EleMenTrio in Florida before Vienna

Celebrated countertenor Terry Barber is a familiar face – and voice – at performance venues in South Florida.

Not long ago, he hooked up with a couple of other vocalists to form a new group and create a new production that is already booked for shows in Vienna, Montreal and London.  

But Barber, who sang lead at a concert featuring songs by Freddy Mercury and Queen last October at the Black Box Theatre in Boca Raton, has decided to launch his newest venture closer to home with shows at two Sunshine State locations — April 21 in Stuart and April 22 in Aventura.

Barber is one of three singers in a new group, EleMenTrio, an ensemble of artists who “combine three distinct vocal timbres, delivering lush vocal melodies and creating a metamorphosis of sound unlike any other men’s vocal group.”

He said each member of EleMenTrio – Victor Valdez, Vincent Connor and himself – “has a wealth of experience in various genres. Together, we will create a blend that is heart-warming, satisfying and inspiring.”

Members of EleMenTrio, from left, Victor Valdez, Vincent Connor and Terry Barber. (Courtesy of Terry Barber)

“Each distinct voice and personality,” he said, “reflects connection to an element — water, spirit earth – as they deliver moving, power ballads and modern contemporary hits.”

“Appealing to both the typical mature audience as well as younger generations, EleMenTrio sings beautifully crafted original arrangements of classics like ‘Danny Boy,’ ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘Music of the Night’ from ‘Phantom of the Opera.’”

“We will also be presenting unique versions of current radio hits and classic rock tunes by Journey, Aerosmith and Air Supply, among others.”

EleMenTrio’s personnel include:

Connor, artistic director of two international festivals. His bold delivery as a singing actor earned him opportunities in opera, musical theater and television.  Co-creator of Mad Hatter the Musical which debuted in London’s West End, Vincent has directed more than 40 operas and musicals worldwide.

Valdez, a Latin American tenor currently touring his own programs. He eventually moved to the US where he has performed more than 1,000 solo shows, appearing with symphonies and on cabaret and musical theater stages from Miami’s Arsht Center to London’s Leicester Square Theatre.

Barber is a past member of the multiple Grammy-winning men’s vocal ensemble, Chanticleer. He has also been a soloist around the globe from the Metropolitan Opera to Moscow’s Svetlanov Hall. He can be heard on recordings with performers from Madonna, Jewel, Chaka Khan and Cyndi Lauper to the London Philharmonic. 

“Even though we are all recognized as soloists, it is our collective sound as a trio that inspires our listeners,” said Connor. “We are creating a fun, refreshing atmosphere for our audience to connect with us and our music.”

“The name, ‘EleMenTrio,’ may be worth explaining,” said Barber. “It’s really a triple entendre, if you will.  Of course, we are a trio of men, but also, each of us identifies with a different element and we recognize that, as humans, our connection with music is instinctual, basic and elemental.”

Members of EleMenTrio are shown making a video of the Journey song, “Open Arms.” (Courtesy of Terry Barber)

How exactly was the group formed?  Connor responded: “A mutual fan and arts benefactor connected us. Typically, singers, especially of the same gender, might consider each other competition. But when I began to connect with and understand the others’ talents, there was something synergistic, elemental if you will about the way our voices came together harmoniously.” 

The South Florida concerts are planned on the following dates:

Thursday, April 21, 8 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre, 59 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart, FL 33994. Telephone: 772-286-7827 or email: info@lyrictheatre.com.

Friday, April 22 (Earth Day), 8 p.m., at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Aventura, FL 33180. Telephone 305-466-8002 or email: info@aventuracenter.org.

Barber said EleMenTrio “has a plan to use this and future concerts to support positive change.”

The concert will include some songs one might expect from The Three Tenors, like “Besame Mucho” and “The Prayer.”  

“We technically are all tenors, but because I am a countertenor and Vincent is a bari-tenor, we are covering a wider vocal range, allowing us to deliver the unique arrangements of beloved songs created for EleMenTrio.” Barber noted.

But, also, the group hopes to be more like “The Three Tenors” for the modern age, appealing to younger audiences by including songs by Sting, Journey, Si and Michael Jackson, for example.

The original musical arrangements were created mainly by the group’s actual tenor, Victor Valdez. “My hope was to create arrangements that will not only move people through my use of harmony but will highlight the special sound that the three of us can make together.”

Why is the group debuting in these Florida locations?  “I attended one of Terry Barber’s sold-out tour shows at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart,” Vincent said. “It’s a beautiful, historic theater where we can connect intimately with our audience. There are no bad seats!”  

Also, Terry used to live in the area and considers it one of his home venues.  Both Victor and Vincent live closer to the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center.  

The performance list for the Florida concerts includes a combination of original tunes and covers: “Besame Mucho,” “Hijo de la Luna,” “La Vie en Rose,” “Waving Through a Window,” “You’ll Be Back,” “Be My Wonderland,” “The Prayer,” “Simple Song,” “You Raise Me Up,” “Danny Boy,” “When the World Falls Apart,” “Feelin’ Good,” “Summertime,” “Fields of Gold,” “Dust in the Wind,” “Earth Song,” “Open Arms,” “Heaven on their Minds,” “As if We Never Said Goodbye,” “All I Ask of You” and “Music of the Night.”

Fans looking to get an early glimpse of EleMenTrio should search for the group’s newly recorded rendition of Journey’s “Open Arms,” which was released as a video on April 1.

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