Inspired by an ability to evolve and grow past already respected careers and repertoires that transcend genres and transformed generations, Canadian Tenor Ken Lavigne is preparing a brand new show.
Three Knights with a Tenor, an admittedly cheeky title, features the music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John. The tour comes to Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre on Thursday, May 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s music I enjoy singing privately and it’s music I don’t get the opportunity to perform outside of my shower,” Lavigne says from his home studio office in Chemainus. “What makes them stand up is that their music still inspires young and old alike and I want to carry on the tradition.”
Lavigne has made a career doing classical crossover, using his voice to merge styles in a way that very few can and this, he says, “is a no-brainer.”
Working through bodies of work from one iconic artist, the likes of Elton John for example, would be a daunting enough task on its own. Add two others of the highest calibre and it could be, understandably, overwhelming. “I just put them all in a basket and pick them out,” he jokes.
“It was extremely difficult to choose because all three are extremely prolific and they have a mountain of work,” Lavigne says. “The conclusion is you want to include them all, but you can’t. I’ve decided to weave them into a medley, with some pieces that will stand alone”.
Lavigne began to see synergies between Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John as work on his new show progressed. Paul McCartney began writing simple three chord pop songs but evolved into working with the London Symphony. Elton John managed to integrate piano into main stream rock and Andrew Lloyd Webber created monumental works that are celebrated as nostalgic tipping. “You don’t have to start out and just be one thing,” Lavigne says “For me, learning about their process and what caused them to take the path they did, was inspiring.”
While Lavigne has been singing some of these songs in the shower for years, many have been performed as solos at private concerts where they have been well received. The concept for this show has been developing for many months and Ken was ready to try something new for larger audiences.
Lavigne is very aware that paying tribute to three of he world’s most celebrated musicians is not a tribute act. “I will perform true and faithfully to who I am and I know the ultimate arbitrators of good taste is the audience.”
Three Knights with a Tenor, which includes a small ensemble, debuts Comox United Church in Comox on April 27 at 7:30 p.m. and moves down Vancouver Island, finishing in Chemainus on May 12. By the end of the tour, audiences will have provided insight into which are “the best bits” and then they will be included on an album. “They will vote by audience applause.”
For full Three Knights with a Tenor tour details visit Ken’s website: www.kenlavigne.com Advance Tickets: $30 At the Door: $35 (plus service fees).