The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia is known for bringing top notch performances to the area. From touring Broadway companies to world-renowned musicians, the city is in a continuous buzz over the next upcoming event to be held in the breathtaking, antiquestyle theatre at the Academy of Music, with its high rise balconies, golden red architecture and crowning chandelier. Just this past weekend, an event was held that more than lived up to the Centerʼs shining reputation. The Ten Tenors, an energetic and operatic group from Australia, visited the city on March 18 and 19 to liven even the most conservative Academy audiences. These ten attractive Aussies met in college while pursuing music studies; however, they learned that they had more fun fooling around with their musical skills off-stage, rather than professionally performing on-stage. Confident in their musical training and comedic skills, the group decided to take a risk by leaving school and pursuing careers in the music world. The chance was obviously worth taking, because The Ten Tenors have become a global phenomenon.
With sold-out performances in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia, the group has been touring relentlessly for the past several years. Their show ranges in its selection, from opera to songs from the disco group ABBA, and is presented with a definite sense of humor and camaraderie. The Tenorsʼ opening-night appearance in Philadelphia was nothing less than what is promised by this definition. They began with several intense arias, which allowed the audience members to hear the well-trained vocal skills of these men. By cementing their talents in the ears of the audience, the tenors were able to loosen up and bring listeners along for the ride. It wasnʼt long before feet tapped, hands clapped, and fans shimmied in their red-velvet seats. Each number ended in applause, which gradually grew to cheers and gushing squeals, and concluded in a standing ovation and encore.
Song selection was taken largely from their newest release Larger Than Life, as well as some crowd-pleasing favorites. They performed originalpenned numbers such as “Cast in Stone,” and “Destiny Lies,” a medley of Australian folk songs, and the classics “Funiculi Funicula” and “Nessum Dorma,” as well as tributes to The Bee Gees and Queen.
While the more somber numbers were performed simply in a horizontal line with ten microphones, or arranged systematically around the piano, others had a choreographed flair. The men moved with rhythm and ease, strutting across the stage much to the audienceʼs delight. Each new number was a surprise, and the group moved fluidly between musical styles, making flawless transitions between opera and rock ʻn roll. Occasionally they would pause between songs to chat and charm the audience with jokes and Australian accents. They even gave the audience a brief lesson in the Australian language, with English interpretations. There were also occasional jabs at each other and friendly competition in song and talent.
After the show, The Ten Tenors invited each and every member of the large audience to meet them in the lobby for autographs and pictures. The friendly guys chatted with every fan interested and didnʼt leave until the crowd had thinned out.
Altogether, The Ten Tenors treated Philadelphia audiences to a very pleasurable evening. They had the killer combination of incredible talent and charm, and could bring even the most skeptical audiences to their feet. For more information on the group and future appearances, visit www.thetentenors.com. Also, keep your eyes open for other events this season presented by the Kimmel Center.
Upcoming performances include “Peter Pan,” “Tim Conway & Harvey Korman – Together Again,” “Smokey Joeʼs Caf,” “Riverdance,” and “Evita.” Visit www.kimmelcenter.org for more information.