Classical crossover group Il Divo marks anniversary with new album, tour

Fifteen years later, Sébastien Izambard feels like he’s never left the road.

This is a good thing, because Izambard never imagined Il Divo would become a worldwide sensation.

“Our new show is celebrating our 15 years together,” he says in a recent phone interview. “Generally speaking, time flies so quickly, and it’s pretty spectacular still being on tour and taking the stage each night. People are excited to see you.”

In 2003, producer Simon Cowell brought together Izambard, Urs Buhler, Carlos Marín and David Miller to form the vocal group.

With over 30 million albums sold and 160 certified gold and platinum hits in 35 countries, the quartet pioneered the genre of operatic pop, or “popera,” in classical crossover music.

In 2006, Guinness World Records listed it as the most commercially successful classical crossover group in international music history.

“When we first started, never in a million years did we think this would last as long as it has,” he says. “We never wanted to fail with this group. With hard work and dedication, we’ve been able to navigate through 15 years.”

The group’s latest album, its ninth, “Timeless,” is its first release for Decca Gold.

The album features a Spanish cover of Adele’s hit “Hello,” called “Hola.”

The group also covers John Legend’s “All of Me,” a Spanish version of Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting” called “Aquí Esperándote” as well as Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” and Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable.”

Il Divo has plenty of songs to pull from for its performances, which can make it difficult for planning a tour.

“It’s a nightmare,” Izambard says of putting together a set list. “We have a show director that makes the decisions for us. Otherwise, we’d be arguing on what to put in the set. We’ve narrowed it down to 100 minutes, and the audience is getting the best of Il Divo – songs from all of our records.”

With such a full schedule on the road, the 46-year-old musician keeps himself healthy by taking care of himself.

“I use meditation a lot, and I’m a vegetarian mostly,” he says. “Sleeping good hours is a must. I travel with my pillow, and it gives me a sense of home. I implement these into my life. It looks pretty glamorous from the outside, but it’s a lot of work. I have to be in tune with myself.”

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