Media previews/reviews and fan reviews of Il Divo's concert in Minneapolis Minnesota on 18 February 2006, (normally 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!
Hayley's participation in this concert was finally confirmed to us by Gerald Westenra. The following preview from Twincities.com (St. Paul/Minneapolis) has just been received.
"CLASSICAL: MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA
Thursday-Friday: For whatever reason, classical audiences seem to go gaga over the youngest musicians on the scene, but most of them can't hold a candle to a seasoned veteran virtuoso when it comes to presenting a deep and satisfying interpretation of a work. As for pianists, you can have your youthful showboats like Lang Lang; we'll take a master like Alfred Brendel every time. As he showed at a Schubert Club recital last year, Brendel is a skilled negotiator of a work's emotional terrain. For these concerts with Osmo Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra, he'll perform Mozart's 25th Piano Concerto on a program that also offers works by Aaron Jay Kernis and Sibelius. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday; Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; $78-$20; 612-371-5656. — Rob Hubbard"
Saturday: Take Josh Groban, multiply by four, make each member of the group impossibly handsome, and you have Il Divo. Simon Cowell, the grumpy judge on "American Idol," is among the scientists in the laboratory that created this group, a youthful update on the "Three Tenors" concept with a fourth voice and a mission to please the ears and eyes (and empty the purses) of a predominantly female audience. And it has been a tremendous success, as the international quartet — American, French, Swiss and Spanish — is not only the toast of the "classical crossover" scene but is Oprah-approved, as well. A New Zealand teen with a similar creative team, Hayley Westenra, opens. 8 p.m.; Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. S.E., Mpls.; $63-$47.50; 651-989-5151. — Rob Hubbard
Hey everyone! The concert last night was amazing! I had a marvelous time at the concert, and I'm sure anyone who has yet to go will also have a wonderful time. I looked online for reviews of the concert but had no luck. If I find any I will be sure to post them. I managed to take 280 pictures at the concert, of course with no flash. I'll be sure to put some of them up The acoustics in Northrop were better than I remebered. Imagine listening to one of Hayley's CD's with surround sound, multiply that by ten, and then see her in front of you performing. You could see the passion she has for what she does and couldn't help but watch.
As soon as the lights dimmed the music of 'She Moved Through the Fair' began and there was no sight of Hayley. I waited, and it would seem she appeared out of nowhere. Her very first note had my neighbors on the left stop talking and give Hayley their undivided attention through the whole performance. At one point the one sitting next to me asked, 'Do you know who this is? She's stunning!' Of course I told her, and as a reminder wrote down her name and Odyssey's title, along with this website and her official site. Maybe we'll see them join?
I have always enjoyed 'Never Saw Blue' and her performance was everything and more. (This can be said for her entire performance.) Due to the basketball and hockey games people were still being seated during the first two songs so there was some extra noise and commotion, but by her next song things had settled down. 'Amazing Grace' seemed to finally grab most of the audience's attention especially now there wasn't the distraction of the people being seated. It's a song that most people know, and Hayley's version was fantastic.
I first heard 'The Mummer's Dance' a while ago and looked forward to Hayley's rendition. I wasn't disappointed, and in fact, I enjoyed Hayley's version much better than the other I heard. The minimal backing really helped (it didn't overtake the singing as it did in the other version I heard).
'May it Be' came next. She gave a nice introduction to the song by referencing New Zealand and the "Lord of the Rings' movies followed by an equally nice performance. She certainly shows a love for her country and is very proud to be a Kiwi.
'Both Sides Now' was done a bit differently with a faster tempo, and a break in the last part (where naturally people clapped thinking it was the end), but then she and the band picked up again to finish the song. My neighbor to my left actually started clapping enthusiastically at the break, but as soon as the music began again she said, "oh!" and quit clapping until the end of the song.
At one point, Hayley was starting to talk with the audience when someone yelled something. She stopped, "Did someone say something?" Silence. "Oh, maybe I'm hearing things" She chuckled, and went on. when I was talking to Hayley at the intermission I told her she wasn't hearing things, that someone did yell. She said she thought so, but sometimes she gets interference from other radios. In Washington D.C there was a lot of interference from the police station near by. She said, "I would hear this deep voice and I'd be like 'that's not me!' "
When Hayley introduced the song 'From A Distance' I thought at first she was going to talk about UNICEF because she talked about hope and the like, but she didn't. The song was wonderful. It had a great message and I hope to hear it again. Possibly on an album?
Pokarekare Ana was amazing, and from what I could tell there wasn't a whole lot of movement/talking from the audience during this song. 'You Are Water' was a nice choice for a closer. It kept the audience's attention even as they were getting a tad antsy for the charming quartet.
As I mentioned before I was able to talk with Hayley during the intermission. She sounded fine. I think it might have been the mic or the speakers that made her seem hoarse. She mentioned that she expected to be more tired than she actually is doing so many shows back to back. She said she's looking forward to her two full days of break (and the warmer weather), though she said 'I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with myself!' Hayley said that writing an update has been on the back of her mind for a while, and she'll get around to writing it soon. And finally, Hayley says "Hello!" to everyone.
Yes, thanks Caite, it was nice to see a rare review of Hayley's performance from the perspective of a Hayley fan, thanks! And you met Hayley - fantastic! It's reassuring to know that she is keeping well.
Conversely (perversely?) after what Richard said, I'd quite like to know (briefly!) what you thought if Il Divo's performance as I will be seeeing them in April, also it would be nice if I could let Il Divo fans know what *we* think of "their boys" in their forum. It's nice to see how gracious and appreciative they have been about Hayley so far.
Dave- here's your brief review: Il Divo is the Tom Jones of today.
And for everyone else (I suppose you can read it too Dave), the review of Il Divo.
The first song that was played was a medley of their songs by the orchestra which led into their first song ('Regressa a Mi'). The members of Il Divo appeared one by one from out of the shadows and created an explosion of sound from the audience as each one entered.
Their next two songs, 'Solo Otra Vez' and 'Passera' followed in the same fashion, thousands of screaming fans, plenty of flashes from cameras (grr!), and the 'Divos' hamming it up for the ladies.
The introduction to 'Isabel' was very sweet. It was something to the effect of having a broken heart and always having someone on your mind. 'Nella Fantasia' followed "Isabel' and was wonderful.
At one point during the performance (while they were introducing another song, or telling another bad joke) someone on the lower level yelled something, and they couldn't understand it on stage. They asked if the person could repeat it and they didn't catch it the second time so one of the Divo's shrugged and said "We're deaf singers" which got a few laughs from the crowd.
The next two songs I didn't know, but I thought they were very good. One of these songs was 'Pour que tu m'aimes'. I especially liked the piano arrangement on 'Rejoice.' From what I head of the lyrics 'Rejoice' was a Christmas song. Next was a song from the orchestra, 'Live and let Die', while the Divo's went off stage.
They came back on in their own time as the music began to their next song, "I Believe in You.' and went straight into 'Senza Catene.' Two more songs were 'Everytime I look at you' and 'Feelings.' They were both from the CD I own, and are both very nice. The introduction to 'Mama' started out as some "your mom" jokes, but it turned into the guys joking about what their mother's called them and eventually into dedicating the song to every mother in the house. The last song they played was one we should all recognize. They sang 'Somewhere' and said that they hoped we would meet again. Each of the Divo's took a place at the edge of the stage, dangling their legs over the edge of the stage, and sang to the audience from there. I'm sure it gave the people in the front few rows quite a shock and of course great opportunity for pictures. They came back on for two encores. 'My Way' and 'Heroe.' I won't tell you what happened at the very end because I don't want to spoil the concert for the others, but it was pretty neat.
I only have two complaints about the concert, one was the lights that kept blinding me. It was a great affect sometimes, but they were just too bright! The second being their songs were all formatted the same. It started with a solo, then the quartet all singing quietly, and then it moved to a huge sound at the end with all of them singing. There may have been some variation in the middle with more solos, but for the most part they were all the same.
I did enjoy the concert a lot! I am a fan of Il Divo's, though not a HUGE fan so I own only one of their CD's, and I must say that they sound better live than they do on CD. The power they have comes from them. I think David (the one from Denver CO), has a cold or his voice was tired from all the concerts because his voice broke on a few notes. Hopefully the two full days of rest will do him and the other well.
Here are two photo's I took of the group. I'll try again to get the photos of Hayley up, but they weren't working properly.
I was searching my local newspaper and stumbled upon this article about Il Divo. Unfortunately it doesn't mention Hayley, but for those who would like another review of Il Divo here it is. <3 Caite
Il Divo delivers trademark sound to loving crowd BY ROB HUBBARD Posted on Sun, Feb. 19, 2006 In some ways, it's astounding someone didn't invent Il Divo earlier than they did. Pop music has a rich tradition of throwing strangers together and calling them a group — see the Monkees, Backstreet Boys, N'Sync — so why not turn that focus away from accruing babysitting money and go where the real cash is: The fans of "classical crossover" who contribute to public TV and have decidedly more expendable income. So a group of producers that included Simon Cowell of "American Idol" combed Europe and the United States for four complementary personas who could become Il Divo. And the result has been a smash success, as evidenced by a sophomore album that debuted No. 1 on the pop charts and a tour that landed them at a sold-out Northrop Auditorium on Saturday night in Minneapolis. And these thirty-something three tenors and a baritone played their roles quite well, albeit sans subtlety. But that's part of the Il Divo trademark: Suffuse each song with import and send an audience into a swoon. And, judging from the screams of the 4,700 in attendance — about 70 percent female and spanning four generations — it's a formula that works. Looking something like a GQ cover shoot at the Acropolis, the 90-minute show consisted of pop songs sung in Romantic languages and a little English. And it was every bit as relentlessly overpowering as on the foursome's albums. Clad in black suits, the international ensemble (American, Spanish, Swiss and French) began almost every one of the ballads — and they were all ballads — in a soft and touching mode before building the song into a full-throated shouting match. While the Celine Dion treatment worked fine for Latinized versions of "Unbreak My Heart" and "All by Myself," it seemed more than a little inappropriate on tunes that beg for a gentle touch like the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" or a slice of Faure's "Requiem." Two members of Il Divo are opera singers and two hail from the pop realm, so it's understandable if this group doesn't yet seem comfortable together onstage. Only baritone Carlos Marin possesses a measurable sense of swagger, delivering sly smiles and button-popping passion straight from the Engelbert Humperdinck school. When this crew inevitably disbands, look for him to keep a cult following. Rob Hubbard can be reached at email@example.com or 651-228-5247.
Thank you..... That was a superb write up, and so detailed - at point I thought I was there with you, it sounds like the atmosphere was electric. I especially appreciate the commentary on your meeting with Hayley during the Interval. She sounds well, and full of energy.
Can you answer a few extra questions please,
Was Hayley accompanied by her manager Steve Abbott?
Was there any Hayley merchandise on sale during the interval and at the end of the show?
Did Hayley have time to sign any merchandise or give autographs during the Interval?
Did the program mention Hayley?
Thanks again for a wonderful report, we look forward to your reply!
Hey Steve! I'd be glad to answer your questions. Hayley was accompanied by Steve. As far as I know there wasn't any merchandise on sale, and I made sure to check. As to the program, she wasn't in the first couple cities, but she was in the one sold in Minneapolis. Maybe she'll be in the programs later on too?
It's difficult for me to reply to the question about Hayley having time to sign merchandise or give autographs. I would assume she would though. See, I went to the Usher Headquarters in the building and inquired about the possibility of meeting Hayley. They said to come back during the interval and then they would see. So I went back, asked again, and handed the usher who was to ask Hayley and Steve if it would be okay with them if I met her, a card. The usher went into a hallway and I was left to wait outside. I don't know what happened in the hallway, but the usher came back without the card and with a "yes" from Hayley. That was quite a roundabout way of saying, "I was lucky enough to be able to meet her by asking, but otherwise she most likely wouldn't have been seen. Maybe you could try asking too?" Best of Luck!
Do you mind me asking you which Il Divo you think is the most appealing to you - all things considered?? I'm just wondering aloud what women like best about men. Is it something spiritual like being awestruck by the man's total presense and charisma?? Or is it raw hunky good looks?? Romance abilities perhaps?? Or the bold confidence of a leader, ...i/e. "a man's man??
Other ladettes may respond to this quiz as well. Adding your own main attractions to these men. There could be many combinations of reasons why these men appeal to almost every women in one way or another. heeheehe.
Well Jeremiah, before seeing the concert I would have said Sebastian but only because I really enjoy his voice as he sings. Now it's not quite as easy! In fact, I can't really say. I don't mean to sound shallow, but good looks always help. Then again, what "good looks" means to you can be completely different than the "good looks" of another person. The 'divos' have no problem in this department. To me the total presence of the man and confidence (though not too much!) are important. Being romantic is fine, but not all the time. Carlos (Carlito by his loyal followers, and I suppose his mother) was just over-the-top and frankly was starting to get on my nerves by the end of the concert. I am going to have to say Sebastian and Urs are my favorites.
Don't get me wrong, they are all charming, and seem very nice, but it was just something about the aforementioned that I really enjoyed.