Tenors Offer A Little Holiday Spirit, Musical Variety With The Santa’s Wish Tour

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Over the years, Fraser Walters has found an answer for those who assume tenors only sing classical music and opera.

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The trio, which also includes Victor Micallef and Clifton Murray, includes a good deal of both in their repertoire. But that only scratches the surface of what a tenor show has to offer. So the band now offers an oft-repeated explanation of their name and relationship to various genres, which also serves as a lesson in musical terminology.

“The word tenor describes a vocal range, not a genre,” says Walters, in an interview with Postmedia from his home in New York City. “So we often like to share with people that, yes Pavarotti, of course, is a tenor, but so do Sting, Steven Tyler and Freddie Mercury too.”

Of course, after 15 years of touring and recording together in this particular incarnation, it’s doubtful that the members of the Canadian band are spending too much time explaining themselves. The tenors recently shot their fifth PBS special in Las Vegas. It was a special performance because the band sang their original song, Mother, which was released as a Mother’s Day single earlier this year. Walters’ parents, who were celebrating their 50th birthday, were in the audience. The trio sang the new single, Best Of Our Lives, which is also the name of the PBS special. They performed a version of Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel with the support of a gospel choir. They did a medley of old Vegas songs. They did Motown. They did Somewhere by West Side Story, You’ll Never Walk Alone by Rodgers and Hammerstein by Carousel and The Impossible Dream by Man A La Mancha.

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“In a concert, you’ll hear everything from a piece of (Tomaso) Albinoni hundreds of years ago to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody,” says Walters. “So that’s quite the range. We all love these different styles. Each of us, frankly, grew up in rock bands. We play different instruments on stage. You will see us playing guitar, bass, piano. So we feel like there is something for everyone. We also love to have fun on stage, so every show is very different.

Variety has been a hallmark of The Tenors’ career, as has their annual Christmas tour. This is something the law had to drop last year due to COVID restrictions. The pandemic has also thwarted plans for a new album. For now, the tenors have plans to release new music as singles in the near future. This means that her last full release was Christmas Together in 2017, their second holiday album after A Perfect Gift in 2009.

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The act has no shortage of material to draw on when it comes to Christmas carols and they’ve added two new ones to the mix. They recently recorded a new version of their rendition of O Holy Night with British Columbia pop singer Tyler Shaw, who opens shows for the act on his Santa’s Wish tour which kicks off in Kelowna on November 23. They also recently wrote and recorded When Christmas Has Come and Gone with Jake Hoot, which will be released on November 19. Hoot won season 17 of The Voice, where he sang Sarah McLachlan’s interpretation of the Wintersong Tenors with mentor Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson has since invited Hoot and The Tenors to perform the song on their TV show in the near future.

Appearing on the hit Clarkson show, there will be another high profile performance for the act, which also entertained four presidents, a G20 summit and performed during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the castle. from Windsor. But Walters says the trio’s long history hasn’t always been about presidents, queens and red carpets.

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Walter’s first tour with the band was in 15 years, a 12-show, 14-day trek that took them to high school gyms and church basements in a small town in Saskatchewan. Walters himself has been performing since he was five years old. The Santa’s Wish Tour will take place at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary on November 25 and at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton on November 26. The Edmonton site is particularly important to Walters. At the age of 12, he lived in the city for a few months while performing in the auditorium as part of the Edmonton Opera’s Turn of the Screw production in 1993. Of course, the story of the group has not always been smooth. Since his training in Victoria, he has undergone many overhauls as Canadian tenors with original members Ken Lavigne, Philip Grant and Paul Ouellette. In 2012, the act rebranded The Tenors and remained fairly stable until 2016.

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It was then that the quartet suddenly became a trio after the three members parted ways with Remigio Pereira. Considering the act’s reputation for serious family entertainment, it would seem unlikely that it would be embroiled in controversy. But that’s what happened when Pereira – who the press began to dub the “rogue tenor” – changed the lyrics of the national anthem during a live performance at a baseball game for deliver a somewhat confused political message. The other three tenors decided to move forward without him.

“It was an adjustment,” Walters says. “It was not something we had planned. There is a saying that goes “The blackout makes a breakthrough”. It forces growth and it forces us all to think about where we are, what we have and what we want to create in the future. It made each of us dig deeper into our own work, into our own technique, and into our own songwriting. That’s why we believe the new music we’ve written and created together is the most poignant and meaningful we’ve ever had. “

The Tenors will perform at Calgary’s Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on November 25 and Edmonton’s Northern Jubilee Auditorium on November 26.

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