Festival Theatre, Fri Jun 20
The King’s Singers are truly breathtaking. There is nothing outrageous about the concept they present – six men on stage singing a cappella – but it is the outstanding arrangements, vocal skill and beautiful sound produced as a group that turned tonight into a magical experience.
The King’s Singers were founded in the late 1960s at King’s College, Cambridge and have retained their classic 6-part male choral sound, despite new members since their inception. They are celebrated the world over, have done countless recordings and are the recipients of two Grammy Awards.
Tonight was the Australian Premiere of Great American Songbook, which celebrates great American composers Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin with powerful arrangements, performed in The King’s Singers signature style. Audience favourites included, Cry Me A River, My Funny Valentine, The Lady Is A Tramp, Cheek To Cheek and Let’s Misbehave.
The six voices range from the low, robust bass of Jonathan Howard to the high, haunting countertenors David Hurley and Timothy Wayne-Wright. In the middle are baritones Christopher Gabbitas and Christopher Bruerton as well as tenor Paul Phoenix, all of whom sound marvellous. Each of the singers has their solo moments, but the six voices come together as one instrument when they sing together. They harmonise brilliantly and their blend of voices is absolute perfection.
These singers are, of course, completely charming in their sophisticated British style with gentle touches of wit. All in dashing suits, they are the clean cut gentleman every mother wants as a son-in-law. Their minimal movements, specific placement on stage and excellent lighting ensures it is visually appropriate and pleasing.
Unfortunately this was a one-night-only performance for the 2014 Adelaide Cabaret Festival beginning their Australasian tour, but I encourage you to grab your tickets immediately if they ever do come back to Adelaide.
by Bobby Goudie