February 13, 2014

Australian singing sensations The Ten Tenors return to the Central Valley

Australian singing sensations The Ten Tenors return to the Central Valley, bringing the best of Broadway with them.

Some group names are esoteric. Others, like The Ten Tenors, are self-explanatory.

The Australian singing ensemble has been crisscrossing the globe for 15 years, bringing its blended voices together to the delight of millions of audience members. The 10-man group comes to the Gallo Center for the Arts on Feb. 20 on its “The Ten Tenors on Broadway” tour.

Despite a continually revolving and evolving lineup. the ensemble’s popularity endures. New group members come and go, but the sound remains true to the group’s essence, said The Ten Tenors tour music coordinator and performer Paul Gelsumini.

“With our group, there are always 10 voices, but it is ever-changing,” Gelsumini said in a phone interview from Seattle. “There are always 10 different voices. If you hear earlier recordings, you will hear different voices, but also hear the same sounds. We try to hold onto a certain style while also constantly evolving.”

The group’s current show is another evolution. The ensemble long has sung a mix of opera, rock classics and musical favorites in its concerts. The new tour is all Broadway hits, including “Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha,” “Music of the Night” from “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Bring Him Home” from “Les Misérables.”

“We’re used to singing in Italian, German, French, Latin. This time, it’s just mostly English and being able to interpret the hits of the past that people know very well,” Gelsumini said. “We try to give them our own twist. That is the beauty of having 10 voices.”

The hard-touring group plays about 250 shows a year. Members have played on four continents and shared the stage with the likes of Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, Alanis Morissette, Willie Nelson and Christina Aguilera. The group last swung through the Central Valley in 2006 with a show at Turlock Community Theatre.

With such a rigorous schedule, Gelsumini said, it is important to enjoy downtime when they can. Members were in cars heading to Seattle for well-deserved days off earlier this week.

“We try to make the most of every single day we can,” he said. “When we hit the road and start doing a show, it’s very serious. We take the music very seriously, but not ourselves. We like having some fun together.”

Still, even when working, Gelsumini said, the tenors try to have fun with one another and the audience.

“Be prepared for an amazing night,” he said. “We’re looking spunky in suits and bow ties on and doing a bit of a dance. It’s 10 boys having a great time on stage.”

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