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Viva Popera!

img  Tobias

Maybe we're telling you nothing new with this item, but there's just no way around reporting on what without any doubt is already now the Classical sensation of 2005. "Il Divo" are an international quartet of singers, who have just released their first CD. Their eponimously titled debut reached the number four spot in the US-charts, which, the group's management claims, is the highest entry for any British band. Which is a bit of an oddity, 'cause the four-piece consists of one Swiss and one French member, an American and a Spaniard. The only thing British about them is their producer, Simon Crowell, who shot to national fame by his involvement in "Popo Idols" and as a manager to Chart-bomb Gareth Gates. Il Divo have also been ecstatically received in Canada and the UK, where they even got hold of the top slot of the Charts. Total sales of the album have long surpassed one million copies. After the success of their first single, a Spanish version of the Tony Braxton smash "Unbreak my Heart", the next release will be "Mama", a song written especially for the ensemble, which will come as a DVD with the Video and a "Making Of".

What should one think of Il Divo? Well, as the video of "Regresa a mi" and an outtake of "Mama" are freely available on the Internet, you can go and find out yourself. One thing's for sure: This attempt at mixing Classical and Pop music will have to be taken more serious than the Ten Tenors or, say, Bond. The reason for this is the sheer professionalism of the production and the quality of these four voices. The result is that quite a lot of Opera fans are warming up to this product - see the review of Steve Huff, for example, who claims that Il Divo have given Popera a bit of balls again. We tend to disagree. Take "Regresa a mi", which paved the way for their success. Until the moment the four voices come together in the second chous, this is a watered down version of the original classic, which saw Tony Braxton in one of the most enthralling and perfectly realised vocal performances of the entire 90s. When they do come together, the song falls apart - because these (admittedly beautiful) voices burry a song under them, which was inititally a desperate cry for help. It's the same question one keeps facing: What's it going to be - the broken realism of pop or the magnifying-glass of Opera?

Noones going to get hurt by this music, but only few will truly get touched. Il Divo have indeed created something new and their approach is more delicate than any previous attempt. But we're still waiting for a fully convincing mixture.

And now, decide for yourself.

Homepage: Il Divo
Source: Zisch
Source: Blogcritics

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