Jakarta spends one night with Il Divo

Sat, 10/03/2009 2:04 PM  |  Lifestyle

Il Divo captured the hearts of operatic pop music lovers on Tuesday night, performing a one-night-only show in Jakarta as part of their 2009 World Concert Tour.

Carlos Marin from Spain, David Miller from the USA, Sebastien Izambard from France and Urs Buhler from Switzerland entertained around 3,000 fans at the Ritz Carlton Ballroom, Pacific Place, performing a number of hits from their four studio albums.

Their second visit to Indonesia – their first being a concert in 2007 – Jakarta was the last stop on the Asian leg of the group’s tour.

The audience, of a range of ages, was filled with families and couples who paid up to Rp 10 million for platinum seats.

Promptly starting at 8:30 p.m., the quartet performed a two and a half hour set, singing in English, Italian, Spanish, French and Latin.

As they emerged from the back of the stage supported by their band and string orchestra, their first appearance, dressed identically in navy blue suits, was met with a round of applause and cheers from the crowd.

Starting the night with “Somewhere” from their third album Siempre, the quartet took the crowd through their mix of cover hits and new songs.

“Jakarta – Selamat malam!” David Miller said to the crowd after their first song. “I hope we all have a beautiful journey tonight.”

Songs from their new album released in November, The Promise, were well received, with popular covers such as “Hallelujah” and an ABBA cover “Winner Takes it All” proving a hit with the crowd, along with new material, “La Promessa” and “Angelina”.

The excited audience screamed and applauded, but appeared to be quite shy at the same time, with only a handful of fans standing and singing along with the handsome quartet.

Spanish member Marin tried to persuade the crowd to rise to their feet during the upbeat Latino number “La Vida Sin Amor”, but was unsuccessful.

Instead, he made up for the crowd by performing some Spanish dance moves on stage himself.

Their older popular songs had the crowd cheering along, especially during their Toni Braxton cover “Unbreak my Heart” and a Celine Dion cover “Pour Que Tu M’aime Encore” (So that you love me again) with the crowd clapping along, with the encouragement of the quartet.

The name “Il Divo”, which means “star” or “celebrity” in Italian, is well suited for the group, whose effortless performance was a true testament to their worldwide success.

The singers showed Jakarta why they have sold 22 million albums and received 36 number one chart positions, with their powerful live vocal abilities, stretching out notes in their ballads “Adagio” and “Mama”.

The charismatic quartet worked the stage, moving in unison while interacting with the crowd.

Admitting to knowing very little Indonesian, Marin spoke three words to the ladies in the crowd saying, “Aku cinta kalian” (I love you), at which the audience erupted in cheers and applause.

Created five years ago by American Idol judge Simon Cowell, the group of two tenors Buhler and Miller, baritone Marin and pop singer Izambard told the crowd how even they were unsure of how successful three opera singers and a pop singer could be, with their infusion of pop and opera music.

“We thought we would only last a year, we didn’t realize how good we would be” said Miller before thanking the crowd for their support. “You *Jakarta* give us a reason to come here.”

It was not until the final song, a cover of the Frank Sinatra classic “My Way”, that everyone in the ballroom stood up, giving the quartet a full standing ovation.

As the group left the stage, the crowd chanted, “We want more” before the humble quartet reappeared to take out the evening with an encore performance of “Amazing Grace” and an unreleased single “Impossible Dream,” to the delight of the audience.

Il Divo continues their world tour to the South Pacific and South America before wrapping up the tour in November.

– JP/ Sandra Siagian

The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.