In spite of a last minute fill-in by a member of the Phoenix Opera, as well as a substitute for the back-up band’s drummer, the first concert of the summer season for Robson Ranch year round residents was a huge hit.
Due to a serious illness the regular member of the 3 International Tenors was unable to perform, but if it hadn’t been announced by the group’s lead the audience would never have noticed the last minute change. Francisco Renteria, of the Phoenix Opera, performed as if he had been with the group for a very long time and his voice was that of a seasoned opera professional.
The evening was filled with a variety of songs, some traditional and well known operatic favorites like O Sole Mio, Nessen Dorma La Donna e Mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto and a rousing rendition of a brindisi (drinking song) from Verdi’s La Traviata called Libiamo ne’ lieti calici. The performance also included numerous songs made popular recently by artists like Andre Bocelli’s Time to Say Goodbye, Love Changes Everything, The Prayer and Alleluia from the popular children’s movie Shrek. Tenor Johnny Huerta offered a very personal and emotional rendition of Bring Him Home from the musical Les Miserables. Another well-known song, Be My Love, made famous by Mario Lanza in the 1950s musical he starred in with Kathryn Grayson, was also included.
The mix of famous opera classics as well as popular modern tunes satisfied the crowd and the tenors received several standing ovations. It was the start of a great summer season and residents were very vocal about having the 3 International Tenors return again soon!