Jonathan Antoine, Great Baritone of His Generation
Great 20th Century Male Vocalists
Italy and Spain have produced the greatest male classical voices of the twentieth century. Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Enrico Caruso all invoke immense power and emotion when they sing. Each of these accomplished vocalists are tenors and Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo became known as "The Three Tenors ".
Why is it that the most celebrated classical artists of the modern age are all tenors? Do we, as their audience prefer the higher pitched male tenor voice? And what about the the bass or baritone male voices?
Great 21st Century Baritone, Jonathan Antoine
Move over tenors and move over Italy and Spain. Great Britain is in the house with a young baritone vocalist from Essex named Jonathan Antoine. If you are familiar with Britain's Got Talent, you may have seen this inspiring young man's March 24 audition. He performed with friend, and fellow vocal student, Charlotte Jaconelli to a packed audience, who heckled them as they walked onto the stage.
The duo chose to sing "The Prayer", made famous by Celine Dione and Andrea Bocelli, which presents a unique combination of classical opera and pop style. With Jonathan's first note, he had their attention. The audience, as well as the judges, stopped talking and listened. By the time he belted out his tenth note many of them were on their feet. On his last magnificent note, many were visibly crying. And the crowd went wild!
Jonathan and Charlotte Singing "All I Ask of You"
A Star is Born
Jonathan may have been ridiculed by cruel classmates while growing up for being a "big boy", but Jonathan will become a great star. It is his destiny, he is destined for greatness. And not because Simon Cowell says so, either. Jonathan will become great because the world loves him. People from all over the globe are watching his YouTube videos over and over again. They leave congratulatory comments on his Facebook fan page, singing his praises, wishing him well. People thank him for inspiring them and allowing them to connect to his powerful, graceful and humble energy. Grown men openly admit they cried when they heard him sing. This 17-year old young man from Essex seems to have awakened and inspired the entire world.
When Jonathan sings, it comes from deep within his soul, and he connects to a place many of us may not be able to find. I am not an emotional person but when I listened to his audition the first time, tears were pouring down my face. I re-watched the BGT video for almost an hour, and every day since.
People compare him to Susan Boyle, Pavarotti and even Caruso. But Jonathan is Jonathan and quite frankly, there is not comparison. He has his own unique sound and style that, coupled with his humility and loyalty, will continue to amaze us all as he comes into his maturity. When Jonathan sings, it appears effortless. There is no straining. There is no falsetto. It is just pure, powerful baritone. There is something in his voice, and powerful vibrato, that opens your heart, and you feel the power of God, the Universe and the Divine.
Best of luck to you Jonathan and Charlotte as you take on the world. You are already winners!