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March 2, 2012

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Divine male performers pluck heart strings

TAKE four strikingly handsome male singers with classical training and unleash them on classical music and pop - the result is Il Divo, meaning divine male performers in Italian.

The creator of Il Divo is music manager and executive Simon Cowell who in 2003 selected French pop singer Sebastien Izambard, Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, American tenor David Miller and Swiss tenor Urs Buhler from candidates from 17 countries.

Il Divo was formed. Their latest album "Wicked Game" was released last year. The four performed in concert this week in Shanghai and shared their thoughts with the media.

Q: Cross-over is very popular and Il Divo is known for the perfect combination of classical and pop music. How did this happen?

Miller: Music is an entire language with many different styles and different interpretations. But all music came from the same creative place. Our style is very reflective of our four voices. Three of us come from the opera tradition; one comes from pop. When we combine the four, we always find common ground. We always work to find the music, the emotion and the styles of our voices that can create a single entity.

Q: Why did you leave your previous careers and join Il Divo?

Marin: It was quite difficult at the beginning, as we all had our own careers. For me it was a challenge. I was a solo singer since I was a child. Then suddenly I had to join a group and share one song with three other great voices. It was quite difficult at first but I think none of us has regretted the choice. Since we got on this boat of adventure, everything has been amazing.

Q: Buhler had his own rock band. Will you consider adding rock?

Buhler: Yes, I am a rock fan. I personally would love to try combining rock with our work but I'm not sure our audience would appreciate the efforts. I think there is probably even more common ground between heavy metal and big opera singing than between pop and classical singing. But I think I can just do it in my own spare time.

Q: With such a busy schedule, how do you take care of your voice?

Miller: We have to spend a lot of time on the plane with such a dry environment and pressure. For me staying hydrated is most important; getting enough sleep is crucial. As for performing, we all have our own ways of warming up. That's quite individual.

Q: Since you are all good looking, have you considered acting careers?

Izambard: Yes. I think performing is quite similar to acting. Some songs were not written for us. So, in some cases, you have to put yourself into the words and emotions, so as to interpret. That is exciting for me, and interesting as well. Since my English is not very good, acting is sometimes helpful for me to learn a language.

Q: Will you consider adding Chinese elements for your China shows?

Buhler: We tried to learn some Chinese last time we were here. It is very difficult to pronounce the words right. We're always concerned whether a local audience would appreciate that. In other countries, they don't like it because they think it's cooker if we sing in a foreign language.

But if Chinese audiences are interested, then we would consider it.


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