Where do I start? Umm…from the Diva meet? Ok…
Hubby dropped Mel and I off at the Star Vista around 1.30pm for lunch. While we were at Watami Japanese restaurant waiting to place our order, Thai Divotee Natcha Whatsapped me to say she was coming over from her hotel just across from the mall and in 5 minutes, she was at the restaurant. It was wonderful meeting up with Natcha this time because in 2009, we only had time to say a few words during the concert intermission.
We moved on to the Jamaican Blue Coffee for coffee/tea and that was when Vinz turned up and we all sat there and Natcha regaled us with tales of hers and Nonie’s meeting with the guys in Hong Kong during their first tour.
We found the stand with Il Divo concert information beside the escalator that led up to the theatre:
Natcha went back to the hotel to prepare for the M&G and the 3 of us (Mel, Vinz and me) went to settle down at dr Cafe Coffee with light snacks of cakes/sandwiches to get us through the rest of the evening.
Nonie, another Thai Divotees, and Natcha joined us around 6:30pm. There was a moment of panic when they went up to report for the M&G and the staff couldn’t find their names on the list. It turned out that their names were on another list with the Hype Records people who were late (as usual, according to the venue manager). So the Divas came down for a quick bite of sandwiches before going back up to the M&G again.
I had brought a long the Broadway programme that Joan Hadley had kindly sent to me and Natcha offered to get the guys to sign it. Sadly they weren’t able to bring anything into the M&G, except their ‘body and soul’ according to Natcha’s own words. They had to leave their bags with the counter staff.
Linda joined us afterwards and we went up to the theater around 8pm. A table was set up to sell Il Divo merchandise: cds, dvds, t-shirts, keychain and programmes. I bought another programme, a bigger version compared to the Broadway one, and a keychain.
While browsing the merchandise, I heard a man asking the sales staff which dvd was the recent one. The staff gave him Encore. I was appalled! So I turned on my PR mode and started explaining to the man that The Wicked Game dual discs contains the latest dvd Live in London, and that A Musical Affair is their latest album which they are currently promoting and it has a dvd too. He bought both discs
We were reunited with the Thai Divotees outside the concert hall at this time. They are such nice people, very concerned for my health as I had been down with a terrible virus and was coughing very badly a week before the show. They would point out that I had to keep myself wrapped up whenever there was air-conditioning or fans (the mall was an open concept eco-friendly mall with fans installed in common area instead of air-condition).
There was bag checking at the front of the concert hall but they didn’t put their hands inside our bags, just used a stick to poke the contents and warn us ‘no camera’ or ‘photo and video taking is not allowed’. Mel’s bag contained a giant camera with a giant lens, the kind that’s used by professional, and she hid it well inside her big tote bag with a black sweater to cover it up.
We (Linda, Mel and I) were in the 4th row, the first 3 rows were meant for VIPs of the recording company, Hype Records. Vinz sat behind us, Natcha another row behind Vinz, and Nonie a row behind Natcha.
The VIPs sure took their own sweet time turning up. These were supposed to be well-educated people who should have known the proper etiquette of being punctual at every events. The owner of Hype Records, Ken Lim, was there to greet all the VIPs which included one of our own tv actress Jeanette Aw.
Mel and I were like, ‘Ok, that’s enough socialising. Please sit down and let the show begin!’ but of course we were only muttering to ourselves. The venue wasn’t sold out but it wasn’t bad either considering there wasn’t much promotion going on besides tv and radio announcements, posters on some bus stops, and radio quiz to win tickets. The guys did not even have a clip to announce their concert here like they did for Genting.
Security was very tight as we could see uniformed officers at both sides of the hall. Could only managed these shots before the show:
The guys sounded wonderful and on top form. They were more natural when delivering their speeches, looking less scripted compared with some of their previous shows, even Urs was speaking very confidently and naturally (he always seemed quite tense in past shows).
The introduction was done first by Urs, who introduced Mr Marin, who spoke a little and introduced Mr Izambard, who spoke and forgot to introduce Mr Miller. So David had to come out and talk and said something like so it’s left up to him to make his own introduction while pointing at Seb. I called out his name then I think I just about made myself notorious by the end of the show
Seb as usual was his funny self, saying he couldn’t handle the five languages spoken here (huh? we only have Mandarin, English, Tamil and Malay as our national languages, what’s the other one???) so ‘Good Evening’ is all he could muster. At one juncture during his speech, he said something (couldn’t remember what) and the audience were responding with shouts of approval and ‘ooooh’ sounds (I was making that sound a lot cos the audience seemed too reserved!) and it must have reminded him of Michael Jackson cos he did the crotch grabbing moves while saying “Ooh!” Like this:
Sorry, couldn’t take picture of that. He seemed really embarrassed to have done that and apologised, saying something like ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know why I did that. That’s not me’.
Before Somewhere he talked about Singapore’s talents and invited a young boy (about 13 – 15 yo) to stage. The boy was dressed in a white suit so I supposed it was arranged for him to be onstage with them. Seb said the boy could sing his part in Somewhere and joked “I’m going to franchise Il Divo when I retire”
Carlos then came out to start the song and the boy sang next, with Seb guiding him to look at the monitor in front of them on stage. He sang beautifully with his boy soprano vocal even though he told the guys his voice is changing. His voice could also be heard in the rousing finale of the song among the other Divos which was great. Mummy was of course very proud and was allowed to take pictures of her boy on stage with the big guys. Who dared to stop her?
Carlos had his usual ‘Singing is like making love’ moment and asked the single ones to raise their hands. He was so cute, the audience loved him. He and Seb had the usual fun during My Way, touching hair, stealing handkerchief…
David was goofy as usual. In one song, he and Urs came out from the back of the stage, (he on the right side, Urs on the left) and he was singing in the dark and so when his verse was done, he laughingly added something like ‘need the spotlight’ The lighting guys forgot about him it seems!
During Can You Feel The Love Tonight, there was confusion between him and Urs and he sang Urs’ verse while Urs was hesitating but Urs managed to take over seamlessly. Don’t think the audience noticed it.
Urs had his speech about not being familiar with musical theatre, saying his repertoire consists of heavy metal at one end of the spectrum (the audience laughed at that) and opera at the other end, and strangely musical theatre, which is in the middle, never made it to his ipod (audience laughed again).
Strangely, I haven’t been able to recall many of the title of the songs that were sung Maybe I was too hyper, sitting at the edge of my seat all the time the guys were singing. I was like a teenager at her first ever concert, eyes glued to the faces of the four charismatic gentlemen on the stage! I clapped until my palms ached, shouted when the audience seemed too restrained, especially the first 3 rows and was always the first to stand up for standing O’s.
The first standing O’s was Somewhere which was the end of Act 1, where the boy sang with the guys. The audience finally stood up and clapped. Of course, I was on my feet the moment the song ended! Prior to that they were all seated and though there were enthusiastic shouts and whistles, the claps were largely just very polite. It seemed that the people sitting at the back were more vocal than those in front (except moi )
There are many Il Divo concert virgins because when David asked for a show of hands, many put their hands up. Judging by the people at the sale of merchandise, many didn’t even know what kind of concert to expect. Some had free tickets given out by the promoters and had never heard of Il Divo.
Besides the songs from the album, they also sang Senza Catene, PQTME, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, The Impossible Dream, Somewhere Over The Rainbow (I swooned at Urs’ starting verse ). When they started with You’ll Never Walk Alone, I could hear someone in the audience shouting an approval…must be a Liverpool FC fan!
During the second set, Mel managed to take some shots and a couple of video clips. Sadly, as she had to turn off the volume of the camera in order to avoid detection, she forgot about that while filming so the clips have no sound. The clips were taken in portrait too because she had to hide the camera with her sweater and shoot stealthily and couldn’t move her hands too much.
It was towards the end during Time To Say Goodbye where the guys took a bow and the audience stood up and gave them a rousing standing O that Mel was caught out by the security guy. He tapped her hand and told her ‘no camera’ and when he saw her gigantic professional camera, he remarked, “such a big one!”. Thankfully he didn’t throw her out!
David had his usual ‘Yes No’ moment before the TTSG and the audience gamely joined in the fun which was really nice. Then Carlos took over the game and David said ‘You’re stealing my game’ or something like that
We rushed down to the stage door as quickly as the crowd would allow us but alas, we were too slow! We lost David and Urs, having to take the escalators down from 5th level. Their van had just departed when we reached the stage door on the ground level. I asked the first security guy I saw if they guys had gone, he said one pair of them did but was unable to tell us the name. So we milled around and waited for the other pair.
Carlos was the first to appear and we all rushed forward (there were a few other young audience in our midst when they saw us waiting and joined in). I was right in front the imaginary barricade that the security had imposed on us. Carlos indicated that he just wanted to put his stuff in the van before meeting us so we waited patiently.
He came by and signed Nonie’s Flowers Will Bloom picture and then I thrust my programme to him, randomly picking a page with all four of them. I was blabbering! I held a black and a gold marker and was going ‘Black or Gold?’ But I gave him the gold one and he signed. Then he said ‘Any more? No? Ok.’ and he went to sit in the van. Ugh! I should’ve requested for a photo with him!!! Tongue-tied as usual! Brain wasn’t functioning beyond getting the programme signed
Then Seb came out holding his hat in his hand. He thanked us all for coming, said some lovely words to us. He signed Nonie’s picture and said ‘Ah, Flowers Will Bloom’, then he signed my programme using Nonie’s pink marker. He thanked us again and then that was it! They were gone! *sob sob*
At the stage door where we caught Carlos and Seb:
The signed pics:
I woke up this morning thinking ‘What have I done last night?’ Each time I think of my behaviour, which was akin to a really young girl swooning at 4 handsome gentlemen, I cringed I couldn’t believe how I had shouted, clapped, waved and stood up to clap when no one else was doing that. I even shouted David’s name when Seb failed to introduce him in the beginning, then waved madly when he asked who have been to their concerts before. Like Seb said, “This isn’t me!” LOL
And guess what? My hands shook so much that when Carlos finished signing the book, I couldn’t put the cap back on the marker! It was all the excitement and also my shyness coming to the fore. I am kicking myself for not asking to have my photo taken with the guys. Natcha said she was pushing me from behind to get beside Carlos but I was too starstruck to notice it! Ugh! 5 years and I blew the chance
And also, during the show, I was thinking how sad that I wasn’t able to get any pictures out of the concert after waiting for so long to see them again. I kept looking to the sides to gauge how tightly the security people were looking on at us. Thankfully Mel’s been to so many Korean K-pop concerts that she’s becoming an old hand at stealthily taking pictures
Well, that’s it for my 5 years’ wait for Il Divo to come to town again since 2009. This report and more pictures and short video clips (no sound, sorry!) can be found here on the official Il Divo Forum: http://forums.ildivo.com/topic/39688-il-divo-a-musical-affair-the-greatest-songs-of-broadway-live-on-monday-march-17th-2014-star-theatre-star-perform-arts-centre-singapore-sg/