Five Minutes, Five Questions Michael Edwards, Ten Tenors

Five Minutes, Five Questions Michael Edwards, Ten Tenors

Considered one of Australia’s greatest entertainment success stories, the Ten Tenors previously performed on the Season of Entertainment schedule in 2007. They return to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith this year with the “Wish You Were Here Tour,” paying tribute to musical legends such as Prince, David Bowie, Michael Hutchence, John Lennon, Amy Winehouse and Roy Orbison, iconic artists who “left the musical world too soon.”

Their appearance, says Stacey Jones, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events at UAFS, reflects what he set out to do in the 38th year of the arts and entertainment series he founded: Make it more “international.”

“That seems to be more and more what our patrons want,” he says.

Michael Edwards, who began singing at the age of 8 and joined the Ten Tenors in 2014, answered these questions for The Free Weekly.

Q. How much of your time do you spend on tour? What countries do you most enjoy and why?

A. Usually around 20 to 30 weeks a year. I love touring the USA the most. People there are so warm and welcoming — oh, and the culinary delights! We try to sample barbecue in all the major barbecue hubs, [and] so far the best is in Kansas City. Oklahoma Joe’s.

Q. What inspired the Wish You Were Here Tour? I know it honors artists who have passed, but was there something in particular that made you want to choose that as a theme?

A. Yes, it was the the premature passing of David Bowie in 2016. We were in rehearsal, and we were doing our first run-through of rehearsing his epic classic “Heroes” when the Twitter feed came through that he had passed. It had a profound effect on us all, and we suspended rehearsal for the day. Later the same year, we were on tour in New Zealand and heard the news that Prince had passed away. Then Leonard Cohan and George Michael. The world lost so many great artists in 2016, we wanted to pay tribute to them all.

Q. Talk a little bit, please, about your musical background and how you came to this point in your career.

A. I started singing at an early age when I joined a children’s choir in Melbourne. I continued singing with them throughout my teenage years before starting and completing a Bachelor of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium. I joined The Ten Tenors as the understudy before joining the lineup a year later. In the upcoming tour I will be stepping into the role of touring music director. I’ve loved every minute at The Ten Tenors.

Q. What’s your favorite piece of music in this year’s tour?

A. There are so many great songs in this year’s tour. For me, our arrangement of “We Are the Champions,” paying tribute to Freddie Mercury, is a stand-out favourite. It is epic, and the audience really hears The Ten Tenors in full flight.

Q. What do you hope audiences take away from the performance?

A. Although the concept of “Wish You Were Here” sounds sad, this is a celebration of great artists and great music. Above all else, I hope the audience leaves the theater having loved every second. There is also an opportunity for dancing.



The Ten Tenors

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12

WHERE — ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center in the Fort Smith Convention Center

COST — $33-$35

INFO — 788-7300

Categories: Music