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Opera Boys at The Lichfield Garrick Theatre

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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From Great Operatic Arias To Familiar Pop Hits
First there was Il Divo and then along came G4. And now it is the turn of another four-man 'boy band' to bring that winning combination of operatic arias, classical favourites, hits from the musicals and even pop songs to live audiences. The Opera Boys are made up of leading men from London's West End theatre who have previously performed in musicals across the UK and Europe as well as on Broadway in New York.

Opera Boys
The Opera Boys were in fine voice throughout

And it certainly shows as Richard and Colin from Scotland, Rob, from Lancashire in England, and Michael, who is half Dutch and half Australian, put their individual singing talents together as they embark on the road as part of a UK tour. The Opera Boys, who performed at the Lichfield Garrick theatre on Saturday 20 May, introduced themselves by saying they were going to perform their favourite songs, show tunes and arias from classical and opera, right through to modern pop.

Opera Boys
Opera, musicals and pop songs all in one show

They certainly didn't disappoint as they delivered the full range from the musical spectrum, most of which was sung in Italian - including the original renditions of some very familiar songs. Early offerings were testament to the range of material produced by The Opera Boys on the night, including 'Nella Fantasia', taken from the 1986 film The Mission, 'The Brindisi', otherwise known as 'The Drinking Song', from Verdi's La Traviata, and the showstopping 'Bring Him Home' from brilliant musical Les Miserables'. But there were also well-known pop songs thrown into the mix, starting with the Westlife hit 'You Raise Me Up', although the boys sang it in the original Italian, which translates as 'Por Ti Sere'.

Opera Boys
Catch Opera Boys on their UK tour

The seemingly sell-out audience was treated to a couple of songs from members of the Lichfield Cathedral School choir, the contrasting 'Abide With Me' and The Carpenters' 'Close To You', before the choir backed The Opera Boys on 'Angels' by Robbie Williams to close the first half. After the interval there was happily more of the same, ranging from opera favourites such as 'La Donna e Mobile' from Rigoletto, 'Toreador' from Carmen, and 'Nessun Dorma' from Turandot to the Righteous Brothers' delightful 'Unchained Melody', again sung in Italian, 'Music of the Night' from Phantom, and the theme from Bond film 'Thunderball'.

Opera Boys
The Opera Boys in live action

The Opera Boys kept the mood light throughout the show but almost played it too much for laughs on occasions, notably when a female member of the audience was brought up on stage during the singing of 'O Sole Mio' but also in response to the frequent requests for their obliging fans to shout, cheer or scream at regular intervals. With such great voices, and a fabulous range of songs to perform, they don't really need to include it in their shows.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Opera Boys
Rob, Colin, Richard and Michael from the Opera Boys

Forthcoming UK tour dates

24 May Ferneham Hall Fareham 01329 231942
25 May Theatre Severn Shrewsbury 01743 281281
26 May Gordon Craig Theatre Stevenage 01438 363200
27 May The Capitol Horsham 01403 750220

01 June Carnegie Hall Dunfermline 01383 602302
02 June The Town Hall Falkirk 01324 506850
03 June Gaiety Theatre Ayr 01292 288235
04 June Webster Memorial Theatre Arbroath 01241 435800
16 June Burnley Mechanics 01282 664400
17 June The Brook Chatham 01634 338338
18 June Playhouse Theatre Weston-Super-Mere 01934 645544
27 June The Winding Wheel Chesterfield 01246 345222

14 July- Royal Hippodrome Eastbourne 01323 802020
15 July- The Regal Theatre Cornwall 01209 216278
21 July- The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury 01684 295074
22 July- Babbacombe Theatre Torquay 01803 328385

08 Sep The Gladstone Theatre Port Sunlight 0151 643 8757

06 Oct The Civic Theatre Rotherham 01709 823621
12 Oct The Brindley Runcorn 0151 907 8360
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Why? The Collective Great Sound Of The Opera Boys
When: 20 May to 12 October 2017
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR
Cost: Lichfield tickets were 20
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