Three Mo’ Tenors at Coronado

Three Mo’ Tenors at Coronado

By Molly Fleming, Staff Writer

For anyone who is familiar with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Jose Carreras (perhaps the most talented) and their nationally acclaimed act, “The Three Tenors,” then attend the “Three Mo’ Tenors” concert at the Coronado Theatre, Tuesday, Feb. 18, for a different kind of performance.

Although their press release claims strongly that the production is not a spoof, Director Marion J. Caffey’s “Three Mo’ Tenors” is obviously inspired by the original hit. “Our tenors are critically acclaimed and artists of integrity in their own right, and there is no room for both,” Caffey notes.

There is a shocking lack of black operatic vocalists on the popular musical stage today, and with the rising popularity of Victor Trent Cook, Rodrick Dixon and Thomas Young, perhaps this absence will be filled soon enough. Although their repertoire contains many classical and operatic works spanning 400 years in composed music, “Three Mo’ Tenors” also includes contemporary forms of music such as jazz, blues, soul, gospel, spiritual and Broadway. A sample program includes Rossini’s “Ah, Vieni, Nel Tuo Sangue,” a tribute medley to jazz great Duke Ellington, traditional spiritual, “Were You There,” traditional Mexican folk song, “Cielito Lindo,” and an array of Steven Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and other Broadway composers’ work.

Heralded by 2000 Tony Award Winner, Brian Stokes Mitchell as an addition to his “short list of ‘The best shows I have EVER seen…’” and by Amsterdam News as “amazing artists whose vocal brilliance, collectively and individually, are life-affirming,” Three Mo’ Tenors are a must-see performance. They are noted for their precise technique, a variant repertoire and rich quality. There is no “best” among them, as all three are recognized as prime in their field from those who have attended a “Three Mo’ Tenors” performance.

Victor Trent Cook is a native New Yorker from Brooklyn who has been singing since he was 3 years old. He has done commercials, been in off-Broadway and Broadway productions, and has traveled Europe and Japan doing shows like Body and Soul and Harlem Symphony. He has been featured on The Arsenio Hall Show, the Today show and The Rosie O’Donnell Show. Cook has also shared the stage with some popular performers such as Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight, Lou Rawls and Bette Midler.

Rodrick Dixon has not only a great voice, but also enjoys acting and dance. Dixon has engaged in several performances with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Most of his performances seem to have been around the Chicago area, giving him a vaguely local feel to Rockford listeners. He has performed in various Broadway performances, including Porgy and Bess, and has appeared on Good Morning America and The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

Thomas Young has appeared in various opera halls as a soloist in more than 20 countries. He made his Chicago debut in Amistad at the Lyric Opera, as well as starring in a role written for him by Davis in The Trickster God. Singing Handel’s Messiah, dual roles in Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, title role in Stravinski’s Oedipus Rex, and Messiaen’s St. Francoise d’Assise are only some of the impressive performances on Young’s resumé, but those are merely the beginning of his long, long list of notable accomplishments.

“Three Mo’ Tenors” is a great addition to the Black History Month calendar of events for Rockford as the trio performs both European and African-rooted songs. To miss it would be a shame. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for adults. For information or ticket reservations, call 968-5222.

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