Reviewer: Helen Jones
In 2012 teenager Jonathan Antoine and his friend Charlotte Jaconelli auditioned for Simon Cowell’s money-spinner Britain’s Got Talent, and got through to the final, coming second to Ashleigh and Pudsey the dancing dog. Now 20 years old and with two successful albums as Jonathan and Charlotte behind him, Antoine has released a solo album, Tenore, and embarked on a national tour. Thankfully he chose a highly experienced Musical Director to work with in Robert Emery.
Opening with the classical Granada, Antoine proves from the outset that he has a huge voice with a beautiful tone. Surprisingly he also has amazing diction, meaning that every word is audible, unusual in many operatic voices. Throughout the show, he changes styles of music but always returns to the classics of Italian opera.
For both a version of Ave Maria in the first half and Some Enchanted Evening in the second, Antoine is supported by the Heartbeat Chorus, based in Marple, who are also allowed their chance to shine and perform two numbers of their own; What’ll I Do and Cabaret. Duetting with a guest and that guest then performing two songs of their own is a running theme of the evening.
During the first half, Antoine duets his version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah with saxophonist Sarah Ings. She then performs her self-penned Sahara Tango and her adaptation of Bach’s Toccata in Fugue. She is truly amazing on her alto saxophone and deserves a show of her own.
The second half has vocalist Mary-Jess joining him for Come What May, followed by her solo pieces, Lighthouse of Mine and Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera. Mary-Jess has a beautiful pure voice shown to its finest in the latter track.
Musical Director Robert Emery’s experience shows in the choice of songs and the arrangement. He has worked with Antoine to incorporate some variation into the proceedings and his arrangement of Hush-a-bye Mountain is beautifulwhile Summertime from Porgy and Bess shows off Antoine’s voice excellently. Antoine’s version of Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Misérables is a great example of how much emotion this young man can put into his vocals, and Marius’ distress is well emoted.
Antoine is undoubtedly a talented singer with one of the best operatic tenor voices around, but he is still young and relatively inexperienced, he will be interesting to watch develop over the coming years.
Reviewed on 23 November 2015 | Image:Paul Marc Mitchell