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Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez and EVOC may team up

Members of New York’s “East Village Opera Company” (EVOC), a popular group that blends rock with classic music, announced they are preparing a record production for which they could team up with Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez.

“I will probably be ashamed singing next to Juan Diego Flórez because he has such a great voice. But the possibility of recording a CD together is really shaping up because we both have the same record label”, singer Tyley Ross revealed.

The band’s instrumentalist Peter Kiesewalter chimed in by adding that another Peruvian singer, Ima Sumac, has one of the best voices he has ever listened to. Nicknamed the “Peruvian Songbird”, she is known for her astonishing 4 1/2 octave vocal range.

The band from New York will give its first ever concert in Lima on April 12th at the Vertice next to the Museo de la Nacion.

According to information from their website, The East Village Opera Company was co-founded by lead singer Tyley Ross and arranger/multi-instrumentalist Peter Kiesewalter. They assembled a full-on rock band, adding two guitars, bass, and drums to Peter’s keyboards, then synched it to a string quartet. A second superb vocalist, AnnMarie Milazzo, was recruited for impassioned duets with Tyley Ross.

EVOC’s Decca/Universal Classics debut was produced and recorded in April-July, 2005 by Neil Dorfsman, a three-time Grammy Award winner whose credits include international bestsellers by Sting, Dire Straits, Paul McCartney, and Bjork. The string arrangements were recorded in Prague by the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra featuring lead violinist Pauline Kim.

By embracing what Peter Kiesewalter calls “the pomposity of rock and the pomposity of opera” without demeaning or satirizing either form, the East Village Opera Company flies where countless other “classical-crossover” efforts have failed.

“We have a profound love and respect for the opera,” Peter insists. “But it’s so dramatic, so over the top by today’s standards, that it cannot be delivered with a straight face. You need a little bit of irreverence in it.”

“With modern recording technology and a wide variety of musical styles at our disposal, our goal has been to approach these songs the way we feel the composers would were they alive today,” says Tyley Ross.

“The East Village Opera Company” is an offbeat delight”, Calvin Wilson recently wrote in the St. Louis Dispatch. “If it sometimes teeters on the cheesy — and occasionally ventures dangerously close to self-parody — its sheer audacity is exhilarating. Vocalists Tyley Ross and AnnMarie Milazzo imbue familiar material such as Bizet’s “Carmen,” Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and Puccini’s “Turandot” with a heartfelt urgency.”

“While it’s unlikely that the album will persuade hardcore rock fans to become opera aficionados, it’s not just another crossover effort. “The East Village Opera Company” exudes an unconventional passion”, he opines.

Article by Wolfy Becker