Countertenor Terry Barber revives Freddy Mercury’s Music, legend at two Boca Raton performances Oct. 9
Freddy Mercury, the flamboyant front man for one of rock music’s most influential groups, Queen, died 30 years ago. But his notable accomplishments and musical achievements are still celebrated and enjoyed three decades after his passing.
Barber with band members performing “Mercury”
Known for his colorful stage persona and four-octave vocal range, Mercury defied the conventions of a typical lead performer with his highly theatrical style that begat a 2018 bioflick, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and a stage musical named for another of Queen’s popular songs, “We Will Rock You.”
Famed countertenor Terry Barber, who shares a similar multi-octave musical scale and is just as devoted to classical melodies as Mercury was, revives the Queen lead singer’s repertoire during two shows on Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Boca Black Box Theatre, 8221 Glades Road, Boca Raton.
Barber, who has employed his vast musical capabilities at hundreds of international solo performances and on a multitude of recordings, is no stranger to South Florida. He has sung with local musicians and vocalists during programs at the Crest Theater in Delray Beach and at the Duncan Theater on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth.
Actually, he will be accompanied by student singers from two local high schools during his upcoming shows. The 7 p.m. performance on Oct. 9 will feature choir members from Spanish River High School and the 9:30 p.m. show will find Barber backed by singers from West Boca Raton High School.
Barber takes his Freddy Mercury revue to the Lyric Theatre in Stuart for a 7 p.m. show Sunday, Oct. 10 featuring members of “Opus” from Martin County High School and “Jubilate” from Jensen Beach High School.
To facilitate the production, Terry sent recordings from the scheduled song list to music coaches at all the schools. “I am coordinating with the choirs and conductors, and they are prepping the kids.” When Terry arrives for the productions, he will also rehearse with the high schoolers to guarantee a seamless show.
“I would like to thank music educators, Alex Kovalsky, Catherine Briggs, Jimmy Paul and Emily Vitale for help preparing the students for their performance.”
A slate of talented musicians will back Terry and the students as they bring Mercury’s musical portfolio to life. The show features guitarist Don Carr from the Oakridge Boys, pianist/singer and recent Tony winner, Grace Field; Jonathan Cummings, creator of the Troubadour’s Journey, on drums and vocals and Val Shaffer on bass.
Terry Barber promises the audience will “hear incredible renditions of “We Will Rock You,’ ‘The Show Must Go On,’ ‘Under Pressure,’ ‘I Want It All,’ ‘Hammer to Fall,’ ‘Radio Ga Ga,’ ‘Fat Bottomed Girls,’ ‘Love Of My Life,’ ‘We Are The Champions,’ ‘Barcelona,’ ‘The Great Pretender,’ ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ among others.”
Drawing on his fascination with, and extensive research on, Freddie Mercury, Terry created the “Mercury Live” tour in 2019. He has spent this summer performing various shows at venues around the nation.
During the show, “the audience will relive the songs that made Freddie famous and will also get to know him as a person through his life story and actual quotes,” Terry said.
“I have been a huge fan of Queen,” Terry noted. He said his intention during the show is “not to imitate him in the delivery of his songs, but to perform them my way.”
Terry “will not only his performance “with the flamboyance and bravado it requires, but it will also include African and Indian elements.” He noted that Freddie was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar and attended school in India. And Freddie, he noted, “was a big fan of classical music.”
Queen, Terry said, “is one of the smartest groups in history. One of them was an astrophysicist, another was an orthodontist. Freddy is the one who came up with the name.”
In addition, all band members have written songs.
A voting member of the Grammy Awards, Terry has sung on virtually all major record labels with Grammy-winning artists such as the group Chanticleer and individual performers Madonna, Jewel, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper and Steve Smith, among others.
His current tour programs include, “The Many Voices of Terry Barber,” an exploration through light musical theater, classical, and popular works and “Around the World in 80 Minutes” made up of special arrangements by Emmy and Grammy-winning composers of the world’s favorite melodies in 10 languages (with songs like “Danny Boy” “Besame Mucho,” “La Vie en Rose” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
Terry’s production of “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” includes hits from 10 of the composers most beloved shows and “The Christmas Presence,” a holiday program of classics, classical, and popular favorites.
For tickets, log on to Bocablackbox.com or call 561-483-9036. Tickets to the Lyric Theatre show are available at firstname.lastname@example.org.