The last week of November is shaping up to be an exciting week of firsts for me and all of us in The Ten Tenors. Our first time performing in the Windy City, some of the first performances of our 2009 holiday show and, as we are all Australian, the first time for some of us to tuck into an authentic, home cooked Thanksgiving turkey.
Nostalgica is our latest album and the inspiration for our current show. This album and the show are made particularly special by the fact that the repertoire was actually chosen by our fans. We constantly receive mountains of song requests from all over the world. When we tallied these, a strong theme of reminiscent romantic songs from the 20th century appeared. Moon River, What a Wonderful World, Besame Mucho, songs that underscore charming memories in everyone’s lives; and powerful operatic numbers like Granada, all appear in the album and in the show. We’re also including audience favorites from Queen and the Rock ‘n’ Roll era to breathtaking moments from opera; and of course our Ten Tenor versions of the best Christmas pieces. We truly are excited and proud of the show we’re bringing to Chicago, it’s our best yet! And every single night, I’m not exaggerating here, I’ve had audience members tell me it’s the best thing they’ve seen for years.
Now, if you’ve not seen us before, it’s important you understand a little about how we expect you to behave at our show. We want you to forget about the beautiful surrounds of the theatre and our suave cuff-linked suits. Imagine yourself at a Bulls game and clap, cheer, dance and make as much noise as you can – although we find this usually happens spontaneously. Oh, and perhaps bring a few Kleenex to keep the mascara from running – if you’ve seen our show already you’ll know what i mean.
One question appears in almost every interview– do we actually get along as well as we appear to onstage? Hmm…trapped every day in stuffy dressing rooms with nine other opinionated, egotistical tenors – need I say more? Of course I’m joking. Imagine spending all year making great music and exploring the world with nine of your best mates. Our tours take us around the globe several times a year to amazingly diverse cultures on every continent, (well, we haven’t made it to Antarctica yet – our ‘penguin suits’ might be shown up by the genuine article.) Lion cubs in South Africa, speedboats through Norwegian fjords, mulled wine from German Christmas markets, Paella in Madrid and snow fields in the Rocky Mountains, sometimes in the space of one week – I’m not sure I can really call it work.
That being said, we do work very, very hard. Rehearsals every day, new material for every country, 4am media calls and of course the shows, sometimes 8 nights in a row, require a highly disciplined lifestyle of vocal and body maintenance. Also, as we are away for about 10 months every year; home, family and loved are greatly missed. As a great artist once said, “…we don’t get paid to sing – we’d do that for free. We get paid to leave our family and friends.”
Another exciting event taking place during our Chicago run is the culmination of Movember. A great privilege of being a successful international group is bringing vital exposure to important causes. Movember is a movement that started in our home country of Australia and has since spread right across the globe. Its aim is to raise awareness and vital funds for men’s health issues; namely prostate and testicular cancer and depression in men. We started November 1st clean shaven and have downed our razors for the entire month to grow a moustache – hence ‘mo-vember.’ So our chic James Bond looks have steadily changed into Tom Selleck meets Hulk Hogan. Since its beginning in 2003 Movember has raised $47 million making it the largest charity in the world specifically for men. We’d love you to visit our website to learn more about Movember, and check our you tube page to see a few fun videos on how our ‘mo-gressions’ are shaping up.
So, now there’s nothing left to do but put the turkey in the oven, grab a cup of yuletide cheer and we’ll see you at the Auditorium Theatre. Cheers!
Boyd Owen (The Ten Tenors)