Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the seventh day of Christmas...

...the Budman and I "officially" kicked off the Christmas musical season with the Il Divo Christmas Concert.

Now, let me say first, that I am not a manic Il Divo fan. I do think they have incredible voices, but a "little" Il Divo can go a long way. However, I suspected that the traditional classical Christmas songs would be performed amazingly well....and get me into that Christmas spirit. No "bah humbug" for this gal.

The venue for the gig is our new "favorite" place...the Hammersmith Apollo. This theater is an old Art-Deco movie theatre from the 1920's that has great personality; the best part is that it is 20 minutes door-to-door from our house to the theatre on the tube. Does not get much easier than that. Plus, the theatre was donned in a lovely lit Christmas ambiance. Check, and check.

So, last Monday evening we headed to see the 4 tenor dudes "vocalize" on all things Christmas. Il Divo is doing this same Christmas show in New York, Boston, and Toronto as well as London and as part of the show, they "invited" special surprise guests to join them in concert. The surprise would be announced only at the concert; and consisted of a guest soprano and a violinist. Each city has a different guest pair joining the lads in concert (thank you...use of UK vocabulary). New York gets Kristin Chenowith; London got the girl who sings the Waitrose Christmas ad. it just me, but not quite the same?

On the positive side, the guys sang all our favs....O Holy Night, Silent Night, Adeste Fidelis, White Christmas, etc. as well as other classical favorites that fit the program nicely...Panis Angelicus, Ave Maria, Somewhere Over the Rainbow (yes, not classical but the duet with the violinist was breathtakingly beautiful). AND the orchestra for the quartest was none other than the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. So far, so good.

What irked us just slightly, is that the concert was 2 hours and 10 minutes, with a 20 minute intermission. Of the 1 hour and 50 minutes of conert time, the "guest" violinist and female soloist performed six or seven of their own numbers..sans Il Divo. Bring that down by say 30 minutes in total, and we estimated we got about 90 minutes of the "main" performers.

The more jarring part of the evening, and one I was not prepared for, were the screams of the middle aged women, the "oohs and ahs" on their lame "inter song banter" and the cacophony of flash bulbs that went off all evening. Wow...this audience had nothing on any group of teenage girls and any boy-band.

All in all, a beautiful evening and solid kick-off to the musical Christmas season.

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