First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

The Twelve Tenors : A little opera, a little pop, a lit...

Media

Media

The Twelve Tenors : A little opera, a little pop, a little swing

A lot of blonde beefcakes belting it out, and a wall-of-sound finale that sees everyone rise to their feet and shout for more. I think I even heard someone yell “get your kit off!”.

That’s an evening with The Twelve Tenors, where a dozen chaps make posh music popular by giving it the sexy packaging of hot young bods.

Yep, classical music certainly hits the right note when it’s performed by snappily dressed bleach-blonde hunks.

It’s a fun show, but for a while something didn’t quite gel. It can’t have been the hairstyles, because several tubs of gel were keeping those fringes from moving.

In fact, that’s it – it was all a little too stiff and perfectly controlled. The Twelve Tenors look like catwalk models, and for the formulaic first half they were acting like mannequins too. Step forward, step back, swing an arm. I was willing one of them to step out of line and add a little flamboyance.

Only when Simon Schofield performed a funny and enormously energetic dance routine did the personalities kick in. After that it was as if someone had told them to loosen up and unleash their characters, making it far more fun and doubly engaging.

The dozen singers are mainly of Irish descent and that flavours the show with too many Irish medleys. South African audiences want to hear the songs we know, like “We Are The Champions”, or songs that inspire, like “Nessun Dorma”. The songs we like, not the songs their producers like.

“Nessun Dorma” is inevitably the highlight, belted out by the star of the show Branden James. But I doubt I was the only one unsettled by this souped-up version, with twanging notes from the five-piece band behind them almost fighting against the voices.

Arvid Larsen shares the glory as the lead vocalist for several songs, including the inevitable “You Raise Me Up”. Some of the others have their moments too, but there’s a definite feeling that a few of the boys at the back were chosen for their snappy dancing and chiselled looks rather than for their star potential.

Yet the sheer power of so many voices becomes beautifully clear in the final few songs, when all 12 line up to create a strong, pure, mesmerising sound. It’s enough to give you goose bumps.  

By Lesley Stones

For more, visit Lesley’s excellent website.

The Twelve Tenors sing at Joburg Theatre (previously called The Civic) until 28 February.

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted