Sunday, March 10, 2002

Three Mo' Tenors will sing with Pops

By Janelle Gelfand,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Tenors seem to come in packages of three: The Three Tenors, the Three Irish Tenors — and now, Three Mo' Tenors. Since their first tour about a year ago, this newest trio has become a run-away phenomenon.

[photo] Three Mo' Tenors are (from left) Rodrick Dixon, Thomas Young and Victor Trent Cook.
| ZOOM |
        Three Mo' Tenors — African-American opera singers Victor Trent Cook, Rodrick Dixon and Thomas Young — will make their debut with the Cincinnati Pops in February of the 2002-03 season. They are among the headliners in a strong season that includes Garrison Keillor, actor-comedian Martin Short, the band America and guitarist Christopher Parkening.

        As in their wildly successful show on PBS' Great Performances (now on CD and DVD), Three Mo' Tenors will perform a spectrum of musical styles on Feb. 7: opera, show tunes, jazz, blues, soul, gospel and spirituals.

        They'll bring their own conductor, Joseph Joubert, a pianist, conductor and arranger.

        “I wanted, of course,” to conduct them,” says Cincinnati Pops maestro Erich Kunzel. “But it's a show, scripted and staged. . . . I'll be there. In fact, I'll have more fun watching it.”

        The three singers are each acclaimed artists. Mr. Young appeared as the male lead on the Cincinnati Pops' original recording of Gershwin's opera Blue Monday. He has debuted operas by Anthony Davis (Amistad and X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X), Tan Dun (Marco Polo) and John Adams (The Death of Klinghoffer). Mr. Dixon spent three seasons performing in the hit musical, Ragtime, and Mr. Cook was nominated for a Tony for Smokey Joe's Cafe.

        The idea was conceived in 1994 by Marion J. Caffey, a Broadway director-turned-producer, who was inspired by the original Three Tenors (Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti) as he watched their concert televised live from Dodger Stadium.

        “There has been a quiet absence of African-American tenors on the operatic and classical concert stage, which we are rectifying with this unique concert experience,” writes Mr. Caffey on the tenors' Web site:


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