BWW Interview: Fraser Walters Talks About Bringing THE TENORS' A-Game to Durham for Carolina Theatre Concert
Fresh off their fourth PBS special which aired in August, the multi-platinum group The Tenors kicked off their Fan Favorites Tour two weeks ago in Canada. This week, they bring their eclectic mix of classical and contemporary music to The Carolina Theatre in Durham.
"There are so many voices external and internal that can stop us from reaching our full potential, and I think the beautiful thing about being on the road is that we are creating an environment that is encouraging for that creative output," says Fraser Walters, one-third of the band.
And Walters is no stranger to being on the road. In fact, he began performing and traveling at the age of eight, first in musical theater and then in operas with such companies as The Edmonton Opera and Seattle Opera.
"I was lucky that my family was quite supportive," he says. "You know it really sort of took a community of people to be understanding of a different way to do things."
By 16, he was offered a scholarship to go to school, study theater and play sports in Australia. It was at that time that he landed the role of Jesus in a production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.
"That was such a formative and transformative experience, and it just all turned my world even more so to music being exactly what I wanted to do for the long term."
Since then, the trio has performed all over the world, including at The White House for the last four Presidents, at Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and during the opening ceremonies of the XXI Olympic Games.
And Walters says it's the weight of their collective life experiences, along with a lot of sacrifices and hard work, that has earned them a stamp of approval from audiences worldwide.
"A lot of times as an audience member, I go to a show and sometimes I get pulled through my own thoughts if there's a character that I relate to or a storyline that mirrors something in my own life, and so I'm conscious of that when I'm going on stage," he says. "People are seeing themselves through our music, and that's a huge responsibility, so, you really want to bring your A-game."
"That's why we rehearse a lot. That's why we focus on our attention to detail. We want to bring excellence to the stage."
"We don't rest on our laurels," he adds. "We constantly want to challenge ourselves and challenge each other and that keeps this beautiful organism growing and moving forward."
Walters says something else that keeps them going is having a positive attitude of gratitude and giving back to the community. In fact, proceeds from the tickets sold for the concert that aired on PBS last August went towards the #TorontoStrongFund, which supports victims of last April's van attack which killed 10 people and injured 16 others. They've also worked with Gilda's Club and the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
"It's not lost on us that we are so lucky to be doing what we're doing that we have a career performing and traveling around the world, sharing music, doing something that we're very passionate about," Walters says. "It's in our DNA, it has been from the beginning, to pay it forward and to contribute in every way we can."
While Walters and Micallef are classically trained, Walters says the word "tenors" is not proprietary to the classical world and does not refer to a style of music or genre but a vocal range. He adds that Sting, Steven Tyler, and Freddie Mercury are all famous tenors and that audiences attending the Fan Favorites concert tour can expect to hear everything from opera to Elvis.
"When I think about our program, we sing music that spans probably 400 years," he says. "We're singing some of the greatest songs ever written and when you're immersed in that every day, it can't help but improve your own artistic output."
"We want to give people that opportunity to get lost in the music for a couple of hours," he adds. "These days there's so much stimulation out in the world with our smartphones and with the news, that this is an opportunity to come in, turn your phone off, and just get lost in the wonderful world of art and melody and harmony."
THE TENORS play the Carolina Theatre on October 24th. For more information visit: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/.
For more information on THE TENORS tour, visit: http://www.tenorsmusic.com/index.