A vocal music group appears in Iowa for the first time Tuesday night, promoting the message “opera isn’t just for stuffy old people.” 29-year-old Craig Atkinson is one of the Ten Tenors, an all-male, all-Australian group that’s performed its own unusual blend of pop music and opera on three continents before 77-million people.
Atkinson has performed more than a-thousand shows in more than 20 nations and says it’s opera like Iowans have never heard before. It’s all the hits of the last 40 or 50 years, including the Beach Boys, Queen, the BeeGees, the Jackson Five and then it stretches into the opera of the early 1900s, when opera was in its heyday.
Atkinson, who’s been singing with the group since 1998, says they have one segment of the show they call “Opera Without All the Boring Bits.” It’s highlights of opera’s more well-known arias. Atkinson says their goal is to present opera in a light-hearted spirit, yet true to form, merging Puccini and Vangelis with rock bands like Queen and boy bands like the Back Street Boys.
The Ten Tenors are performing at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines.