The multinational vocal quartet Il Divo has announced that its U.S. tour will go on as scheduled beginning Feb. 2, despite the Dec. 19 death of member Carlos Marin. Mexican American baritone Steven LaBrie has been drafted to join the surviving members for the tour, which has been rechristened as a “Greatest Hits” trek and will now be dedicated to Marin’s memory.
The tour had previously been billed as the “For Once in My Life Tour” before being refocused as a career retrospective and tribute to Marin in the wake of his death from COVID-19 just before Christmas.
Members David Miller, Sebastien Izambard and Urs Buhler released a statement about going on with the show, saying: “Carlos was a larger than life personality, with a rare combination of an incredibly beautiful, God-given voice and absolutely immense talent. His passion, playfulness and sense of humor made for such a magical persona, and his laugh would always lift anyone up. He was loved by millions of fans all over the world and we were lucky and honored to be able to perform with him in our midst for so many years. We’ll deeply miss his playfulness, friendship and brilliant voice. In his honor, we’ll be setting up a Carlos Marin Foundation and will be playing tribute to his singing in our future shows. May everyone remember him for his beautiful soul, his amazing talent and may he forever rest in peace.”
The tour begins as previously scheduled Feb. 2 at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, quickly followed by a date in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theatre Feb. 6. The 11-date outing wraps up in Miami Feb. 27.
Marin was 53 when he died. After feeling ill while on tour in the U.K., the singer had been hospitalized on Dec. 8 in the Intensive Care Unit of the Manchester Royal Hospital and reportedly had to be intubated before passing away 11 days later.
Il Divo was formed in 2003 by Simon Cowell for his Sony Music Synco Label as a new generation, Three Tenors-style quartet delivering covers of songs halfway between opera and pop. Immaculately turned out in largely Giorgio Armani suits, the group’s singers came from over the world: Bühler was a Swiss tenor, Marín a Germany-born Spaniard, Miller an American tenor and Izambard a French pop singer.
Marin’s ex-wife, Geraldine Larrosa, told a Spanish outlet that Cowell had “personally phoned the hospital and offered to help with anything,” including the offer of moving him to a Spanish hospital. She also said they had been planning to remarry. “During these two years of the pandemic, we’d been together. We were going to marry and it did not happen in the end,” she said. A funeral service was held Dec. 28 in Madrid.
The tour’s newly named guest vocalist, LaBrie, was named artist of the week by Opera Wire in December 2019. The publication noted at that time that LaBrie had had “breakouts with the New Amsterdam Opera and Teatro Nuovo and made major role debuts as well as house debuts with some of the United States’ major regional theaters including the San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Florida Grand Opera” on his road toward an impending European debut at the the Tiroler Festspiele Erl.
A list of Il Divo’s U.S. tour dates:
February 2 San Jose, CA San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
February 6 Los Angeles, CA Microsoft Theater
February 9 Denver, CO Bellco Theatre
February 12 McAllen, TX McAllen Performing Arts Center
February 13 Cedar Park, TX H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
February 14 San Antonio, TX Tobin Center
February 19 Chicago, IL Arie Crown Theater
February 20 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
February 22 Boston, MA Wang Theatre – Boch Center
February 25 St. Petersberg, FL The Mahaffey Theater
February 27 Miami, FL James L. Knight Center