Available Nov. 5, classical crossover group Il Divo's new album, A Musical Affair, puts new twists on songs from iconic Broadway shows like Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story. Not only that, the album features stellar duets with Barbra Streisand, Kristin Chenoweth, Nicole Scherzinger, Michael Ball, and Heather Headley. And since A Musical Affair is composed entirely of Broadway numbers, it's only appropriate that the foursome take their act to Broadway. Joined by special guest Headley, Il Divo will give theatrical performances of the Great White Way's greatest hits at the Marquis Theatre beginning on Nov. 7. For more insight, we spoke with David Miller, Il Divo's sole American member.
Did you always love Broadway? Do you remember the first show you saw?
DAVID MILLER: Music theater was actually what brought me out of my shell musically. When I was in high school, I had a choir teacher who recognized that I had a voice even before I did, and he encouraged me to audition for musicals. My sophomore year, I auditioned for Rooster in Annie, and I got the part . . . The first Broadway show I saw was Phantom of the Opera my senior year . . . I became hooked on opera from that point forward.
How did the idea for this album come about?
DM: The idea came from observations we had during our tours. Our first music theater attempt was the song "Somewhere" from West Side Story. It got such an amazing response that we decided to try "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha, which has not appeared on any album but was only performed in concert. Again, we found audiences were going crazy for it. So after we had released the Greatest Hits compilation, we felt we should create an album with an actual direction . . . After looking back on what seemed to be most popular with audiences on tour, a music theater album seemed quite obvious.
What was it like working with the guest singers?
DM: Our method, in order to get the highest quality control, is isolation, so we were never in the studio with any of the artists, the exceptions being "Love Changes Everything" with Michael Ball and "Music of the Night" with Barbra Streisand . . . "Music of the Night" was lifted from our performance with [Barbra] when we were on tour with her in 2006. It was amazing to share the stage with such a legend. Every moment spent with her onstage was like having a master class. Also, she was incredibly generous by incorporating us into her show instead of making us her opening act.
Tell us about the shows at the Marquis Theatre. What does it mean to you to be on the Broadway stage, and what can audiences expect?
DM: It will be a great honor for us to be performing on Broadway. We have a huge lineage of amazing performances to live up to, so we hope to bring a performance that will be on par with the level that is expected of a Broadway show. Our show is going to be a visual collage of cutting-edge theatrics to highlight the wonderful cross-section of music. From "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King, we will present the emotional essence of the songs, rather than a literal interpretation of the scenes.