I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this past Valentine’s weekend than seeing The Tenors perform with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, led by maestro Jack Everly. I had the great pleasure of attending the Printing Partners Pops Series concert Saturday at Hilbert Circle Theatre.
I last saw the trio of singers, formerly known as the Canadian Tenors, when they performed in 2016 at Clowes Memorial Hall. At the time, there were four in the group. The current members are Fraser Walters, Victor Micallef and Clifton Murray. Having performed in over 1,000 live shows and countless live TV shows on five continents, the award-winning vocalists have achieved great renown through their unique repertoire, impressive harmonies and physical appeal. Those same, distinct qualities were certainly abundant in a program that blended classical music with contemporary pop.
The always-captivating ISO opened the concert with “Festive Overture” by Dmitri Shostakovich prior to the entrance of The Tenors. Dressed in well-tailored suits, with Maltese-Canadian opera singer Micallef wearing his trademark hat, the trio strode onto the stage before launching into a fast-paced set that not only showcased their superb voices and remarkable versatility, but also their seasoned showmanship.
In a concert filled with variety, there were several selections that really stood out. They included “Parla Piu Piano,” “Instrument of Peace,” a stunning rendition of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma,” a Smokey Robinson medley, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and “My Way,” made famous by Frank Sinatra.
In a nod to the evening’s celebration of love, the ISO closed the concert on a romantic note with Richard Rodgers’ “My Funny Valentine,” followed by Arthur Schwartz’s “Dancing in the Dark,” and Henry Mancini’s “Moon River.”
Making for a completely unexpected conclusion to a highly entertaining evening and one of the most unpredictable, not to mention powerful moments I have ever experienced in a live performance, was The Tenors encore number. Thanks to the 2018 Oscar-nominated (Best Picture and Best Actor) biopic of the legendary band Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the film’s title song has become more popular than ever. Backed by the ISO, The Tenors’ interpretation was explosive, leaving me and as far as I could tell, the entire audience absolutely stunned. It was a bravura performance I will long remember for its passion and potency. Freddie Mercury lives!