Il Divo means "divine male performer" in Italian, a fact that fans of the quartet declare true.
Since Simon Cowell brought the singers together a decade ago, six of their seven albums have climbed the Billboard charts and sold nearly 30 million. Freshly arrived in the U.S. from engagements in Mexico, they will stop at Wolf Trap to perform songs from "Wicked Game," the latest recording that was two years in development.
Each member of the ensemble enjoyed individual success long before Cowell urged them to unite. In addition to the renowned Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, Il Divo boasts classically trained tenors Urs Buhler from Switzerland, American David Miller and French pop singer Sebastien Izambard.
Izambard laughed as he recalled his introduction to the concept. "Simon's right hand man approached me after hearing about me through Simon's ex-wife," he said. "I told him that I wasn't interested in moving from Paris to London, but he insisted that I audition. I was happy doing what I was doing and didn't care about making any changes, so I went to the audition just for fun. While there I heard others auditioning with strong operatic voices and thought there was no way I'd fit in. But in the end, they chose me and finally convinced me that the exposure and the travel would be a once-in-a lifetime experience. It certainly has been just that.
|» Where: Wolf Trap Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna|
|» When: 8 p.m Thursday|
|» Info: $50 to $55 in-house, $30 lawn; 877-965-3872; wolftrap.org|
"Our concert will feature songs from 'Wicked Game.' When we began working on it more than two years ago, we didn't want to repeat anything we had done in the past but to make challenging tracks that were a little bit out of the box. Since we began performing it for live audiences, people love it. It has all the classics they love to hear in a variety of languages. We sing 'Don't Cry for Me Argentina' in English, but the others are in Spanish or Italian. Sometimes a song that's been popular in English doesn't work in this format, while a song sung in Spanish is always sensitive and sexy."
Il Divo has been on four world tours, traveling from the architectural wonder of the Great Wall of China to Windsor Palace to join Queen Elizabeth for tea during her Jubilee. Izambard refers to that opportunity to be part of history as the experience of a lifetime. In September, Il Divo heads back to London to perform at Great Britain's Proms before launching the next world tour with concerts in Eastern and Central Europe.
"Wherever we perform, we want the audience to discover the four different personalities of Il Divo," Izambard said. "They can see by our stage presence and hear in our songs that we are very different people, but together we make a whole. I'm a family man who loves children, while David is an American who lets out his feelings. What I especially love about performing in America is the way our audiences don't hold back from expressing themselves."