Media previews/reviews and fan reviews of Il Divo's concert in Toronto, Canada ( those mentioning Hayley!), should be posted in this thread, together with any follow-up comments.
Please stay on topic to this concert; off topic matters can be discussed in a more suitable thread or board. If something in here prompted it, you can either quote an extract from it in the new post, or easily add a clickable link back to here, where it started.
Posts that start or drift seriously off topic may be edited or moved by the forum staff. Let's try to make it easy for people to follow what's happening on this important tour for Hayley!
Here is one of the first reviews of the Il Divo concert in Toronto yesterday and the first to give an actual (albeit brief) opinion of Hayley's performance instead of just saying blandly that she opened. They also spelled Hayley's name 100% correctly! If that's all you want to read about, scroll to the end of the review
The comments made by Steve and Roger in another thread are expanded upon here - chaos at the start, it seems. It's disgraceful that, when the audience was delayed in taking its seats, Hayley was made to perform anyway -before everyone was seated. Better than them missing her altogether though, I suppose. But the reviewer liked her!
"Live Review: Il Divo in Toronto ACC, Toronto - February 6, 2006 By BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun
TORONTO -- When the panties started flying toward the stage, Il Divo's Carlos Marin beamed.
"Just like Tom Jones," the Spaniard exclaimed. "Yeahhhh."
The heartthrob factor notwithstanding, a strong mathematical argument can be made that the hottest musical group on the planet isn't U2, or INXS, or Bon Jovi, or the Super Bowl-censored Rolling Stones.
It's Il Divo, which played its first Canadian concert last night at the Air Canada Centre. The venue was truncated to provide an intimate setting for about 9,000 wedged-in fans.
Il Divo is not to be confused with Devo, or that kiddie abomination Devo 2.0, and good lord, not Bell Biv Devoe.
We're talking 'bout Il Divo, four good-looking dudes in their 30s from four different countries whose combination of pop and opera -- dubbed "popera" -- has topped charts around the world.
Il Divo may not have the political activism of U2, or the Canadian connection of INXS. They may not have the rock-star stylings of Bon Jovi, or the five-decade cachet of the Stones.
But Il Divo, which was put together by venomous American Idol judge Simon Cowell, has tapped into a market that apparently was aching to be tapped.
Il Divo's second CD, Ancora, still is in the top 10 in Canada and last week it went to No. 1 in the United States.
Of the 9,000 in attendance last night, about 80% were female. And while it seemed as if 80% of that 80% were over the age of 30, you wouldn't have known it from the girlish squeals.
There's no scientific method to measure this, but the most screams seemed to be reserved for Morin and France's Sebastien Izambard. Rounding out Il Divo are American David Miller and Urs Buhler of Switzerland.
All four have voices as big as the sky and highlights included the never-say-die Unchained Melody and Everytime I Look At You. But I Believe In You lost some of its majesty without Celine Dion, who sings on the recorded version. And overall there was a little too much echo in the building for the four singers and their accompanying 30-member orchestra.
The stage (classic columns and stairs) was sort of cheesy, and most of the group's between-song banter was heavily scripted and awkward. The Rat Pack they ain't, but language limitations are partly to blame and Il Divo should be able to improve upon that as its career continues.
A technical problem caused a lengthy delay for people waiting to take their seats prior to the show. The ACC corridors were jammed with the aged and the irritated, and it was hilarious to see 6-foot-10 Raptors forward Matt Bonner trying to fight his way toward the team's practice facility.
Sadly, most people still were scrambling to their seats when 18-year-old classical songstress Hayley Westenra of New Zealand provided an admirable opening set."
So, it seems the reason for the audience not being settled when Hayley opened the show was largely due to "technical difficulties". Frankly, any venue which plays host to 9000 people should have the ability to ensure that any such technical difficulties are overcome before the concert is due to begin.
Here in the UK, it is generally accepted (and usually sign posted) that late-comers shall not be permitted to enter the auditorium until there is a suitable break in the program. However, ticket prices are not cheap for the Il Divo concerts and I believe everyone has a right to expect that the concert will begin on time and without disruption for technical incompetance for that, it seems, it what this amounts to.
It's time for another batch of fan review quotes copied from the Il Divo official forum, all of them pretty complimentary as far as I can see. And I'm not picking only complimentary reviews out... these are all I can find.
Winnie: Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:37 am
Haley came out and sang - started a bit late casue of set problems, but it was fine. Haley was fine, and then....The boys came out!
si_fan: Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:59 am:
HELLO!!!! We gave them a typical Canadian welcome: 1. Snow (we haven't had any in weeks - we've had rain like Vancouver) 2. -5 deg. Celsius, -15 with the wind chill (thank goodness we have Tim Hortons! (it's a coffee shop - Tim Horton's was a hockey player...) Show was supposed to start at 7:30 but due to technical difficulties, we were about 15 minutes behind. Haley started singing at 7:45 p.m. and sang until 8:15 p.m.
primdonna: Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:23 am
Made the drive safely back to Woodstock about an hour ago...yes, the concert was over way too early!!!! With the technical difficulties they kept everyone out of the theatre proper...we weren't even in our seats when Hayley started to sing. Carlos microphone failed briefly, and I thought the lighting could have been better for him most of the night, and for all of the boys at one time or another. I had section 121 row 2 - so assumed there would be people sitting in front of me...there was no row 1 for that section...but there was an usher and the main aisle for floor access right beside me...so couldn't even see Hayley's first couple of songs...and the usher kept giving me the evil eye...I snuck in a few pics with my 35 mm and hopefully will have something tomorrow...
Kirsten: Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:09 am
Ahhh...where to begin...Hayley was so amazing that I didn't think I could handle any more, so I left before the Divos came on. That's it...no more... [More from Kirsten in the next message down... ]
Mya: Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:40 pm
Definitely and absolutely one of the best concert I have ever been, not to mention I have got the best seats in the house, first row on the centre floor... There were some tensions in the air and around the main venue entrance when the clock shows 7:30pm and we have not started seating yet at that time. Rumors said that there has been some confusion some doors that are not working. But we did start seating by around close to 7:45pm and the opening act Hayley Westenra start her part almost immediately while ushers still directing people to their seating arrangement. And by the way, she sounded amazing...They did pick the right opening act!
MaryK: Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:08 pm
I beleive all the previous reports have covered everything on last night's concert. I just wanted to say that I thought that Hayley Westenra was very lovely and her voice was wonderful, so clear and pure. As for the guys, they were totally amazing.
I found reading this next (latest) fan review from the Il Divo forum to be most enjoyable... some people just have a way with words so this quote from Kirsten's review is much bigger than usual - but it *is* only an extract! You can read her complete review here and if you are puzzled by her references to the Cougar and the Cub, all is revealed!
"Kirsten: Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:22 pm
...We then bought a drink to take in with us, and we had a good laugh there. Is it just the Air Canada Centre policy or is this what’s become of society at sporting events when you want to buy a bottle of water, but they take away the cap? Turns out, if you were to make the bottle a projectile object, it would fly farther and hurt the intended target more with the cap on as opposed to off. Who knew? And how did the concession stand woman tell me that information with a straight face? And what engineer got paid big bucks to figure that out anyway? Now I know where my tax dollars are going…
As mentioned before, there was a delay getting in, so Connie and I were standing in a sea of older couples and sweet little old ladies with their canes. I felt quite out of place. Especially when one woman nailed me with her cane, because I guess I was in her way. Evil elder… When the crowds were finally allowed in, people were jostling around so much, every person holding a capless water bottle got a nice cold shower. It was like one big wet T-shirt contest. Not a pretty sight…
Walking to the front row, we met some other Divas, including AliUrs, Myra and her mom. But Hayley was beginning to come on, so I had to scramble to my seat. It totally sucked that I had to sit by myself in the 11th row. I looked at the people sitting around me. Who was I going to grab when I heard Carlos live for the first time? Or when I saw Sebby? On one side of me, I had two couples there together who talked constantly about the Aerosmith concert they were last at. Say what? Were these people lost? I must admit that they looked strange wearing jeans and cut-off shirts surrounded by all of us classy people *cough cough*. The two seats on my other side were empty for a while.
Once Hayley began singing, the man beside me promptly fell asleep. What an amazing voice she has!!! I’m definitely going to buy her album. Her pianist was frightening me a little bit. I think he believes he’s Jerry Lee Lewis. He was getting so into it, I almost expected him to either pull out a match and set fire to the piano during her final song or have a stroke. Have you ever been anywhere where you’re trying desperately not to laugh, and the people around you are so focused and serious? I commend myself for keeping my composure, considering there were two women in front of me with those opera glasses perched on their noses. I hoped I didn’t applaud too enthusiastically when Hayley announced it was her last song. Sorry sweetie…but get off the stage and make room for the big boys. I always pity the opening acts no matter how good they are. After she finished, to my shock and amazement, this older couple behind me stands up and says goodbye – they had only come to see Hayley!!! Are these people insane??? Do they not realize how many Divas would have amputated a limb to get their seats?
Then, to make matters worse, I discovered who was sitting on my other side: the Cougar and Cub who had spent Hayley’s set sucking back a few too many Chardonnays. They were on the aisle, and I swear the Cougar could barely sit up in her seat. They had also brought more wine back to the seats with them. It’s funny how I used to be horrified by those beer-swilling hooligans at most sporting events – you know, the ones who throw projectile water bottles – but these two women put them to shame. They spent the intermission plotting how they were going to get Urs’ attention and I actually feared for his safety. At this point, I ran back up to the front to tell them all how much I hated them that they were so close to the stage , gave MaryK and her sister-in-law a big wave (nice tan! ) then ran back to my seat. Hard to believe that Winnie was sitting less than ten feet away from me and we didn’t meet. Our Diva radars must have had interference from the speakers.
I don’t even know what to say about the concert. It was a blur... "
Here's an Il Divo review not mentioning Hayley... but it does have an interesting "take" on their stage show (that I wasn't aware of and some of us will soon be watching ) so I think we can risk reprinting it. (Courtesy of Google Alerts, of course!)
MUSIC Hey, hey, we're Il Divo: Opera meets boy band J. D. CONSIDINE
Special to The Globe and Mail Il Divo At the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Monday
Conventional wisdom to the contrary, it is sometimes possible to look like a duck and quack like a duck, yet still not be a duck.
Take Il Divo, for example. Even though the hunky, international quartet boasts that three of its four members are classically trained and likes to show off big vibratos and quasi-operatic harmonies, the truth is they're pop singers, not opera guys.
Yes, they're more likely to sing in Italian than in English, even if the material in question is from the Righteous Brothers, not Rigoletto. But they sing even more frequently in Spanish, which sounds quite romantic but is not well known as an opera language. And yes, they do tour with a 20-piece orchestra (plus a rock rhythm section), and their show includes both an overture and an entr'acte. But come on -- the "entr'acte" was actually an instrumental version of Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die, and was included mainly so the guys could duck backstage and change into fresh suits.
Perhaps the least operatic thing about the group's first Canadian concert was that it took place not in a palace of song, but in a palace of ice: Toronto's Air Canada Centre. "Wow, this is the biggest venue we've played," remarked tenor Urs Buhler at one point, and there were times when that size worked against the music. The amplification left the instrumental accompaniment sounding flat and tinny, like a cassette on some giant boom box, while the singers were entirely microphone reliant, something that left baritone Carlos Marin out of the mix during parts of Passera.
Then again, it's likely that a good number of the (mostly female) fans on hand were more interested in seeing Il Divo than in hearing them. Certainly, there was much frenzied waving from the stands -- gentlemen all, the lads onstage invariably smiled and waved back -- and for the last number, the four sat on the edge of the stage, which allowed fans to dash up and shake hands or offer a token of esteem. A number of roses were tossed onstage, along with a few pairs of panties.
Holding some undies and pretending to check the size, Marin looked over at tenor David Miller and joked, "But David, these are not your size!" Sebastien Izambard (also a tenor, but credited as "vox populi" due to his lack of conservatory time) added: "I feel like Tom Jones."
Oh, the hilarity.
It's well known that Il Divo was assembled by English promoter (and snarky American Idol judge) Simon Cowell to cash in on the popularity of such quasi-operatic acts as the Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli. Watching them in concert, however, it becomes obvious that Il Divo's master plan also draws heavily from the Monkees. Each of the four takes on a "character" based on some broad, national stereotype (Miller, the earnest American; Marin, the macho Spaniard; Izambard, the love-addled Frenchman; Buhler, the dry, meticulous Swiss) and then plays the part for laughs.
So after each welcomes the audience in a different language, the banter begins. A typical exchange will have Izambard rambling dreamily about some girl he'd been kissing, only to have Buhler interrupt. "We've got to move it along -- we're already a minute and 26 seconds behind!" (Swiss precision, get it?)
The music, though equally formulaic, did at least deliver the expected thrills. Nearly every Il Divo arrangement follows the same pattern, introducing each voice individually, then slowly building harmonies into a loudly triumphant finale, yet the power they pull from such pop fare as the Toni Braxton's hit Unbreak My Heart, Mariah Carey's Hero or the Vegas chestnut My Way is undeniable. It helps that the arrangements make the most of the singers' skills, cranking the climaxes by pushing Marin's baritone into its upper reaches while leading with Miller's powerhouse falsetto. But the material is equally solid, and the few unrecorded selections included Monday -- particularly Somewhere from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story -- suggest that Il Divo's act is far from played out.
Hi, Dave! Thanks ever so much for reprinting the review of the IL DIVO concert, as posted in The Globe and Mail. It was much appreciated.
For an added twist, I am providing here below a reprint of an article about the IL DIVO concert (no mention of Hayley, sorry), as it originally appeared the morning after the concert in Toronto's newspaper, The Toronto Star. (I am sure that we shall all find parts of the following rather humourous!) BTW, in certain sections of the article below, the bold lettering has been highlighted by me, to emphasize the "craziness."
Divo's Divas' go middle-age crazy Feb. 7, 2006. 05:18 AM by RITA DALY STAFF REPORTER
The heart-racing banter has been raging for months.
Between full-time jobs and raising school-age children, mature women have been chattering online like teenage groupies about the world concert tour of their pop-opera heartthrob quartet, Il Divo.
The ladies call themselves "Divo's Divas." Women, many in their forties, fifties and yes, their eighties, have been ogling and Googling over "the boys" in a craze not unlike the days in the `70s when middle-aged housewives tossed their knickers on-stage at Tom Jones concerts.
"I'm so excited, I'm feeling like a teenager!" enthused a Montreal woman named Lina in an on-line forum in the days leading up to their idols' Canadian tour.
Last night, throngs flocked to Il Divo's concert at the Air Canada Centre, including Rosa Dato, of Mississauga, and her two grown daughters. They stood anxiously at the front of the line, gushing about the quartet.
"I saw them on Oprah and fell in love with them," Dato, a 60-year-old grandmother, said breathlessly. "I need to meet them in person, I'm dying."
Lois Fulton, 51, of Toronto, painstakingly counted down the days to last night's performance, which she attended with daughter Jennifer, 28. It was almost as bad as waiting for her knee replacement surgery last year.
Fulton also first caught sight of the act on Oprah last April and was immediately swept away. "I've been listening to them ever since and driving everyone nuts!"
Does she like opera?
"Not really," she replied. "But they're so good-looking and their voices are phenomenal. Raises the hair on your arms!"
Some New York City fans who met online recently took to wearing red scarves to concerts as a way of identifying each other. They may have started a trend. Immediately, there was chat among some Canadian fans about wearing the ruby accessory — "although my complexion looks absolutely horrible next to red" — for the Niagara Falls concert scheduled for Valentine's Day.
Il Divo's renditions of such popular ballads as "Regresa a Mi" (Un-Break My Heart) and "Senza Catene" (Unchained Melody), has ignited young and older women's libidos in countries around the world. From Australia to Belgium, England and Brazil, women are busting open their hearts and wallets to buy tickets on EBay, cash in Air Miles and leave their husbands and kids at home for a chance to see their "opera hunks" live.
These are not your giggly teenybopper groupie fans going ga-ga over the Backstreet Boys. These are mature, self-respecting grown-ups who have fallen hard for four 30-something "popera" singers (Il Divo is Italian for male diva).
Critics say Il Divo — conceived by American Idol judge Simon Cowell — is successful because it marries pop with classical music, multi-nationalism with multilingualism, and natural good looks with a GQ style that includes Armani suits and ties.
The fans are usually nuts about one Il Divo or another. Urs Buhler of Switzerland's followers call themselves Uber Babes. ("He's Uberlicious.") There's also Spain's Carlos Marin (Carlos' Cuties), Frenchman Sebastien Izambard (Seb's Sirens) and American David Miller (David's Divas).
"I'm a Siren," Kirsten Ulrich, a mother of three from Hamilton, purred last night. "Seb just seems like an all-around nice guy."
Her friend, Connie Lewin, is a Cutie. "I have always had a preference for baritones and I just think Carlos has the most amazing voice."
The quartet has seen popularity swell in the past year with a string of promotional TV appearances — the Martha Stewart show, Oprah, the Young and the Restless.
Donna Layne, a 51-year-old warehouse clerk in Woodstock and her 83-year-old mother, Jean, have been following the singers since last August and felt lucky to get tickets to last night's concert — Il Divo's first appearance on a Canadian stage.
"I have several girlfriends who wished I'd told them I got tickets because they're in love with them too!"
Layne confided that her heart belongs to Carlos. "The baritone voice; when he does his little solo parts, I just get shivers."
She equates the foursome's gentlemanly manners and fast-rising popularity to the early Beatles.
"What really blows my mind away is there's a whole group of fanatics in England. Some of these women have bought tickets at every venue you can imagine. At least four of them are flying from somewhere in England to come see them at Niagara Falls.
"Mind you, I'm going to see them in Niagara Falls too."
Hi, Dave! Thanks ever so much for reprinting the review of the IL DIVO concert, as posted in The Globe and Mail. It was much appreciated.
For an added twist, I am providing here below a reprint of an article about the IL DIVO concert (no mention of Hayley, sorry), as it originally appeared the morning after the concert in Toronto's newspaper, The Toronto Star. (I am sure that we shall all find parts of the following rather humourous!)
Thanks Susan, I enjoyed reading that article, especially as it includes interviews with some of the very "Divas" I've been quoting from above (from their official forum). In fact, Kirsten who is mentioned is the vary same Kirsten whos review I quoted from above - and she mentions how they were "accosted" by the reporter, in her full review (I gave a link). Some of them are quite, quite mad; this is meant in a nice way! i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif
This Il Divo fan message didn't mention Hayley but it made me chuckle:
Lawlady06: Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:53 pm
"I am really glad everyone was so tickled by me throwing the b ra. I told some of my girlfriends here in Calgary and they thought it was hysterical. As one frined said, "The only thing funnier than a lawyer throwing a bra is possibly an accountant doing it" I am so glad I have shaken my boring image! Cheers, Tracey"