Canberra Theatre 21st December 2021.
Evening performance reviewed by Bill Stephens
Unarguably one of Australia’s most successful vocal ensembles, The Ten Tenors, have been constantly touring Australia and overseas for over 25 years. However Covid travel restrictions ultimately brought an abrupt end to their touring just as the group arrived in San Paolo to embark on sold-out tour of Brazil in 2020.
Similarly an extensive Australian tour was interrupted with performances having to be re-scheduled when the group were again forced into lockdown in July 2021. After two Covid-enforced cancellations the group finally fulfilled its Canberra commitments with two performances on December 21st, which were given enthusiastic receptions by large, loyal audiences.
Among the many reasons why The Ten Tenors have remained so popular over the years is the quality of the vocal arrangements. These distinctive arrangements, the work of Stephen Baker, cleverly capitalise on the different qualities of the voices within the ensemble, and while individual voices are highlighted within the arrangements, the superb vocal blending of the ensemble is often spectacular. Despite the inevitability of personnel changes over the years, the obvious care taken in selecting replacement voices has allowed the integrity of the arrangement to be maintained.
As this was a
celebratory program, it included a generous selection of the group’s most
popular items among them several of Baker’s excellent medleys. In the current
line-up Michael Dimovski, Michael Edwards, Boyd Owen and Cameron Barclay all
possess fine operatic voices, superbly featured in the medley of operatic arias
and choruses which open the show. Daniel Belle, Adrian Li Donni, JD Smith,
Riley Sutton and Sam Ward display their impressive musical theatre experience
in the crowd-pleasing “Queen” and “Diva” medleys, the latter of which interwove
no fewer than 22 songs usually performed by women, but marvellously interpreted
in this show by the entire ensemble.
However it was Jared Newall, who spent some of his lock down in Canberra starring in a fine local production of “Jersey Boys” for whom the Canberra audience reserved its most enthusiastic applause, particularly during the “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons” medley which predictably raised the roof.
Slick choreography, disciplined staging, polished microphone technique, attention to diction, excellent lighting and superb sound, all added gloss to an exceptional program superbly presented by an outstanding ensemble which knows what it takes to keep a loyal audience coming back for more.
This review also appears in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW. www.artsreview.com.au