A flood of releases now compete for a slice of crossover's hefty share of the classical market in Britain and elsewhere, and Amici Forever, a five-person group of singers (two women and three men), has been more successful than most with the album The Opera Band.
The group now aims to conquer the U.S.
market, which except in the case of Charlotte Church has proven generally less welcoming to classical/pop mixtures.
Amici Forever may fare well, for care has been taken with its visual impact.
These are five very photogenic young people (one of them, Tsakane Valentine, South African-born), dressed to the nines and photographed as if they were pop stars.
Otherwise, not much is new here.
The music consists of the same mixture of pop songs and shortened operatic excerpts that's found on crossover releases by the parade of teen-classical vocalists.
The arrangements aren't particularly varied, and if "Zadok the Priest" works well enough sung by a quintet, "Nessun dorma" makes less sense.
The electronic rhythm tracks heard on some of the tracks aren't very imaginative, and the Italian language seems to serve primarily as a marker of luxury here (else how to explain the curious decision to translate "Unchained Melody" into that language?).
Though nothing is wrong with dressing the classics up with a bit of star quality, this "opera band" seems unlikely to inspire listeners to explore their endless riches.