Vail Valley: ‘A singing football team’ |

Vail Valley: ‘A singing football team’

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley music: The Ten Tenors are performing at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek for the first time Thursday night.

VAIL, Colorado –If there’s one thing Dion Molinas has learned about American audiences in his more than 20 years of touring with the Australian group The Ten Tenors, who play in the Vail Valley Thursday, it’s that American audiences are generally a little more reserved than their Australian counterparts, especially if they’ve never seen the group perform before.

“American audiences can be very polite in the way they respond,” Molinas said during a recent phone interview. “It’s flattering, it means they’re enjoying the music, but we encourage them – “if you want to whistle or scream, do it.’ And by the end of the show, they always end up doing that.”

Maybe there’s a simple explanation for the disparity. While the group is one of the most successful Australian touring acts of all time, they’re not quite as well known in the states. The Ten Tenors, nearly all of them model cute, will take to the Vilar Center for the first time Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The show is called “Nostalgica,” also the name of the group’s latest album. Show attendees can expect a well-rounded musical revue – a “very mixed bag” of songs, said Molinas, one of the few original members of the group.

“It’s a musical journey from the 1920s to the 1980s, with the opera pieces put in there,” he said. “People expect opera pieces from tenors. There’s also a few fun, choreographed dance numbers, or musical movements as we like to call them.”

Many of the songs include fan requests from over the years, he said, and there’s everything from old favorites from the ’20s and ’30s to songs by Queen.

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In a YouTube video, the group performs an ’80s medley with classics like “My Sharona,” by The Knack, “Tainted Love,” by Soft Cell and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” by Wham.

“These guys do better than all of the original artists,” wrote one person on the comments section of the video. “I’ve seen them live and it’s totally different and much better!”

The group was originally made up of 10 students from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music who wanted to perform for some extra cash. Three years later, after steadily attracting new fans, the group decided to take their show on the road. With around 250 shows a year, all around the world, their touring schedule has yet to slow down. They’ve performed with big names like Rod Stewart, Andrea Boccelli, Alanis Morissette, Willie Nelson and Christina Aguilera at venues ranging from London’s Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House to The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

For Molinas, its that first name – Rod Stewart – that stands out.

“He’s a personal favorite for me, but it’s really hard to choose, they’re all such amazing artists,” he said. “It’s always a big honor and privilege to share the stage. Coming from such humble beginnings, you never expect something like that to happen. We’re just 10 Australian guys, very much like a singing football team, who just loves to do what we do.”

Molinas attributes the groups staying power to some specific personality attributes.

“I think one of the things is people really love the Australian charm and Australian humor,” he said. “We take our music very seriously but we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we try to add humor on the stage.”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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