Concert will put a Kat among the nightingales

By Beth Allcock on January 4, 2013 10:22 AM |


Preview: Il Divo and Katherine Jenkins at the O2

As one-quarter of suave operatic group Il Divo, Urs Bühler is no stranger to attention from the band's ever-increasing female fan-base.

Along with Sébastien Izambard, Carlos Marín and David Miller, the four vocalists have taken the world of classical music by storm since the release of the self-titled first offering in 2005.

Since then, Il Divo, which translates as 'the star', has enjoyed an equally sparkling career enchanting audiences across the globe with numerous tours to accompany eight studio albums, not to mention attracting a 'heartthrob' status.

But this year, fans of the stylish quartet will be sharing the O2 Arena with admirers of one of the band's fellow classical artists.

In an operatic first, the North Greenwich venue will host a joint headline concert between Il Divo and Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, as part of the duo's 2013 arena tour.

And although both have been familiar faces on the music circuit for the past eight years, Urs said the event would mark their first collaboration.

"We are very much looking forward to it and we respect Katherine Jenkins professionally," he said.

"We said to each other, we have known each other for many, many years we have never done anything together.

"It's the first time we actually will perform together and it is long, long overdue.

"We are getting mixed messages from our fans though.

"A lot of people absolutely love the idea but a lot of our female fans would rather have us to themselves, and not see a beautiful singer playing on stage with us.

"I think, from a musical point of view, it is going to be very interesting having a woman with us on-stage.

"Obviously, it's going to add to the range of vocal colour that we can produce and it's going to be very interesting to do that."

Offering a glimpse into the format of the show, which makes its last stop off at the O2 on April 19, tenor Urs said it was likely the group would both open and close the show, while Katherine will wow the crowds with her solo work in the middle section.

"We will be duetting with her, but I don't know how many songs exactly," he said.

"There has been quite similar repertoire that she sings and that we sing as well, and we will take that as a starting point.

"It's going to be exciting tackling some completely new repertoire as well."

And for Il Divo, it is a repertoire that is continually expanding, most recently with the release of the band's Greatest Hots album in November.

While he admitted a personal preference for the track Adagio, from The Promise album released in 2008, Urs said it was becoming "more and more difficult" to select songs for a tour track-list.

"You just have to narrow it down, and take the most popular songs you would like to play," he added.

"Those like Unbreak My Heart and Unchained Melody are always going to be there because they are the favourites of our audience."

Il Divo and Katherine Jenkins at the O2, April 19, 6.30pm. Tickets from £35.

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Joyce Kinton said:

My two Swedish freinds will have seen the concert in Malmo before joining me at Nottingham UK for the same concert on Arpril 4th...
We wait with anticipation to see how the guys will handle having a lady vocalist on board..I know some female fans arent looking forward to this, but I remain open minded and From my point of view Il Divo would never have requested Katherine to join them if they didnt think it would work..
They can do nothing wrong in their real fans eyes, so bring on the show.we cant wait to fall all over again with these mazing stars xx

Louise Berkman said:

I think that Ket is perfect person and singer too. I'm her big fan. Haw they will sound togoether Ket and ID we will see. I hope that will be good combination. But I have to se that this Urs words are not nice.
"A lot of people absolutely love the idea but a lot of our female fans would rather have us to themselves, and not see a beautiful singer playing on stage with us."

Urs, what do you think you are?

Geraldine Smith said:

I think Katherine Jenkins is a wonderful singer and very glamorous however, Il Divo are Il Divo and that is what I want to see and hear. It is fine to occasionally have a guest artist but I think the majority of Il Divo fans just want to see Il Divo and hear their wonderful voices. What do the fans think?