They have a new look and they are set to impress. The Ten Tenors are back at Port Panthers this month, with a blend of contemporary and classical music to delight the ears. Keane Fletcher tells us more …
The Tenors have a new look … tell us about it.
We have just had a whole range of new suits made up by a Brisbane company called The Cloak Room. We have sexed up the suits a bit and tried to edge away from the typical tenor in a tuxedo kind of look. We have streamlined it and made our look more contemporary and appealing.
You are coming to Port Macquarie to perform in August, as part of a regional tour – which you haven’t done for a few years. Why was it important to return to these areas?
I have only been with the group for 2 years now, so when I joined the group I reaped the benefits of joining a group with a great framework for touring and a great reputation on an international level.
But back in the early days of the Ten Tenors, they got their start touring the smaller regional towns. That was kind of their thing, where they were taking classical music and vocal ensembles to regional towns that normally didn’t get to experience acts like them outside of the big cities like Sydney and Brisbane.
So now that we have had some success, we are looking forward to returning to the regional areas and paying homage to locals who have followed the Ten Tenors all these years.
There are quite a few members who are new to the group. Are new members sought often, or when members move onto different careers after the Tenors?
It is a great platform for new classical crossover singers who want to get a bit of touring experience under their belt. The group has started to embrace this new contemporary sound and younger look, so there have been a few opportunities for younger guys to come on board.
What do you mean by classical crossover singers, and why are the Tenors going down that path?
The group started as there was a group of guys studying at the Queensland conservatorium of music; they were styling Classical music, and they wanted to branch out of study and do some performing and earn some money – while also making a name for themselves. There are none of the original Tenors left now, so the legacy had to evolve … and as they grew, they attracted more interest from younger singers. So the group and music is changing.
What can audiences expect to see at your show at Panthers?
First of all, it’s not what you think when you first think of Tenors! It’s not going to be ten guys standing on stage singing opera arias and waving hankies (laughs). The show has a lot of contemporary music in it, like Queen and Meatloaf.
We are trying to take the good things of opera, like the big sounds and dramatic moments, hearing the Tenor hit the high note and the audience thinks he is going to crack … he doesn’t … and the crowd goes wild! We take that and apply it to songs that have the same dramatic structure, like Bohemian Rhapsody, Anything for Love; these songs are all big songs. So, that’s what we mean when we say Tenor – we don’t mean opera diva.
The Tenors have released a new album, Double Platinum?
Yes, the new album was out on 15 July, Australia wide and on iTunes.
What are the new surprises on the album?
Oh, I can’t tell you all of them, but I’ll tell you one. We are singing a few songs that we have never done before live – one of them is Hey Jude, so that will be a new live song for the audiences.
We have just chosen a few new songs to perform that people would assume we would sing for an album.
It’s quite an eclectic album. The first disc is more contemporary songs, and the second is more classical – it appeals to a broader audience then before, I think.
The group were asked to perform for Oprah when she arrived on Whitehaven Beach to begin her Australian tour. That must have been very exciting!
WOW, yes! That was an intense day, and it all happened in the space of about 4 hours! We had to catch to boat from Hamilton Island to Whitehaven Beach and it was a big secret, and so we couldn’t say anything. We had to wait on the beach until she arrived – Curtis Stone was there setting up and cooking. It was a real whirlwind experience!
We got a new look for the beach, so that we wouldn’t get too hot and sweaty (laughs), and we also put together a new arrangement of Waltzing Matilda, which was great.
Having travelled Internationally with the group, where is one of the most memorable places you have been to ?
I always get asked this question, and after the interviews I always think of somewhere better – or I should have said something different!
So what are you going to say?
We performed at the Oslo Opera House, and that was pretty amazing. We had to catch a boat to the stage, and the audience is seated on the banks of ocean; that was pretty amazing.
Oprah was a great experience, and also coming up we have a performance at the Opera House. I am looking forward to that, as the group hasn’t performed there in a while – and it is just so great to perform in our own country. Of all the countries in the world, Australia is where we perform least. So it is nice to be on the road at home again.
What do you love most about being part of such an unusual, diverse and entertaining singing group?
Well, I love getting to sing in the big show every night; it is such a great opportunity for a young singer to have that platform to train your voice and experiment with a new repertoire.
As there are ten guys in the group, everyone has ideas on what we should sing, and how we should sing it. So it is really great being exposed to that, while being in a creative and secure environment on stage. You know, it’s small, but it’s big, and it’s not often that there are 10 leads in the show! But … there is with us, and everyone is as important as the next, so there is a lot of support there.