Il Divo at The O2 Dublin (Photos and Review)
Il Divo played the second of two Irish dates on their ‘Greatest Hits’ tour in the O2 on Monday the 22nd of April; with a vivid, burning colour scheme modulating the dulcet light show, the singularly rhapsodic image and character of the group, as always, was accompanied by their collective velvety composition, and the rare level of distinction between each personality in voice alone. This is surely each member’s dynamic musical histories emerging for the operatic spectacle. Sébastien Izambard is French pop success, Carlos Marin, baritone of German origin and Spanish rearing, has been singing for audiences since he was a child. American tenor, David Miller, has done well in Opera and Broadway, with his appearance in Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme”, and Urs Bühler was in a Swiss metal band during his classical training as tenor. Their illustrious and varied paths materialise as personal style on-stage.
The group was joined by a 30-piece orchestra, The Heart of England Philharmonic and conductor Simon Chalk, and musical director Andrew Small. The atmosphere, every bit as much as the quality of live music, was paired happily to their brilliant performances, and their merit carried over to the show put on by the four leads. The setlist generally alternated between the fiery-passionate and the gently-powerful of their repertoire and it was a fair cross-section of the most successful and popular tunes. Standing at even paces, there was an immediate air of decadence and clarity to the four singers and to the show in general, which translated to the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Dolly Parton equally and to the same effect.
The most purposeful and zealous fan base that ever existed enjoyed a pleasant evening in the O2; in researching the group, there were several active fansites and forums, plenty with news and activity. This is a big part of what one of the guys (I want to say Sébastien but I’m not 100%) was talking about when he broke off to say how much they appreciated the community aspect that the group and their music seemed to promote and provide for their fans. On the night, one fan’s assertion to me that “each has a unique and powerful and they do fabulous solos, but joined they harmonise perfectly like keys on a piano” seems to be the right idea entirely. “Besides that, they have wicked sex appeal.” Cheers, Celia.
The ever-present photo-snapshot of the Il Divo presentation, spectacular as it is, effects the amount of input for the performer in the realm of stage presence (it is not 100% imaginative or creative in these terms); there was no one time when a dark head of hair was not being tossed back in the exertion of it all. No matter, the captivating production reached even that back row.
Review by Luke Etherton
Photos by David Doyle