A&E » Arts

Beauty and the tenors

Romanza tenor trio welcomes spring with special Easter performance Sunday



Who: Romanza

When: Sunday, April 16

Where: Our Lady of the Mountains Church

Tickets: $15/$5

You never hear of the three basses, three altos or three baritones, but there is something special about the quality of the tenor voice, something that extends beyond those angelic high Cs.

"Part of the allure of the tenor voice is its freakish nature at the top end of the voice – to produce those high notes," said tenor Philip Grant of the tenor trio Romanza.

"It creates a level of dramatics that you don’t get in the lower voice. It has a lot to do with the overtone series. It’s the way the vibrations affect us. It’s like the horn of a car. It has a high pitch and loud sound that gets your attention."

Tenor or not, the music the critically-acclaimed Canadian trio produces garners attention. The group extends their listening base to Whistler with a special Easter Sunday performance hosted by the Whistler Village Church April 16 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Our Lady of the Mountains Church.

The Victoria Times Colonist raved, "It is just plain exhilarating… (The group) display an impressive ability to imbue a song with emotion."

Romanza’s L’Arte Del Tenore repertoire includes everything from romantic ballads and movie soundtracks – tunes familiar and accessible to all – to opera and musical theatre.

"Three per cent of the Canadian population goes to the opera," Grant said. "We try to sing for the other 97 per cent. Opera is not very accessible. People have trouble getting past the language. We try to break that down for them. We try to keep it light in moments while (in) others the music stands on its own: moving and powerful. We bring a lot of depth and dimension to the show."

All three tenors, Grant, Frederik Robert and Ken Lavigne, are soloists in their own right. Grant has performed across Canada, the U.S., Italy and Mexico. He’s also made appearances with the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic and Prince George Symphony.

Robert, the youngest of the bunch at 24 years old, has sung roles with the Edmonton Opera, The Opera Project, Calgary Opera, Opera Nuova, Opera Saskatoon, Prince George Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Lavigne has sung for Queen Elizabeth II as well as performed with Oklahoma Light Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Portland Opera and the Vancouver Island Symphony.

There is no room for the stereotypical opera diva in this tight-knit group of friends, although they aren’t shy about poking fun at the robust, nose-in-the-air classical soloist. Humour, along with song introductions, keeps audiences in the loop.

Piano, concert bass and violin will accompany the ensemble for a rare and beautiful afternoon of classical music.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students.