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  • Title: Life of Music

  • Male Narrator: They are the most popular classical crossover group in the world.

  • They come from four different countries.

  • Each one of them represents different cultural background.

  • By their unique way, they make classical vocal popular around the world.

  • Withstanding the test of time, Their voices break the barrier between nations, and they are getting more and more popular.

  • Vocal Gentlemen, first time in Beijing.

  • They visited Life of Music, and told us the lengendary music stories of the group.

  • Title: Life of Music

  • Sun Xiaomei: Hello dear audience, this is CCTV Life of Music show.

  • I'm the hostess Sun Xiaomei. Welcome to our show.

  • Today we have several very special guests here.

  • They come from different countries, they speak different languages,

  • But music brought them together. And together they sing in beautiful harmonies, and they make classic even more classic.

  • This is Vocal Gentlemen.

  • Male Narrator: They come from 4 different countries,

  • Each one of them represents different cultural background.

  • By their unique way, they make classical vocal popular around the world.

  • Withstanding the test of time, they already have 150 gold and platinum discs in 33 countries.

  • Their voices break the barrier between nations, and they are getting more and more popular.

  • Now, let us welcome: Vocal Gentlemen!

  • Sun Xiaomei: Welcome! Please! Welcome! Hello, hello...

  • Welcome, our friends from the distance, please take a seat.

  • Now, Vocal Gentlemen are sitting in front of us for real.

  • Would you please introduce yourselves briefly?

  • Seb[in French]: Hello, I'm Sebastien, I'm from France.

  • Urs[in German]: Hello, I'm Urs, I'm from Switzerland.

  • Sun Xiaomei: OK, our friend from Switzerland!

  • Carlos[in Spanish]: I'm Carlos, I'm from Spain. Hola!

  • Audience: Hola!

  • David: I'm David, I'm the American.

  • Sun Xiaomei: Welcome, you four gentlemen.

  • Wow, now someone in our audience is speaking to Carlos in Spanish.

  • Si! I can speak Spanish, too.

  • I'm kidding!

  • We can see that on the table, we've put some simple Chinese food.

  • As we know that our four gentlemen just got off the plane. They came directly from the airport to our studio.

  • We know that you haven't ate yet, you may be a little bit hungry.

  • So we prepared some delicious Beijing food. Let me introduce these food to you, ok?

  • In the middle is the Beijing Kung Pao Chicken. Over there is the small ribs with sweet sauce.

  • And the four small dishes, are some traditional Beijing snacks.

  • Four gentlemen, please take the chopsticks and try it. Come on, please try it.

  • This is our special way to welcome you today. Please don't be shy, try it.

  • This is a bit spicy.

  • Sebastien doesn't eat spicy. Maybe you can try the small ribs?

  • How is it?

  • David, you like spicy?

  • When he eats Kung Pao Chicken, he doesn't eat the chicken, nor does he eat the peanuts,

  • He only eats the chili pepper in the seasoning.

  • There's something better for you. Now, please look.

  • Please welcome the head chef from Dadong Peking Roast Duck!

  • Have you been welcomed in this way before?

  • Dadong Peking Roast Duck is a very authentic and very popular Peking Roast Duck restaurant.

  • Today we have invited the head chef Mr.Liu Xinmin here. He'll prepare some roast duck for you.

  • Our authentic Peking Roast Duck.

  • You should try it, as you are in Beijing now.

  • How does it feel eating Peking Duck in Beijing? Does it taste different from the Chinese Roast Duck in your countries?

  • Please tell us after you try it.

  • And we all know that a few days ago, in Shanghai our four gentlemen just had their first concert in China this tour.

  • Would you please tell us what you think of Chinese audience?

  • We've heard that you've tried some Chinese food in Shanghai, as well.

  • OK, now our duck is ready. We could let them try it.

  • Let's eat first.

  • Urs[in Chinese]: Thank you.

  • Thank you Chef Liu for coming.

  • Let us welcome Vocal Gentlemen again.

  • Male Narrator: David Miller, from Colorado, USA. He's the highest tenor in the band.

  • He has a nickname "Baby Bear". He's got the childish side of him.

  • He's very sincere, cute, honest and friendly.

  • Even though he likes to play jokes and laugh, he is very serious when it comes to work.

  • He has a very rigorous attitude towards music.

  • He has been loving music since he was very young. He graduated from the renowned Oberlin Conservetory of Music in USA with excellent grades.

  • He's got a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance and a Master's degree in Opera Theatre.

  • Sun Xiaomei: I would like to start with David, David Miller.

  • So you come from the America. I've learned that your hometown is Colorado State, right?

  • The big valley, the famous big valley?

  • Male Narrator: Carlos, from the very exotic city, Madrid, Spain.

  • He's got a lot of Latin characters. Maybe we could say that he is both elegant in manners and extremely passionate in heart.

  • He's a gentleman with mature charms and sense of humour.

  • He may be the one who fits the traditional concept of male charms best in the band.

  • He is the only baritone in the band.

  • At a very young age, he had the reputation of "music prodigy".

  • He had his first album released at age 10.

  • He made his name in the Spanish productions of Les Miserables, Man from La Mancha, etc.

  • He is very famous in Spain, and he has won acclaim as "primo baritono".

  • Sun Xiaomei: I always feel that Carlos looks like the bullfighter from some Spanish Movie I've seen.

  • Right? He looks like the actor, the title role.

  • And we've heard that it seems Carlos has the plan of performing in a movie.

  • Would you please tell us about your hometown in Spain, is it Madrid?

  • And he looks like some star from action movies, as well. He's got the charisma, the unique charisma.

  • I think it would be great to see you in a Kungfu movie, an action movie someday.

  • Stunning.

  • Oh, I would like to take Kungfu class with you. I don't know Kungfu.

  • Now this is Urs from Switzerland.

  • Male Narrator: Urs Buhler is the other tenor in the band.

  • He has got the romancism in his blood.

  • He is just like a swiss watch, very precise, very punctuate. He likes everything to be neat and graceful.

  • Different from his usual slightly sombre appearnce, He loves Motorcycles, heavy metal music.

  • At age 17, when he was still in high school, he joined a local rock band and started his singing career.

  • In his early career, Urs had performed many Oratorios and done a lot of solo works.

  • To pursuit his music career, he went to Netherlands to study at Sweelink Conservatorium in Amsterdam

  • with many famous vocalists to improve his vocal performing skills.

  • Sun Xiaomei: Urs, so Urs' hometown is known as "the watertower of the Europe". And he's a fan of Motorcycles, right?

  • So now when you sing, do you feel the sense of motion of the Motocycles in your music?

  • Male Narrator: Sebastien is from Paris, France, the city known as "the capital of romance".

  • Unlike the vogue and luxury of Paris, this french gentleman is very modest, very sensitive.

  • He likes Champagne, red wine. Sebastien is not only very romantic, but also has a spirit of adventure. He likes to fly (an airplane).

  • As the only self-taught singer in the band, even though he lacks the professional training,

  • but he is very talented and broad. He's very good at instruments like guitar, piano, etc.

  • He is also a very good composer and song writer.

  • He was involved in many french artists' album producing.

  • Sun Xiaomei: He is from Paris. There's a doggerel describing Paris,

  • it says: Paris, lots of pretty girls, flowers, and dogs. Is that true?

  • Male Narrator: In December, 2003, after two years' global talent search by the famous music producer Simon Cowell,

  • these four young vocalists from different countries, with different cultural backgrounds came together.

  • They named the group with a beautiful and unique Italian word, Il Divo.

  • In Italian, it means "divine music performer".

  • However, before joining the group, they all have their own careers and lives.

  • Why did they choose to give up their uprising careers, and start another adventurous journey?

  • What kind of conflicts and struggles did they went through in making this decision?

  • Please keep watching, Life of Music.

  • Sun Xiaomei: Now let's go back to their group. The group has a very nice Italian name.

  • But many audience may feel a little bit strange like I do, as your group was established in UK,

  • then why don't you have a British name, but an Italian name? Why?

  • Truly, the four of them do sing in one unique voice. I don't think that's questionable.

  • From our conversations so far, we could feel that these four gentlemen are really really lovely. And they have very different personalities.

  • Now let's guess by instinction, (who's the most romantic one?)

  • I think as David is from America,

  • I think as David is from America, maybe he is more inclined to freedom. Is that right? Are you more free than the others?

  • Sun Xiaomei: You are very romantic.

  • He said that sure he is very romantic, but he is not the most romantic one.

  • Would you tell me that among the four of you, who is the most romantic one?

  • We know that in nowadays in many Asian countries, in many areas, many stars are not very willing to

  • put their private lives before the public eyes. Because that makes them less mysterious.

  • But after reading many interviews of you, I feel that you seem to be different.

  • You seem to be very happy, and you are willing to share your happiness, your joy with your audience. Is that true?

  • Sun Xiaomei: He said he's the only single one. Do you want to find your wife in China?

  • Sun Xiaomei: Here we have many single ones.

  • Subtitle: 2008, at the coliseum,in Crotia】 【Amazing Grace

  • Sun Xiaomei: I have another question for David. I heard that before joining Il Divo, you have taken

  • many important roles in many musicals and operas. What exactly were you doing at that time? How long had it been?

  • Urs has worked at Dutch opera. Maybe we could say when they found you,

  • you were already quite accomplished.

  • So when you got the news that they wanted you to join the group, what were you doing?

  • And for Carlos, actually at the time of the audition, he was already very famous, especially in Spain.

  • Why did you go to such an audition?

  • Sun Xiaomei: He was quite proud.

  • I think it kind of feels like the story of "Three Visits to the Thatched Cottage", right?

  • In the beginning he was kind of acting very proudly, how do you say that in English?

  • Acting like a diva.

  • For Sebastien, I know that you are the only self-taught singer in the group.

  • You have many experiences in music producing, composing, etc.

  • I heard that you are preparing for a solo album, is it true?

  • Sun Xiaomei: (Jokingly)They are preparing to exclude him.

  • I think maybe in near future, maybe Sebastien will write some songs for their group.

  • I think this is quite possible, right?

  • Male Narrator: In spring, 2004, in a studio in London, Vocal Gentlemen started rehearsing and recording for their first eponymous album, Il Divo.

  • Using classical vocal techniques to interpret classic pop songs, this was a style that nobody has ever tried before.

  • The format of such a group was unprecedented as well.

  • At that time, probably no one knew whether this group was going to success or not.

  • But it turned out that they eliminated everybody's doubt and worry with their music.

  • The first week their first album was released, it knocked the king of british pop music,

  • Robbie Williams down with a thunder-like pose, and landed straight to the top of the chart.

  • Moreover, in shortly two months' time, they sold more than 1 million copies. And the album became one of the top 10 best-selling albums of 2004 in UK.

  • By now, they have released 5 studio albums, and have 150 gold and platinum discs in 33 countries.

  • Looking back, what memories do they recall of the recording of their first album?

  • How do they deal with it when there's friction among them?

  • From so many years, what insights and reflections do they have?

  • Please keep watching, Life of Music.

  • Sun Xiaomei: A few days ago, when I found out that I was going to interview you,

  • I went to get your albums, especially the first one, as you have several already.

  • I listened very carefully, then I have a question.

  • I was thinking, many songs I've heard, they sound rather familiar.

  • But after you re-interpret them, surprisingly they feel very fresh to us.

  • Everybody could feel the fresh impulse in them.

  • I think this is very difficult to achieve in making covers of well-known songs.

  • Please tell us, how did you manage to do that?

  • Then we should say that using classical vocal techniques to convey this new idea, for you, was an experiment, on the other hand, it was also an adventure.

  • Did you ever consider whether this was going to success, or would it fail?

  • I've learned that it seems that you went into the studio and started recording the second time you met each other?

  • Then do you remember, what was the situation when you first did the recording for the album?

  • I think that your group is really amazing, you make the classical popular, and the pop music you make becomes classic.

  • This is my sincere experience.

  • And I know, four people working together

  • Seb[in Chinese]: Thank you.

  • Sun Xiaomei: You are welcome.

  • you've been working together for so many years, it must be very difficult.

  • As you come from different countries, and we've heard that sometimes you have

  • frictions and disagreements. I would like to know where do these

  • frictions and disagreements come from? Are they from the differences of your personalities, or are they from

  • your different understandings of music?

  • I feel that "a family" is very well-said. And best friends? of course.

  • But I'm thinking maybe another word is even better to describe the four of them,

  • I think it would be "brothers".

  • Male Narrator: 2006 was an unsual year for Il Divo.

  • They were invited to sing the official title song, "The Time of Our Lives" of

  • 2006 FIFA World Cup, with the queen of R&B, Toni Braxton, in front of millions of audiences live and before TVs.

  • This not only helped the charm of their music continued to expand on a global scale, but also

  • brought many Chinese audience to know and understand their music.

  • Look, our audience are very excited. Our four handsome fellows are very happy as they watched this MV, too.

  • I feel that I was brought back to the brilliant moment in 2006.

  • I don't know if you could recall the time when you performed in front of so many

  • TV audience all around the world, how did it feel?

  • Football fan, very fervent football fan he is.

  • I know that at the end of last year, you released your fifth album, Wicked Game.

  • There is a very famous song, which all of us are very familiar with, Don't Cry For Me Argentina.

  • Today we have this rare opportunity to have you here with us Chinese fans,

  • Would you please sing for us for a little bit right now? Don't Cry For Me Argentina.

  • Sun Xiaomei: OK. Sure. Sure.

  • Oh now I regret that I don't know how to play the piano. I wish I could play for you.

  • Staff: The audience could play.

  • Sun Xiaomei: Would you like to try?

  • Sun Xiaomei: Come on girl, don't be shy. Sun Xiaomei: Just a few lines.

  • Sun Xiaomei: You're not very familiar with the tune?

  • No worries, it's OK. I guess mainly you are too nervous to see these four handsome gentlemen.

  • Because you four are too handsome.

  • Sun Xiaomei: You play, he'll sing.

  • Sun Xiaomei: C Major.

  • Sun Xiaomei: You just play, they'll join in.

  • Sun Xiaomei: We find some new feelings again! Thank you!

  • Thanks to our audience and our four gentlemen. Perfect improvisational performance.

  • Very good coorperation.

  • Sun Xiaomei: Oh, the "Jasmine Flower", right?

  • Oh because in their Shanghai concert a few days ago,

  • they sang a Chinese song. Believe it or not, it was the nursery song we all grew up singing, "Two Tigers".

  • Let us welcome...who sang that?

  • Sebastien, come, please sing "Two Tigers" again!

  • "Two Tigers", just a few lines?

  • Lyrics: Two tigers, two tigers】 【running fast, running fast

  • running fast, running fast