Romanza takes classics into Penticton park

Though they’ve recently chosen to pursue solo careers, families and other endeavours, the three critically-acclaimed tenors who make up Romanza were smooth as ever for their free concert in the heart of Penticton last week.

  • Jul. 12, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Paul Ouellette

Though they’ve recently chosen to pursue solo careers, families and other endeavours, the three critically-acclaimed tenors who make up Romanza were  smooth as ever for their free concert in the heart of  Penticton last week.

Paul Ouellette, Ken Lavigne and Philip Grant worked their magic  in Gyro Park Friday, drawing a crowd of 2000 and filling the park in support of the Okanagan Concert Society as they did in 2008.

The three began performing together full-time in 2004, after they met at a casting call for the Canadian Tenors.

“Since those early days we’ve grown to be really close,” said Lavigne.

It was a closeness they shared with the audience as, sprinkled between classics like Danny Boy, Granada, Bring him Home and the Lord’s Prayer, each of them told witty anecdotes about how they got started and their adventures both as soloists and as a group.

The heavy breeze that blew off of Okanagan Lake didn’t prove to be problematic.

“When the weather turned cold, (the audience) all huddled up and stuck it out to the end. I was looking out from the stage and my view was a sea of smiles,” said Lavigne, who got his start singing in his school choir, eventually to be tempted by hearing Pavarotti’s rendition of Nessun Dorma to learn how to sing opera.

It wasn’t an easy learn though,  and Lavigne describes his relationship with opera as a love affair.

“No matter how frustrating, there is an unknowable magic that keeps you entranced and coming back,” he said. “Right now, I am poised with more patience and understanding for the craft so the inevitable vocal setbacks don’t throw me like they used to.”

Romanza has made two albums together but for now are focusing on their various personal endeavours. Grant is finishing his PhD in marketing, Ouellette is embarking on a teaching and solo career and Lavigne is promoting several touring projects.

“That said, we’ll tour again as Romanza in a heartbeat when we get the call,” said Lavigne.

 

Just Posted

Recovery centre operator said neighbours bought property ‘in haste’

Penticton addiction recovery centre plan halted by neighbours

Attempted carjacking at Penticton mall

A 24-year-old man is in custody, while a 37-year-old woman was uninjured by the incident

Fundraising effort for man assaulted at Penticton nightclub

A GoFundMe account was created to assist the Penticton man that was assaulted

Osoyoos looking at two more councillors

The increase would take council from five to seven members, on par with their neighbours in Oliver

Forgoing Christmas gifts to help the Salvation Army

Penticton group gives to Salvation Army

Sagmoen case adjourned, again

Small, yet mighty, rally again on Vernon courthouse steps

Performance embodies true meaning of Christmas

Caravan Farm Theatre presents O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi by Maristella Roca until Dec. 31

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

SPCA seizes 74 animals from Barriere property

Constables removed sheep, piglets, chickens and more

Victoria gets approval for supervised consumption site

It is scheduled to open in the spring/summer of 2018 and will be the first permanent facility on Vancouver Island

Bear spray used in tenant dispute

Salmon Arm RCMP responding to Tappen home invasion find occupants sprayed in repllent

Home services, rental rates top concerns: B.C. seniors’ watchdog

Premier John Horgan pledges action on rental housing in 2018

‘Game-changing’ B.C.-born technology tests brain vital signs

B.C. neuroscientist describes the tech as ‘the world’s first objective physiological yard stick for brain function’

5-year anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting

When just saying ‘I’m from Newtown’ can be a cross to bear

Most Read