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Small Talk: Today’s tenors are the total package

I know. I don’t get out enough. But I have been making up for it madly these last few weeks, actually venturing out twice on a school night to attend concerts.

No, it wasn’t “that old-time rock ‘n’ roll.” These days, it takes serious harmony, big voices and a couple of arias to get me to stay out late. Both concerts were groups of gorgeous, glorious tenors. I love Bocelli, Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti, but, um, they’re my age. Tsk.

This new bunch are all adorable young men with the voices of angels and abs of steel, who do opera with the same ease as “Bohemian Rhapsody.” They have become my music of choice, and favorite new vice, especially during the holidays. Oh, my stars. I simply get the vapors from what they can do with a Christmas carol. Well, that and the tight pants they all seem to wear for the second act.

First, thanks to a dear friend who was willing to drive, I got to hear my absolute favorites, The Tenors (from Canada), from the third row in Anaheim. These three were sublime and I have become a ridiculous groupie. Then last week, I was very lucky to hear Australia’s Ten Tenors at the California Center for the Arts Escondido. I had a fabulous box seat and rather felt like royalty. I didn’t behave like royalty, however. I was forced to occasionally hang over the railing to whoop and holler … because I could.

I had heard Irish tenors all my life, and was largely unmoved. I think the problem was how the songs were delivered. “Oh, Danny Boy” is lovely, but hearing the same voices really belt out “Hallelujah” or “Nessun Dorma” is an entirely different experience.

So, if your holiday spirit is lagging, I recommend a couple of cuts from a CD by some young tenors. It will give you chills, even when it’s not snowing.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer with happy ears and some new Christmas CDs, which she will play too loudly. Contact her at [email protected]