For the first time in over 2 years, Il Divo returned to Singapore as part of the Asian leg of their Amor & Pasión World Tour 2016. And it was definitely well-worth waiting for.
The night started with an awe inspiring overture by the musical accompaniment that was both bold and overwhelming. The quartet proceeded to make their entrance with Bésame Mucho, which is one of the most famous boleros ever written and a definite crowd pleaser. The setlist also included several songs from their latest album Amor & Pasión of which Abrázame was the song which we enjoyed the most. Other songs from the first half of the set which was particularly enjoyable were the Spanish renditions of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina and Hallelujah.
Following a brief intermission, Il Divo returned with more songs from their latest album as well as some of the songs from their previous albums. However, we felt that the real show stealer was David Miller’s solo performance of Nessun Dorma. The performance was both powerful and moving and aptly displayed Miller’s talent and skill as he belted out each verse of the climax of the aria. Rounding off the night was the Spanish rendition of Unbreak My Heart and the encore piece Time to Say Goodbye, both performances which we thoroughly enjoyed.
The overall atmosphere was light and candid as the quartet talked a bit about their experiences with their work on the album as well as their individual journeys and inspirations. It gave the evening a more personal feel and helped the audience to connect with the singers and truly appreciate the songs which they performed.
The performance also featured some dancing with the singers dancing as part of the performance as well as the dancers performing in the background in time with the songs. Admittedly, the dancing was at times more attention grabbing than some of the pieces, especially the more upbeat ones. There were definitely moments when we were more awed by the skill and grace of the dancers than by the songs they were dancing to. Still, we felt that this complemented the audio experience nicely and made it all the more engaging with the additional visual stimulation.
If their performance wasn’t entertaining enough, the men of Il Divo spent a considerable amount of time interacting with audiences. The guys weren’t afraid to get intimate with the crowd, sharing about their personal lives and experiences as a group. Humour was also a huge part of the conversation as they joked about pick-up lines and even tried flirting with the audience, all in the name of good fun. Their efforts to engage the crowd really stood out for me and something fans would definitely take away from the night.
However, there were a couple of low points to the evening. The first was that the music accompaniment during the early songs in the set tended to drown out the voices of the singers, and the clarity of the voices at seats further from the stage tended to suffer, such that some parts of the performance became unintelligible.
Yet, compared to the passion and flair of the boys’ well executed performance, it was definitely an wonderful evening of modern opera for the ages. If there were non-believers of Il Divo in the audience, they definitely aren’t now.
Photo credits: Hype Records / Eddie Sung