pitched
“met-each-other-in-music-conservatory” nearly a decade ago “Boy
Band” from “Down Under.” Is
Australia two short of a dozen Andrea Bocelli’s?
Should there be a warning for anyone prone to hypo-glycemea?
What have Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carraras wrought– when they
started their Three Tenors stadium frenzy years ago.
Add that to a decade (or is it two) of “the guys” doing
everything from God knows how many “Mo tenors...” to the Full
Monty, to Cable’s Strip Search and you get a strange recipe for
camaraderie and eye-candy and swoon-sation.
While The Ten Tenors were neither beef-cake nor bel canto
they do turn in a solid show in it’s genre.
show is proof positive that vaudeville is not dead, that P.T. Barnum
is alive, and that Las Vegas is only a hop across the desert.
I must admit that on their first entrance in their black suits
I thought – “Oh yeah, hit men!
They’re gonna hit high notes.”
(Actually I thought they had maybe flown in those suits and
maybe somebody could press them.) I also couldn’t help but wonder in this day of over-miked
everything, if anyone had thought of body-mikes instead of ten
hand-held mikes manipulated like so many synchronized tiny dumb-bells.
The sound engineering of the show could be fine tuned.
It was better further back in the house than in the front.
But the synthesizer accompaniment, while skillfully rendered,
at times overpowered the voices– which were all worth hearing.
group stays in perpetual motion singing excellent arrangements for the
ten high voices– juxtaposed with songs that feature various
performers most effectively. As
the evening progresses the “onslaught” of “all those tenors”
allows the personalities of individuals to come through.
Each one of the ten has his own sound– and the arrangements
showcase all. The most
effective pieces musically are the arrangements of original musical
material along with unique ten tenor visits to songs by Queen and
Simon and Garfunkel. Their
pop arrangements are sung lyrically and quite beautifully.
is not a night at the opera– although the group pays homage with
several arrangements of operatic duets and arias.
Some of the voices could probably approach opera– with a
different kind of discipline. (Don’t forget the fact that opera, as
Rossini said, is all about “Voce, voce, voce!” (That’s
unamplified voce, voce, voce.)