Holiday harmonies When the Tenors get together, ‘it’s one of the most beautiful feelings in the world’
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It took three wise men on the first Christmas. In 2022, it takes four tenors.
The bigger and better version of the Tenors might be one of the few benefits of inflation.
The Tenors: A Season of Miracles
● Tonight, 8 p.m.
● Club Regent Event Centre
● Tickets: $74.88-$101.88 at
casinosofwinnipeg.com and ticketmaster.ca
Original Tenors Clifton Murray and Victor Micallef, who have celebrated Christmas with their fans for the past 16 years, will introduce two new big voices, Mark Masri and Alberto Urso, when the group performs at the Club Regent Event Centre tonight for a musical celebration of the holidays called A Season of Miracles.
Masri and Urso were brought in when Fraser Walters left the group earlier this year, but not after auditions, conversations and rehearsals took place to make sure they could bring four tenor voices and four different personalities together in unison.
“A lot of variables come into play, it’s not just can you sing. Are you committed to the group, to the voice work and the harmonies?” Murray says. “When Marc and Alberto and Vic and I started singing together, after understanding how committed they were and passionate they were about our genre and the crossover world, it was like it was meant to be.
“It was a beautiful, harmonious moment, no pun intended. I can see us making magic for years to come.”
Masri is already well known to gospel music audiences, owing to his 2001 Juno Award nomination for Best Gospel Album and several Covenant Awards, which are handed out by the Gospel Music Association of Canada.
”Mark is probably the premier pop-gospel crossover vocalist in Canada and he’s been winning over hearts for 15, 20 years in the business and he’s such a pro,” Murray says.
Urso, 25, comes to the Tenors via Sicily, and he first caught the Tenors’ attention when he won the 2019 edition of Amici di Maria De Filippi, an annual Italian TV talent show for vocalists and dancers.
“He can sing a high-E live, and that’s a very rare talent to sing that high in chest-voice, so we have more tools for vocal arrangements,” Murray says. “The warmth of his voice just completes the sound.
“When we all come together in harmony, it’s one of the most beautiful feelings in the world.”
For Murray, the Tenors’ rendition of the carol O Holy Night is one he looks forward to when the group performs during its holiday concerts.
“It’s one of the most epic Christmas songs ever and every tenor in the group gets to belt it out and sing to the rafters,” he says. “I love the power of that song and we always save it for the end of the show and it just blows the house away.”
The Tenors’ busy Christmas schedule — not to mention shows at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and London’s Royal Albert Hall performing with pianist Lang Lang that took place earlier this fall — means there’s no rest for these merry gentlemen until after Dec. 23, when they finish their year’s run of concerts at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall.
Some of their regular tour stops are also some of the driest cities, such as Winnipeg and Las Vegas, which can put extra strain on their vocal cords.
Murray and the Tenors use humidifiers when they’re on the road and also a vocal spray that includes honey, oregano oil and saline solution to smooth out any rough spots, should they occur.
“Knock on wood, so far so good,” he says. “You never know what the future has in store, but I’ve been fortunate. I think it’s the energy of the show that gives me so much adrenaline that my voice gets better as the tour goes along.”
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Alan Small has been a journalist at the Free Press for more than 22 years in a variety of roles, the latest being a reporter in the Arts and Life section.