Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our evening with The Tenors



(this is a publicity photo -- though I would have liked to have taken this shot!)

Our family are huge fans of The Tenors (formerly The Canadian Tenors).  Their Christmas CD "The Perfect Gift" is the one that gets played the most in our home at Christmastime; Jonathan even asked me to put it on earlier this week!

Back in the fall when I saw ads in the paper that they were coming to Kingston in February, I'd say, "Ooh, the Tenors are coming."  It wasn't exactly a hint (although I was definitely thinking we should consider going), but Richard took it as one, and on Christmas morning, he presented me with two tickets.  I cried!

Last night was the concert.  Rich's mom, and her niece who's visiting her, came over for the evening to look after the kids, which was a gift in itself.  And the performance was  wonderful.  I felt so proud of "our" Canadian guys -- humble, personable men from all different parts of our country.  They each had a chance to tell a bit of their own story and how they got into singing:  one is a Newfoundlander from a musical family; one had a mother who sang and a father who listened; one was coerced by an overzealous dad into singing at church; and one did his first performance inside a bathroom stall (an operatic rendition of "spaghetti bolognese" and other Italian dishes) while his female friends stood outside listening.  Whatever their individual journeys to where they are now, the result is truly awesome.  Their voices are powerful and pitch-perfect, and their harmonies are glorious.

(The Tenors:  Fraser, Victor, Remi, and Clifton.
This is the best pic I could get - excuse the distracting head of the person in front of us)

They performed quite a varied repertoire:  from operatic pieces like "O Sole Mio" and "Nessun Dorma" to pop numbers like Elton John's "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" and Canadian favourites like the Rankin Family's "Fare Thee Well, Love."

For me the most awesome part was the last section.  Fraser Walters did a beautiful, prayerful solo of "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables; the audience responded with a standing ovation.  Then he launched into "Amazing Grace":  his fellow Tenors sang their parts from different sections of the arena before rejoining him onstage.  And they closed with what is probably their most popular number:  Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."  This song has been covered so often that it's in danger of becoming a cliche, but their version is so fresh and strong, with each Tenor taking a verse before they join at the end.  When their voices harmonized on the last verse it was so beautiful and worshipful:

And even though it all went wrong,
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

Thanks, Tenors, for a wonderful evening.  Hope you come back to Kingston very soon!!

(row eleven - great seats!)

6 comments:

  1. that sounds like a wonderful evening! When it comes to Canadian singing groups, I've taken to Cadence and Great Big Sea. You listen to them, Jeannie?

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    1. I don't know Cadence at all; I'll check them out. Great Big Sea is, well, great. They give 110% every time they sing (to borrow a sports cliche).

      If you're interested in going a little farther afield geographically, I'd recommend Rajaton, a Finnish a capella group. (Maybe you've heard of them but I only discovered them last year.) Their song "Butterfly" is breathtaking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oghj7y4hluU

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    2. Well -- I must say, I'm intrigued! You two have given me some groups to check out. Looks like you had a great time, Jeannie! I'm so glad.

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    3. Thanks, Adriana - we go to concerts so seldom that this was a huge treat.

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  2. Here's the Cadence website (http://www.cadence-unplugged.com/index.php?page=home). Click on the record player at the lower left and you can hear some of their songs. You can skip ahead if you want to go through them quickly. Their cover of Straighten Up and Fly Right is outstanding.

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