4 tenors deliver wide appeal

Popular songs show off diverse talents of Canadian singers

February 07, 2010|By Mary Johnson | Special to The Baltimore Sun

The Anne Arundel Community Concert Association brought the Canadian Tenors, performers with wide appeal, to its first concert of 2010.

Those who attended the Jan. 6 concert at Severna Park High School expecting a Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras-like tenor group might initially have been disappointed to hear this quartet, whose repertoire was more popular than operatic. But they were probably won over by the group's program of current international hits.

The Canadian Tenors are Fraser Walters, Remigio Pereira, Clifton Murray and Victor Micallef. All four have had some classical training, with Micallef and Periera having the most extensive operatic experience. They all utilize operatic technique in their presentation, but they also enjoy pop and rock music.

Having spent his early years in a gospel choir, Murray reminded us that a tenor doesn't have to sing opera. In fact, many tenors can be found in rock music - perhaps most famously Sting.

Walters' diverse background includes having been a member of the 12-member a cappella Chanticleers and later singing the role of Tamino in "Magic Flute" before playing Halder in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."

At the AACCA concert, Walters also delivered some fine piano work when the regular accompanist took a break, and Pereira offered some great guitar playing.

The Canadian Tenors offered a family-friendly show that displayed their versatility in various music styles and reflected their multicultural heritage, singing in English, French, Spanish and Italian. They call their music "crossover," which proved to be a pleasant excursion into often-unfamiliar territory. Although it is not music to hum along with, it is appealing as done by this group, which takes the weight and seriousness out of classical music and blends it with pop orchestration to create a distinctive sound.

Highs of the evening included a compelling opening number called "Because We Believe." Other highlights were Pereira's singing of the Neapolitan songs "O Sole Mio" and later "No ti scordar di me" (Don't forget me), as well as the group's performance of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

With the Canadian Tenors' program, AACCA reached the midpoint of its 58th season, and two weeks later AACCA's sister South County Concert Association reached its halfway point with pianist Thomas Pandolfi. The Anne Arundel Community Concert Association has a reciprocal arrangement with the South County group whereby subscribers to one series can attend the other free.

If you go
Still to come at AACCA are Wood's Tea Company performing bluegrass, Celtic tunes and folk songs Feb. 16, and Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band on April 19.

SCCA will present Pasadena Theatre Company's "1776" on Feb. 21, National Concert Band of America on March 21 and Nearly Neil (Diamond) on April 20.

The Feb. 16 concert is $20; "Nearly Neil and The Solitary Band" is free for those who sign up for a 2010-2011 season subscription.

For more information, call Gale Gillespie at 410-647-4881 or Grace Shapiro at 410-263-9553.

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