XX 20th Anniversary Tour
Il Divo is bringing their XX 20th Anniversary Tour to Colorado Springs on Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 7:30pm. Tickets, which range in price from $55 to $120 plus applicable fees, go on sale on Friday, February 9, at 10am and are available online at AXS.com or in person at the Pikes Peak Center box office.
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Twenty years of life, music, and brotherhood have only enlivened, enhanced, and enriched Il Divo. Like a fine wine bettered by time, the group’s individual notes, accents, and signatures have fully bloomed over the course of a storied career. Now, the iconic quartet—Urs Bühler (tenor) of Switzerland, Sébastien Izambard (tenor) of France, David Miller (tenor) of America, and Steven LaBrie (baritone) of America—uphold the spirit of their signature sound, while expanding its scope on their tenth full-length offering and very first independent album, “XX: 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM” [Il Divo Music/Thirty Tigers].
“When you listen to XX, we hope it takes you on a journey between modern music and opera,” says Sébastien. “We’ve kept our voices intact, but our singing has evolved. It covers a wide emotional spectrum and shows our growth. We’re not complacent; we’re really stepping into the moment.”
“Whether you’ve been with us for 20 years, 10 years, 5 years, or a few hours, we want you to be moved by the music,” adds Urs. “This is an album that has the right to stand next to everything else we’ve done. After all of this time, we haven’t lost any of our love, passion, depth, strength, or power. Instead, we put as much blood, sweat, and tears into it as possible—maybe more.”
Il Divo are certainly no strangers to blood, sweat, and tears…
Since 2004, the Multi-Platinum classical crossover progenitors have emerged as a phenomenon buoyed by downright athletic displays of vocal prowess, unforgettable gigs around the world, and an indefinable magic between them. They have sold 30 million-plus units worldwide, scored 50 #1 hits, and earned 160 Gold and Platinum records across 35 countries. Between selling out tours on multiple continents, they’ve performed everywhere from the Summer Olympics and FIFA World Cup to Diamond Jubilee at Windsor and the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball.
Life changed when the guys weathered the tragic passing of original co-founder Carlos Marín due to COVID-19. The remaining bandmates paid homage to their fallen brother with the Greatest Hits Tour in 2022. Steven LaBrie stepped in as a guest baritone on the road only for Urs, Sébastien, and David to welcome him as a full member a year later. Around the same time, they entered a studio in Coconut Grove, FL with producer Carlos Fernando Lopez. This season represented a series of firsts. It would be their first album with Steven, yet it would also be the first for their own label Il Divo Music with the members serving as Executive Producers and Seb as Co-Arranger.
“We literally did everything ourselves,” Urs stresses. “We got the budgets together, narrowed down the list of songs, and led the whole process from the first idea to the artwork. We were so hands-on. This is our baby, and it’s even releasing on our label.”
“We were simultaneously true to what Il Divo is, while venturing into new territory,” affirms David. “This was obviously a different configuration. It forced all of us to be present with what was happening. In some ways, it was like turning back to the first album where we were exploring. It put everyone in the heightened state we were at in the beginning of this journey.”
Breaking ground, they introduce the record with a cover of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. They strip the maximalist production of Danger Mouse’s track down to nothing more than stirring strings and piano paced to a crawl, drawing attention to the sheer intensity of their collective vocals. The group notably enriched the soundscape with a sample of metal clanging on a subway and a pill box dropped on the ground.
“I had an idea to slow ‘Crazy’ down and make it a cinematic track,” recalls Sébastien. “We started on piano, and we added the samples. The Gnarls Barkley version is a super happy-sounding track…Ours isn’t! With this as the first track, we went into this whole process with a unique vision.”
“It’s quite a departure,” agrees Urs. “We don’t want to copy what someone else is already doing. This is a totally different piece of music. It’s dramatic and dark, and we love it.”
They took Whitney Houston’s classic “I Have Nothing” down a different road altogether with the Spanish “No Tengo Nada.” It marked a full circle moment as they reconnected with the legendary David Foster. Of course, Foster produced the original “I Have Nothing,” but he also produced Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart”—which Il Divo covered as their first-ever hit “Regresa a Mi.”
“No Tengo Nada” nods to Whitney as it takes flight on its own wings, thanks to jaw-dropping performances and lyrics translated by Urs.
“I’m not a native Spanish speaker, so I’m very proud of the translation,” he smiles. “My wife speaks Spanish, and she helped me. We tried to make it sound authentic and still maintain the meaning. We’ve worked with David in the past, but I appreciate his craft even more after doing this. Living up to the song’s legacy was a tall order, but I think it’s beautiful.”
Then, there’s “Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti.” Il Divo put their spin on Miguel Gallardo’s seminal 1976 composition further popularized by Alejandro Fernández and Christina Aguilera in 2013. It culminates on a rapturous crescendo punctuated by a towering vocal climax.
“It’s epic and dramatic, and that’s what I’ve always loved about Il Divo from day one,” says Steven. “Those are the tracks I gravitate towards. As we were choosing repertoire, I played ‘Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti’ for Seb. From the first chord, you’re immediately taken in. It grabs you, and it has such an arc and emotional explosion in the chorus. As a Mexican-American artist, it meant so much to me. We made sure it had all of the details in its tapestry.”
Another major first, the band co-wrote the original “Despertar Sin Ti” alongside Carlos and his wife Laura Lambuley. It highlights the stark power of their voices as well as a stunning creative streak.
“For me, it was important to be able to exist in the band as not just a singer, but also as a writer and producer,” Sébastien reveals. “It’s something we’ve never done. Lyrically, it’s about a guy who has remorse and misses what he had with his partner. He wants to regain trust and rebuild the relationship. The lyrics are in Spanish, and it was amazing to sing those words.”
In addition to five tracks in Spanish, they serve up a dreamy cover of “Always On My Mind” by Brenda Lee and Elvis Presley in English and Italian. Meanwhile, the boys brought different dynamics to the Ed Sheeran smash “Perfect,” embracing a slight country twang. Elsewhere, Il Divo deliver “Despacito” in an entirely fresh context. They reconstruct and reimagine the mega-smash by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber. “We focused on Luis’s part, which is very romantic and passionate,” notes Urs. “We managed to make a different piece of music out of that with an orchestra.”
In the end, “XX: 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM” signals another era for Il Divo
“People are continually surprised by Il Divo,” David leaves off. “A song may start in one gear, and it will shift three or four times. We’re playing around with dynamics of what classical music can mean in a modern world. I think we’ve found an incredible balance. XX is everything we’ve always wanted in an album.”
“I’m really excited about what the future holds,” Steven concludes. “We know where Il Divo has come from for the past 20 years, but this album is representative of where we’re going for the next 20.”
- Performance Schedule
- Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 7:00 PM CAL