Photos / Review: An Intimate Evening with The Tenors

Who: An Intimate Evening with The Tenors

Where: The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, Connecticut  –  The Stockbridge Theatre, Derry, New Hampshire

When: May 9 – 10, 2017

Let’s get one thing straight here before I start my review: I don’t just like The Tenors, I LOVE them. I’ve been a fan of theirs since 2009; they are the band that I have seen the most live in concert (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen them). I belong to ALL of the fan pages on Facebook and stalk all of the content that pops up related to this group. So when The Tenors announced two shows in New England – May 9 in Connecticut and May 10 in New Hampshire – I bought tickets immediately as close to the stage as I could get for both shows (first row and third row, if anyone’s curious).

For anyone reading this review who doesn’t know who The Tenors are, they are a Canadian popera group; they mix elements of pop music with opera, but they also include fun rock songs in their repertoire (which are always my favorite). They’ve written a lot of their own music over the years, as well as covered a lot of my favorite songs. Like every band, they’ve gone through some lineup changes; most recently, they became a trio, when they used to be a quartet. Today’s lineup consists of Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters, and Clifton Murray. All of my previous concerts with them have been seeing the group as a quartet, so for once I really had no clue what to expect.

The first show was May 9 in Ridgefield, CT at The Ridgefield Playhouse. It was my first time at the venue, but I was really happy to find out that we were allowed to bring the food and water we bought at the concession area inside the theatre. The show started at 8PM. The Tenors came out to thunderous applause and began the show with “Because We Believe,” a song off their first album that I haven’t heard live in several years. The show continued from there with a plethora of songs from all of their albums (full set list will be at the end of the review). One of the first real highlights of the show was Victor’s solo, “O Sole Mio,” a favorite of mine that he pulled off as effortlessly as always. Fraser’s solo was next, with Victor on the piano. He sang “Bring Him Home,” a solo I heard him sing about 4 or 5 years ago, which he brought back for this tour; Fraser’s version of this song has always been my favorite and this time was no exception. They sang a couple more songs and went to intermission.

They came in from intermission with a change of clothes and got right to it. The Tenors were part of a performance honoring Smokey Robinson, which aired on PBS in February, in which they performed a medley of some of his songs. They included that medley in the set list, dance moves and all, which the audience was very receptive to; it was a great way of upping the tempo of the night. Clifton performed his solo, a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” beautifully. This was my first time hearing him sing this song and I really was not disappointed. Their cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was performed next, not at the end of the show like I’m used to.

One of the top highlights of the night for me was the band’s solo performance. The Tenors always shine. They know how to sing and they have amazing voices. What’s harder to see is how talented their band is. For the first time that I’ve been at one of their shows, the band got to perform by themselves for a full song and I was absolutely blown away. Drummer Marc Inneo, guitarist Anthony Mancini, bassist Richard Moore, and pianist/keyboardist/musical director Darryn DeSouza are absolute masters of their craft and The Tenors are very lucky to have them on board. The only new face to me on this tour was violinist Lorenza Ponce who joined The Tenors for most of this tour. She was absolutely amazing and I enjoyed every single minute she was on stage.

After the band’s mesmerizing performance, The Tenors came back out to sing a few more songs. The energy was markedly higher after the band’s performance than it had been before, and the set list included a bunch of fun songs that kept the night moving, such as “Delilah,” “Granada,” and “Besame Mucho.” The final song of this part of the evening was “Time to Say Goodbye,” beautifully executed as always.

The Tenors came back out with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” featuring Anthony Mancini on the guitar solos, along with Lorenza Ponce. It was beautifully executed and a great end to the night.

May 10’s performance was in Derry, NH at the Stockbridge Theatre. It was a little hard to find at first, but once we did, I absolutely loved the venue. It felt open, airy, and bright. Also, the seats were really comfortable, which I appreciated, and – as a tall girl who likes to wear heels – I had enough leg room. The set list was pretty much the same as the night before.

One of the differences I found in the second performance was that The Tenors seemed to have hit their “tour groove” and seemed much more comfortable performing, but to be honest, the only reason I could tell the difference is because I’ve seen them so many times at so many different venues.

The only time the set list differed was in the second half of the show, after intermission. In CT, they performed “Anchor Me.” In NH, they performed “Lean On Me” with Christopher Duffley, who was a great singer and had the best sense of humor. If there was any ice remaining that needed to be broken, he took a big axe to it. One of the best parts of the evening was when The Tenors were telling us how they had performed with Duffley in Vancouver a few days prior to the show when Duffley interjected and explained how they were singing while the people in attendance at the gala were eating their dessert.

As I said, this was definitely not my first time seeing The Tenors, but it was my first time seeing them as a trio. I went in not knowing what to expect, but I came out thoroughly impressed. They are at their best when they are unrehearsed and just reacting to the audience or to each other. My favorite moments were the fun and high-energy ones. Clifton, Fraser, and Victor pulled off the two shows I was at effortlessly.

Not every moment was perfect, but it’s never going to be. As a photographer, I was really bugged at some of the lighting choices, but then there more moments that I wished so badly to have had my camera in hand so I could have captured some of the best moments of the show. Overall, The Tenors were amazing, their band was outstanding, and the shows were great.

I do have to send out a big shout-out to John Bruce. He was a pleasure to chat with, adding to the great experience I had at the shows, and is definitely an important part of Team Tenors. If you see him at the back of the house, make sure to go say hi.

The Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT on May 9

  1. Because We Believe
  2. Forever Young
  3. I Remember You
  4. When Worlds Collide
  5. Instrument of Peace
  6. O Sole Mio (Victor’s solo)
  7. Bring Him Home (Fraser’s solo, Victor on the piano)
  8. Under One Sky
  9. The Prayer
  10. Lead With Your Heart
  11. Smokey Robinson Medley
  12. Crying (Clifton’s solo)
  13. Hallelujah
  14. Anchor Me
  15. Band’s Performance
  16. Delilah
  17. Granada
  18. Besame Mucho
  19. You Are So Beautiful
  20. Sweet Caroline
  21. Time To Say Goodbye
  22. Bohemian Rhapsody

The Stockbridge Theatre in Derry, NH on May 10

  1. Because We Believe
  2. Forever Young
  3. I Remember You
  4. When Worlds Collide
  5. Instrument of Peace
  6. O Sole Mio (Victor’s solo)
  7. Bring Him Home (Fraser’s solo, Victor on the piano)
  8. Under One Sky
  9. The Prayer
  10. Lead With Your Heart
  11. Smokey Robinson Medley
  12. Crying (Clifton’s solo)
  13. Hallelujah
  14. Lean On Me with Christopher Duffley
  15. Band’s Performance
  16. Delilah
  17. Granada
  18. Besame Mucho
  19. You Are So Beautiful
  20. Sweet Caroline
  21. Time To Say Goodbye
  22. Bohemian Rhapsody

Post and photos by Karen Shalev

Did you attend this tour? Comment below.

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