Sunday, April 22, 2007

don't miss your date with Destino


The four up-and-coming young tenors who make up Destino packed them in, then wowed that crowd at the Stanley Theatre last night. From their four-part rendition of "Adagio" which opened the evening, to “His Eye is on the Sparrow” by Leontaridis and Amenta, to renditions of operatic classics by Niceforo and Oullette, the concert was a huge hit.

It was interesting to compare the four tenor voices. Giovanni Amenta’s voice has just a hint of huskiness, which makes it perfect to sing emotion-laden tunes like “Close Every Door” from the "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Joey Niceforo’s and Paul Oullette’s voices seemed the most similar to me, although Oullette’s was just a bit more baritonish. Their voices and solo selections were most operatic. (Oullette especially looks so young one wonders, where does he hide that powerful instrument in such a slight frame). Leon Leontaridis’ has a voice that’s round and rich with an incredibly high range for a man. He jokes that people often ask, after hearing their recordings, who is the black woman in the group.

A highlight of the evening was “The Prayer” done with guest Michaela Slinger. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of this 10-year-old songbird sensation. And what poise! She easily held her own when singing with the boys in the Italian section of the song. Mind, she’s had lots of experience, having performed at numerous sporting events, in musical theatre as well as in the World Kindness Concert and in Kindness Rocks.

The ensemble (piano, violin, bass guitar and drums) that accompanied the boys was brilliant in their own right especially Roy Tan at the piano – unobtrusive and flawless.

The pleasure these young men found in their music and in supporting each other was obvious (high-fives during each trek on and offstage). And they liked us too – thanking the crowd numerous times for simply showing up. All in all, it was a very feel-good evening – one you should definitely consider going to if Destino ever tours through your town.

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