The power of 10 voices

Australia's The Ten Tenors will perform at the Civic Theatre next week. Photos: SuppliedĀ 

THE legacy left behind by musicians such as David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen is the inspiration behind The Ten Tenors’ latest tour, Wish You Were Here.

Although it was sparked by a bit of sadness, tenor Michael Edwards said the show was actually a celebration of the artists’ music, “and the incredible songs that they’ve left behind”.

“It’s a tribute to artists who have passed on and who are no longer with us.”

Edwards said the theme was initially inspired by Bowie, who died in January 2016.

“When he passed away we happened to be rehearsing one of his songs. It was going into our show and as we were rehearsing it we found out he had died.

“Later that year in 2016 we went on to lose Prince and Leonard Cohen and it kind of got us thinking about all these incredible artists who have gone maybe before their time.”

The Bowie track the tenors will perform in the show is the 1977 hit Heroes.

“It’s definitely one of the favourites of ours, so hopefully the Invercargill audience will enjoy it, too.”

The tenors’ musical director, Steven Baker, had arranged the music for the tour, he said.

“We’ve tried to really give it a tenor spin, so it’s still that Ten Tenors’ sound with these more contemporary songs,” Edwards said.

“So they are pretty unique arrangements and we’re pretty proud of them, too.

“Just last year we celebrated 20 years of touring, so we have some of our older classical repertoire as well.”

Tenor Michael Edwards.

Edwards has been a member of the group since 2014, and said he began singing in a choir when he was about 8 years old.

He went on to a study a Bachelor of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, majoring in classical voice.

About a year after graduating an opportunity arrived with the tenors.

“I answered a Facebook ad that I saw from our touring musical director Paul and they were looking for tenors. I auditioned and very quickly, and before I knew it, I was in a rehearsal room.”

Travelling and performing with the group had been an incredible experience, Edwards said.

“I’ve always loved ensemble singing, growing up singing in choirs, so I really enjoy singing alongside other people.”

Part of the group’s identity was that it was a celebration of all aspects of the tenor voice, he said.

“While opera tenors are kind of what everybody thinks of, we also have rock tenors and musical theatre tenors in the group.

“There’s a whole variety of tenors within The Ten Tenors. But I think it’s most exciting when all 10 of us are singing together, which is definitely a highlight for me.”

Complementing the tour, Edwards said the tenors also had released an album called Wish You Were Here.

“So if people can’t get to the show they can certainly pick up the album and get a little bit of a taste of what it’s like.”

Friday, June 8, 7.30pm, Civic Theatre, Invercargill. Book at TicketDirect

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