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The Opera Band

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Audio CD, January 13, 2004
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$7.29 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


The debut of the young, classically trained international quintet of sopranos Jo Appleby and Tsakane Valentine, tenors David Habbin and Geoff Swell, and basso Nick Garret offers up a familiar take on the crossover formula that has enriched everyone from genre pioneers The Three Tenors to Russell Watson and beyond. While their occasionally electro-pumped rhythms and youth-angled marketing shtick ("The world's first opera band!") may borrow a page from Opera Babes and Bond, it still manages to evoke the spirit (if not the letter) of its eclectic classical sources. And if the world hasn't exactly been burning for yet another dramatized update of Turandot's melodic "Nessun Dorma," The Pearl Fishers, or--for that matter--"Unchained Melody," Amici Forever's takes on the pop side of the crossover equation are indeed promising, recasting Alex North's "Unchained.." ("Senza Catene") and their reworked theme to the miniseries Band of Brothers("Requiem for a Soldier") in a successful, neo-classical light. If Neopolitan-shaded originals like "Canto Alla Vita" and "Vita Mia" sound like Josh Groban clones, their glorious harmonic vocal reworkings of Faure's "Pavane" ("Whisper of Angels") and Elgar's "Enigma Variations" ("Nimrod: Lux Aeterna") bristle with an ambitious sense of adventure that's missing from much of their crossover competition. Serious opera buffs may still quarrel with the daring "impurity" of it all, but if Amici Forever prod a few more pimply punters to peruse Puccini, won't it all have been worth it? --Jerry McCulley

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Prayer in the Night 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Senza Catene (Unchained Melody) 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Canto Alla Vita 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Vita Mia 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Requiem for a Soldier (Band of Brothers) 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Whisper of Angels 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Pearl Fishers 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Soave sia il vento 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Nimrod: Lux Aeterna 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Song to the Moon 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Zadok the Priest 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Nessun Dorma 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Amici Forever, Tsakane Valentine, Jo Appleby, David Habbin, Geoff Sewell
  • Orchestra: Budapest Film Orchestra
  • Conductor: Nick Ingman
  • Composer: James Shearman, Alex North, Antonio / Dettori, Giuseppe Galbiati, Peter / Wolf, Michelle / Fornaciari, Zucchero Wolf, Michael Kamen, et al.
  • Audio CD (January 13, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Victor
  • ASIN: B0000V0DE2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

This is a lovely CD, and anyone who loves classical or opera will truly enjoy this.
Skyy Sutton
How sad to not just ' hear'... 'feel'...'be moved' by music, to have it touch your soul and make you weep with the pure joy and emotion it evokes.
One is tempted to give five stars to a CD simply because you don't want to admit that you paid 18 bucks for something and didn't like it.
Avid Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on January 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I'm not sure I knew what to expect from Amici Forever's THE OPERA BAND. When I first saw the recording, I think I expected it to be a somewhat cheesy attempt at making classical music and opera more mainstream. I am a believer that most classical music is good enough to stand on its own, and a quality performance does more to help people appreciate good music than any attempts to modernize the music. I probably thought I would view the album as nice, but somewhat lightweight fluff. What I found when I listened was a very pleasing album by five very talented vocalists and a lush orchestra which accompanies them. It has the pleasurable characteristics that make popular music enjoyable and a professionalism that gives the recording quality.
The five members of this group are all classically trained musicians, all for whom have exceptional voices as well as the ability for ensemble performances. The album contains contemporary music: some pop, others semi-classical pieces, as well as vocal tunes set to classical works and of course arias and duets from the world of opera. The arrangements are unique as "Senza Catene" (their version of "Unchained Melody") demonstrates. Their arrangements of songs set to the works of Elgar, Handel, and Faure are moving and well performed. While their renditions of the opera pieces are somewhat popularized, which may be to the chagrin of some opera buffs, there is a beauty to the arrangements and their vocal abilities do the pieces justice. Of course, since opera fans have been subjected to boy band wannabees who attempt to sing some of these same works and young people whose voices are hardly ready to tackle the likes of the great opera composers, maybe it is pleasing just to hear popular singers who can do give their works their due.
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Bundtlust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Amici Forever is a British classical crossover group made up of five classically trained singers from around the globe (Britain, South Africa, and New Zealand). The two sopranos, two tenors and bass baritone blend together beautifully on the twelve tracks, which feature a blend of classical (Zadok the Priest, Whisper of Angels), opera (Nessun Dorma, Au fond du temple saint), pop (Unchained Melody, Canto Alla Vita), and soundtrack selections (the requiem from "Band of Brothers").
The music shifts between delicate orchestral backing (Nessun Dorma, Au fond du temple saint from Delibes' The Pearl Fishers) and dance/electronic elements (Prayer in the Night, based on Handel's Sarabande, with an insistent bass line and dance beats underscoring the melody). The orchestration is brilliant, always supporting the voices but never overpowering. The songs are most often in Italian, although Latin and French make brief appearances as well.
Kudos to Amici Forever for choosing lesser-recorded songs (Zadok the Priest, Au fond du temple saint, Handel's Sarabande) in addition to the heavies like Nessun Dorma and Fauré's Pavane, and for experimenting with newer material with classical potential (Band of Brothers, Canto Alla Vita, Unchained Melody). The excellent production values and vocal purity brings to mind British soprano Izzy's American debut A New Dawn.
My only gripe would be the omission of the beautiful Adeste Fidelis present on the British version of Opera Band (which also includes the classic mixes of Prayer in the Night and Whisper of Angels). Overall, I see nothing that could improve upon the tranquil beauty and sheer aural delight of Amici Forever. This album is perfect for daydreaming and relaxing to at the end of a stressful day.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Susan Dunn on September 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As an Emotional Intelligence coach, I'm well aware of the abilities of music - the right kind of music - to transport us, soothe and delight us, and even to bolster our immune system. We convert the right kind of music (as Pythagorus knew) into brain waves, and if it's alpha you're after, or even deeper, this is the CD for you. It's no wonder the Greeks made the god of music the god of healing as well.

While the reviewer says we don't need another version of "Nessun Dorma," I beg to differ. We needed this one, and I've heard a few. The voices are magnificent, and the orchestration is just the way I would've done it, and I hope Puccini would have as well.

As someone who 'discovered' "Unchained Melody" long before, long before ... this version transcends them all. One of the most beautiful melodies ever written, and especially impacting if you understand the circumstances behind its creation, the Opera Band does it justice. It only needed to be called "Senza Catene" and put to Italian, which, as George V felt, is the language for speaking to men. Spanish to talk to God, French to talk to the soldiers, and German to talk to one's horse - :-)

"Whisper of Angels" -- it's the quintessential falling-in-love song. The lyrics -- "I was yours before the first morn broke..." ... "I'll be the shadows at twilight ..."

My favorite, if I must name one, "Prayer in the Night." Mssr. Nick Garret, our talented bass, has a way of anchoring the pain you'll never forget, as he does in "Senza Catene." If you're a bass-lover, like I am, listen up. They never get the good arias ... until now.

Buy the album and enjoy. It's probably good for your health!
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