Il Divo's comeback bigger than ever

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 March, 2012, 12:00am


Il Divo first took Hong Kong by storm in 2009 with their virtuoso blend of operatic technique and romantic pop. The four windpipes made a glorious comeback last Sunday at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Dressed in stylish suits, French pop singer Sebastien Izambard, Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, Swiss tenor Urs Buhler and American tenor David Miller appeared onstage to a rapturous welcome.

Il Divo tapped their multinational identity throughout the two-hour show, singing 21 songs in English, French, Italian and Spanish. Luckily, translation wasn't necessary because the singers were so expressive.

The lovely evening began with Come What May (Te Amare), from their latest album Wicked Game. It was followed by famed composer Ennio Morricone's harmonious Nella Fantasia and Si Tu Me Amas.

After successfully tackling favourites like Somewhere from West Side Story, Il Divo took on Andrew Lloyd Webber's Don't Cry For Me Argentina and the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody. Unsurprisingly they performed the songs perfectly. After all, they did, win Artist of the Decade at the Classic Brit Awards last year.

Of course, the audience swooned with delight at hit song Every Time I Look at You, but it was an emotional rendition of Frank Sinatra's signature My Way (A Mi Manera) that brought everyone to their feet.

The concert had its share of awkwardly amusing moments, when Sebastien sang The Wheels on the Bus to prove he was a nursery rhyme expert and good father to his three children. The crowd - mainly the females - gladly sang along.

After the interval, Carlos launched into La Vida Sin Amor - displaying the most expressive eyebrows in show business. While Sebastien showed off his dance moves during a salsa-tinged slow burner, a dozen Japanese female fans clad in kimonos swayed in the front row, waving glow sticks and flowers.

Il Divo sat down for Mama, dedicated to all mothers, and Hallelujah, inspiring a near-transcendent moment of beauty before passing the microphone to the audience.

During a Q-and-A session (in a once-in-a-lifetime chance for two lucky fans), David sweetly said he was happy to see the classical-crossover genre making its way east.

To bid Hong Kong farewell, Il Divo fittingly sang classic love song Time to Say Goodbye.