There was a time when opera was reserved for an older,
more mature audience who appreciated its artistry and
nuances while the younger crowd opted for more exciting
music. That’s all set to change thanks to Simon
Cowell – famous on this side of the pond for his
quick wit and cutting remarks as an American Idol judge
– who decided that opera could endear younger
music fans, especially if it had a twist of pop, and
featured four charismatic, hunky young men.
Enter Il Divo.
Il Divo - which ironically translates roughly to male
divas in Spanish - is certainly not an overnight sensation.
In fact, it took Cowell more than two years, and thousands
of auditions, to find the right blend of talent and
personality to form Il Divo. In the end, he chose American
David Miller, Frenchman Sabstien Izambard, Swiss Urs
Buhler, and Spaniard Carlos Marin in 2004.
Certainly not new to the music scene – and having
seen thousands of musicians perform throughout his career
– Cowell was so impressed by the quartet that
he publicly declared he has never before been in awe
of such talent.
Once Cowell assembled the men of Il Divo, everything
went full steam ahead. Critics lauded the quartet “the
ultimate supergroup” and “the next big thing,”
following the release of their 2004 debut album, “Il
Divo.” Perhaps more impressive than the critical
acclaim was the fact that the album shot to the number
four spot on the Billboard charts. But, nothing could
have prepared Il Divo for the massive increase in sales
that followed an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show,
a worldwide phenomenon.
Il Divo’s entrance into the music world was nothing
short of a spectacular success, as their debut album
charted in 38 countries. Il Divo hit number one in 13
of those countries.
The quartet not only won fans, but they took old songs
– among them Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak
My Heart,” Mariah Carey’s “Hero,”
and the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody”
– and transformed them into a whole new sound,
making them instant hits.
The following year, Il Divo entered the seasonal market,
releasing “The Christmas Collage.” Their
latest album, “Ancora,” was released in
the United Kingdom in late 2005 and in the United States
in early January. Due to the massive success of their
first three albums, Il Divo concert tickets are white
hot as the quartet is currently touring the world in
support of “Ancora.”