For the Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, there is one quality, above all others, that sets Il Divo apart. “I think the magic is that we come from different countries, and have backgrounds ¬ opera, pop, musical theatre ¬ that are so varied. And the people who try to imitate us just don¹t have that. This is what is unique about Il Divo. You put us together in a shaker and it¹s like this Molotov cocktail, ¬a huge explosion of vocals.”
In Carlos¹s case, the variety he brings to Il Divo encompasses opera, pop, musical theatre, stage and television production and presenting, and acting.
Performance is in his blood, he says. “The first time I was in front of a large number of people was in Germany, where I was born, and I was only six, performing to 800 people. And I¹ve never really stopped since.” Carlos had made two albums by the time he was 10, and prior to joining Il Divo became a hugely popular star of stage and television screen ¬facts that only strengthen the impression that here is an artist who is unusually and whole-heartedly dedicated to what he does.
So dedicated, in fact, that, away from Il Divo, Carlos is also working on a new stage production he describes as “old-school, with tap-dancers, big musical numbers, a real evening of swing”, which will star his former wife, the singer and actress Geraldine Larrosa. To him, there is nothing strange about working with Geraldine. “We are friends, and we always will be,” he says. “And she is so talented, so why would I not want to continue to collaborate with her?”
Carlos brings a similarly refreshing and clear-sighted approach to Il Divo, although he admits he can still find himself marvelling at the success the group have enjoyed. “It¹s unbelievable,” he laughs, going on to say that sometimes “it¹s like living in a dream come true. I see everything as like a film. I do find myself sitting down occasionally and thinking, ‘Wow, look at all the things I¹ve done¹. And it¹s easy to forget that when it¹s all happening, and happening to you. You lose perspective.”
On the subject of old-school, Carlos himself behaves and dress very much like a star of yesteryear, his immaculate tailoring and grooming speaking of a bygone age. He¹s happy to be described as such, seeing his role as a performer and entertainer as one that carries with it a requirement to look his best, be his best. Not for him the self-effacement or air of apology communicated by so many contemporary artists. “This isn¹t work,” Carlos says, “it¹s a passion.” By which you sense he means: why would I bother with half measures? It¹s all or nothing.
Discussing Il Divo¹s new album, Carlos enthuses: “The experience of making it has been unbelievable. We were listening for the first time to the record in its entirety this morning, and you can really hear the evolution. We sound so much more mature, but that¹s because, more than ever, we know what we¹re doing. We have been doing this so long. And that connection between us, the way that the combination produces the magic, it¹s stronger than ever.”