As the handsome Il Divo boys and glamorous Katherine Jenkins get together in a double-act, spring is in the air and, as BARBARA HODGSON hears, anything can happen...
AS you read this, Il Divo might, just might, be enjoying a “little holiday”. At least that was the plan when I spoke to Carlos Marín, one quarter of the singing sensation who have rocked (if that’s the right world for classical stars) the crossover world into operatic pop for the past nine years.
When I caught up with him a few weeks back, the Spanish baritone and the rest of the multi-cultural group – French pop singer Sébastien Izambard, and tenors Urs Bühler, from Switzerland, and American David Miller, had just returned from a month courting fans in Japan.
“It’s quite hectic,” he says with understatement, “but we are all really lucky, working all around the world.”
Since the talented foursome was created in 2004 by the Midas touch of Simon Cowell, Il Divo have enjoyed staggering success, their multi-national make-up reflected in that international fan-base who are to thank for album sales of more than £26m.
Little wonder then that they’re all out to keep the momentum going, with their new greatest hits album being followed hot on the heels by another UK and European tour, this one teaming up with classical star Katherine Jenkins and bringing them to Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle in April.
They’ve crossed paths with the mezzo soprano several times at musical events in the past, but this will be their first time performing together in public (although they had a little taster session last month on the ITV1 special Steppin Out with Katherine Jenkins).
“We’ve known her for about nine years – we’ve met several times on other TV shows – but never sung together,” explains Carlos. “She’s a very nice girl. She’s single and I’m single. You never know what’s going to happen,” he jokes.
“What happens on tour stays on tour!”
Katherine, who also made her debut in 2004 and has barely stopped since – her most recent tour including a concert at The Sage Gateshead just before Christmas, will share duets with the quartet while both artists will perform their own classical interpretations of popular songs accompanied by a full orchestra.
On the same date – November 26 – that Katherine released her first festive album, This is Christmas, Il Divo released The Greatest Hits.
The timing, says Carlos, was just right for them to do so; an opportunity for their raft of new fans to catch up on what they missed earlier.
“It’s amazing – we have more and more fans,” he tells me, in his charmingly accented English.
“At a recent show more than half were fans new to Il Divo. It’s absolutely fantastic.
“We thought this is the time to release our greatest hits, as we have so many new fans who never had the ability to buy other records.”
Album tracks range from their take on Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love to an Italian version (they also sing in Spanish, English and French) of My Heart Will Go On, the Titanic soundtrack made famous by Celine Dion, and besides all the “most obvious Il Divo songs” there are four new tracks too.