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Taking Opera To The Masses

Taking Opera To The Masses

Who: Amici Forever
Where: Civic Theatre
When: Saturday October 9, 2004

AMICI FOREVER achieved the unthinkable when its first album The Opera Band debuted at number two on the ARIA album chart.

It sold more than 60,000 copies and put ``the world's first opera band'' between the likes of hip-hop act D12 and Aussie roots artist PETE MURRAY. A blend of pop and contemporary classical music has helped the band to defy expectations and appeal to the opera and commercial music markets.

It has become the biggest phenomenon in contemporary classical music since the THREE TENORS. The group comprises Brits JO APPLEBY, DAVID HABBIN and NICK GARRETT, South African TSAKANE VALENTINE and Sewell and has performed at high-profile events such as Champions League games in the UK and the UK rugby union and FA Cup finals.

Amici Forever performed at the Remembrance Day concert in the ROYAL ALBERT HALL at the Queen's invitation.

Garrett said the aim of Amici Forever was to make pop accessible to opera audiences and vice versa.

``When we perform, it's not like a classical recital, where we're standing quite formally,'' Garrett said.

``There's not that distance you can sometimes get in a classical performance. It's more relaxed.

``Think classical singing with a pop aesthetic.'' They sit with a version of the theme song from the television mini-series BAND OF BROTHERS and the pop classic Unchained Melody , sung in Italian.

``With this first album we wanted to put an operatic stamp on it because it is called The Opera Band, so it was important to do a few numbers that were just straight opera,'' Garrett said.

Amici Forever is touring Australia and will perform at NEWCASTLE'S CIVIC THEATRE on Saturday night.

Tickets are on sale at the theatre or through TICKETEK on 4929 th1977.

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