Saturday 21th August 2004
Songs to fall in love with, songs to fall in love to…
Simon Cowell‘s Syco Music today launched IL Divo; a new international operatic vocal group with four of the most exceptional voices in the World. Il Divo (literally meaning Divine performer - or a male Diva) will perform operatic arrangements of romantic popular music which will include their debut single ‘Regressa Mi‘ - also known as the Toni Braxton smash hit ‘Unbreak My Heart‘.
The band were formed after a worldwide search which took more than 2 years. Rehearsals and recording sessions took place during the first half of 2004 in London, where all of Il Divo currently live. Some of their songs will be familiar like ‘Nella Fantasia‘ (based on Gabriel‘s Oboe from Ennio Morricone‘s penned score of The Mission) and ‘A Mi Manera‘ (Frank Sinatra‘s ‘My Way‘), however there are also a number of original tracks by some of the most prolific songwriters and producers in the world.
The single ‘Regressa Mi‘ will precede the album which will be released on the 1st Nov and their Global reveal was on the prestigious Parkinson show on Saturday 18th September 2004.
David Miller, tenor (USA), is a graduate of Oberlin conservatory in Ohio where he took a BA in Vocal Performance and a Masters degree in Opera Theatre. For the last 10 years he has been based in New York and has sung over 45 operatic and music theatre leading roles with opera companies all over South and North America, Australia and Europe including Tony in Westside Story at La Scala in Milan. Most recently, he appeared on Broadway as Rodolfo in Baz Luhrman‘s acclaimed production of Puccini‘s La Boheme.
Sebastien Izambard, vox populi (France) is the only self-taught singer in the group. He is also an accomplished songwriter who plays guitar and piano. He has lived in Paris and produced for many other French artistes. In 2001 he performed with Johnny Haliday as a guest in his sold-out performances at the Paris Olympia. In 2002 Sebastien played one of the leading roles in the Richard Cocciante penned musical Le Petit Prince. He was working on a solo album when he joined Il Divo in 2003 and plans to contribute original material to the group‘s repertoire.
Urs Buhler, tenor (Switzerland), began singing publicly aged seventeen with Conspiracy, a hard rock band based in his home town of Luzern, where he attended the Academy for School and Church Music. He later moved to Amsterdam, where he studied Voice at the Amsterdam Conservatory under the tutorage of Udo Reinemann. Urs also benefited from private tuition with the late Swedish tenor, Gösta Winbergh and the French tenor, Christian Papis. In addition to a season at the Salzburg Festival, where he sang with the choir under the direction of Claudio Abbado, Urs has spent the past seven years in Holland singing oratorios and performing with the Netherlands Opera.
Carlos Marin, baritone (Spain), Based in Madrid, he established a considerable reputation singing leading roles in the Spanish versions of Les Miserables, The Man from La Mancha and Beauty and The Beast. After vocal masterclasses with Alfredo Kraus, Monserrat Caballe and Jaime Aragall, in recent years Carlos has charmed audiences worldwide and won critical acclaim as ‘primo baritono‘ in many operas, including renowned works such as La Traviata, The Barber of Seville, La Bohème and Madame Butterfly.
In 2001, an idea was conceived for a mould breaking quartet: 4 exceptional young men with formally trained voices who could take popular songs, old and new, to another level where the historic rift between pop and classical music is finally healed. The band were born in December 2003 after a worldwide search and christened Il Divo. Their multi-national identity reflects the universal appeal of the music.
Although the music varies widely in style and genre there is one common theme - ROMANCE. What makes the music soar is the heartstopping quality of the vocal performances and arrangements. Il Divo remind us that great aria‘s and classic pop songs are but two sides of the same coin. The 4 principals share the lead throughout, combining to deliver choruses whose awesome power is matched by their tonal delicacy.
Reflecting the multi-national character of the group, the songs are not all sung in English - but drift between Spanish, English and Italian. However they are worded, all use the emotional Esperanto of love.
THE LAST WORD
‘The idea of this band is like a woman: enchanting, unpredictable and never the same.‘ Seb
‘It reminds me of Queen without the guitars.‘ Urs
‘We‘re just four guys with trained voices doing what we do best! Since we got into the studio the Il Divo sound has just evolved and what we‘ve now created is something completely new and extremely exciting.‘ David
‘There are only four of us - but the sound we make could be mistaken for a whole opera.‘ Carlos