Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

March 18, 2008

The Ten Tenors

Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
March 14
By Shera Cohen

Two math questions. What is Il Divo x 3.33? Hummm? Let’s make it easier? What are The Three Tenors x 2.5? Answer -- The Ten Tenors, or affectionally dubbed TTT. These Aussies combine camaraderie, energy, and animated choreography of a football team with debonair charm, wit, and professionalism of Wall Street bankers. They are personable, relaxed, and as one of the members referred to all, “incredibly good looking.” They are the boys next door, if the boys had voices like Pavarotis in the making.

Starting as impromptu street singers, the classmates launched their career performing in every town and hamlet in their homeland, quickly cut a CD, and then ventured to Europe. Except for one PBS performance, few in this country have had the opportunity to hear TTT. Now on their first North American tour, these boys are fast becoming known and applauded, and not just for their pretty faces. They can sing!

As a unit, TTT is at its best – whether singing as one voice or as a group sporadically highlighting individuals within sections of songs. It is clearly evident that each vocalist has his unique singing style, range, and genre expertise. They also can sing anything – and do!

There are folk, pop, rock, Australian pieces, disco, and a lot of opera. One of the men told the audience that they would perform, “opera without the boring bits.” The repertoire shifts from Puccini to Queen, “Waltzing Matilda” to Dean Martin’s “Volare,” the Tarantella to Simon & Garfunkle, and Verdi to the Bee Gees. Envision ten businessmen walking out of an office, instantly singing “Saturday Night Fever” as a chorus line performing disco moves.

While the singers promised no encores, they lied. There were three, with standing ovations after each. The last was perhaps the best tenor aria ever written – “Nessun dorma” from “Turandot.” What an evening!

The wonderful experience of this concert starts before spotlights go up and a note is sung. It begins upon entering the newly renovated 100-year-old Colonial Theatre. Millions have obviously been spent in keeping the original historic luster. The venue was breath-taking, and every dime was well-spent. Pittsfield’s residents should feel proud of their good work in turning their arts around 180 degrees. Pittsfield is very much a destination point.