JSO members in their spare time What do the platin tenors do beside the Orchestra?
Design by Jaya Tgal.
GARY BENNETT www.gary-bennett.de
Solo concert by Gary Bennett. On Sunday February 23rd 2014, Gary Bennett will be the soloist in an orchestral concert in the Düsseldorf Tonhalle in Düsseldorf (Germany) at 11 AM. Gary will be singing mainly Neapolitan songs including: “Torna a Surriento” and “O Sole Mio”. The orchestra is the Rumanian State Philharmonic Orchestra and Franz Lamprecht is the conductor.
Lana Campbell, who lives in Hobart, Tasmania, attended Gary’s concert and she sent us her report and photos!  Thank you Lana! Gary Bennett (tenor) accompanied by Michael Allen (pianist) delivered an amazing performance on Sunday 22 July 2012 in the Hobart Town Hall (Tasmania, Australia). It was absolutely wonderful.  His voice filled the entire Hall and reverberated off the walls!!! The venue was built in the 19th century with elaborately-decorated high ceilings and magnificent crystal chandeliers which set the ambiance for an elegant concert. It was very intimate with some 200 people attending and a wine bar available during the interval. The audience included many of Gary’s family members and people who had contributed to his career. Gary wore the same outfit as appears on the cover of his CD and he looked extremely smart. It was at this time that I briefly met with two Harmony Parlor fans from Melbourne and their husbands (I think their names were Helen Gray and Val Thompson).  We caught up again after the performance when Gary and Michael were signing CDs and souvenir programs. On leaving the Town Hall, one of the gentlemen very kindly hailed a taxi cab for me and I was whisked away without saying a proper goodbye, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the afternoon. To maintain an element of surprise the list of songs was not printed in the program. This was supposed to be available on-line today but I cannot find it. Just as well I scribbled the titles down during the concert. This is what I managed to produce: Das Wandern (Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin) : Every Valley Shall be Exalted (Händel’s Messiah) : The Holy City : Linden Tree" (Schubert’s Die Winterreise) : Flower Song (Bizet’s Carmen) : Hidden Harmony (Puccini’s Tosca) : You Are My Heart’s Delight (Franz Lehar’s Valley of Smiles) : Piano Solo/Michael Allen “Matelot” (Noel Coward) : Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes (Gilbert & Sullivan’s Gondoliers) : Torna a Surriento/Thankless Heart/O Sole Mio (Southern Italian) : The Rose of Tralee/A Little Bit of Heaven (Irish) : Granada and encores La Donna e Mobile and Danny Boy. Two hours of sheer bliss and commentary providing a great insight into Gary's background and the hard work he has put into his rise to fame.
Solo concert Gary Bennett on Sunday July 22nd 2012, in Hobart, Australia (Tasmania). Together with his pianist Michael Allan, Gary will be performing a solo concert in the Town Hall of Hobart, Tasmania at 2.30 pm on Sunday July 22nd 2012. He will sing a mixed program including Irish songs, English- and German Operetta arias, Neapolitan songs and Opera arias. For all those who are interested in attending this concert, keep watching his web site www.gary-bennett.de for more details as to where tickets can be booked. Please spread the word! All fans will be more than welcome.
In 2010 Gary Bennett released his first CD "Winterreise" from Franz Schubert. This CD was recorded during the sick leave of André. Click on the picture below to get more information about Gary, his CD and the possibility to order this CD.
On December 20th, 2010 the Platin Tenors performed at the Cologne (Germany) Christmas market. Two of the tenors live in Cologne and they were very honored being invited to sing. The concert was done in freezing temperatures, we did not envy the musicians playing with their bare hands!
BELA MAVRAK www.bela-mavrak.de We gave Béla a page of his own, CLICK HERE.
We did not know much about The German tenor Thomas Greuel. In October 2014 we were very happy to read the following message at André Rieu’s Facebook account. Then we had the feeling to know Thomas a little bit better.
In May 2015 Thomas was suddenly gone. No explanation at all by André Rieu Productions, no good bye. We hope that everything is allright with him. In his place came the Frenchman Eric Reddet, who immediately impressed us very much by his voice and personality.
Eric Reddet with his wife Abigail Richard in the entrance of the Kruisheren Hotel in Maastricht.
Three handsome gentlemen and great tenors.
August 21, 2018: Eric Reddet leaves the Johann Strauss Orchestra. Eric Reddet joined the Platin Tenors in May 2015 to replace Thomas Greuel. On August 21st 2018 he announced on Facebook: “Except the few who know already, I gave up my job with André, and am back freelance!” That is quite a decision and the fans were shocked. We understand that Eric prefers to work on his own projects and we wish him a lot of success.
September 15, 2018. The first concert of the USA/Canada tour was the start of the New Platin Tenor: Serge Bosch from Belgium. He is a familiar face: he already joined André Rieu and the JSO in the male choir before. Welcome Serge!
From Bela’s Facebook: The first concert of the tour tonight (in Milwaukee, USA) was also the first concert for our new Platin Tenor: Serge Bosch from Belgium! He did a fantastic job on his first show as our companion. Gary and I are both looking very much forward to working with him. Please give Serge a warm welcome and wish him luck!
The Examiner News, December 1st 2018, by Frances Vinall. Launceson tenor’s life on the road with André Rieu. Launceston’s Gary Bennett has an enviable lifestyle. He travels around the world, from Buenos Aires to Sydney to China. He is frequently applauded by overwhelmed audience members numbering in their tens of thousands, standing on their feet clapping and cheering. He has a day-to-day relationship with one of the most beloved musical figures in the world. Bennett’s voice is what scored him this gig. He’s a tenor that travels with classical music star André Rieu, and has been on the road with the Dutch violinist and conductor for fourteen years. “It’s a huge buzz, that’s all I can say,” he said. “It’s very exciting to walk out on stage in front of that many people. There’s a lot of worse ways to earn your money. At least once every year, André Rieu’s orchestra, the Johann Strauss Orchestra, performs an open-air concert in front of 12,000 people. Bennett can recall playing for 25,000 people in Toronto, and 35,000 in Melbourne. But he said, in all of his more than 200 concerts with Rieu, the thrill has never won off. “It’s amazing, the number of people in the stadiums,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how often you’ve done it. If you can walk out on stage in front of thousands of people and not feel a little bit nervous, I don’t think you should be in the job. I’ve always said with work experiences like that, who need drugs?” He said he couldn’t pick the most surreal moment in his storied career. However, there is one memory that immediately jumps to mind. “I didn’t think we’d ever go to Romania,” he said. “But we went there a few years ago and did some amazing open-air concerts in front of the second biggest building in the world, built by a mad dictator. That was pretty spectacular. You can never rule out anything with André.” Despite doing this job for more than a decade, it’s not one he actually applied for. Bennett started off as a freelance opera singer, who eventually joined a tenor group. Their CD was sent off to André Rieu in secret by their musical director – the first Bennett heard of it was when Rieu got in contact to offer him a position with the orchestra. It was a serendipitous moment that changed his life – and helped him be able to change the lives of other people, if only for one night. “So many people have said that they’ve been sick and heard the music and its’ helped them get well again...and I’m very happy to hear it. We go on stage to make all these people happy and healthy, and what more can you ask?”​ He also said he loves coming home, so if there are any promoters out there who want to organise a Tasmanian concert: get in touch
The Platin tenors started with André and the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 2005, with Thomas Greuel from Germany. In 2015 Eric Reddet from France joined them and in 2018 Serge Bosch from Belgium. Gary Bennett and Bela Mavrak were there all the time from the beginning. This is what André Rieu wrote on his official website about the Platin tenors (when Eric was still part of them). The Platin Tenors I don't think one could find three gentlemen who can sing so beautifully together as the Platin Tenors, while at the same time differing so much from each other when off the stage. Gary Bennett comes from Australia, or rather the island of Tasmania. Bela Mavrak is Hungarian and Eric Reddet hails from France. All three of them have wonderful voices and all three of them have sung in the world's greatest operas. Gary studied mathematics and physics at the University of Tasmania, but with his stunning voice, a musical career was inevitable. He moved to London to study singing, and while there, he won a grant for the National Opera Studio. He now lives in Germany. And where should I start to tell about Bela? Considering that his aunt was the only doctor in his native village, Bela was expected to succeed her. His father made him study medicine, but eventually his voice proved to be so beautiful that he too became an opera singer. Whenever we are not touring, Bela again travels all over the world, preferably to places that are as far away and as isolated as possible. He even managed to sing an opera somewhere amongst a tribe of (former) cannibals in New Guinea. When on tour, he goes shopping every day and returns with the most extravagant clothing and shoes, which he subsequently presents on the soundcheck, often to the great hilarity of the entire orchestra. Eric discovered his love of music at a very young age, when he started to play the clarinet at six. While once conducting an opera as a professional clarinet player, he knew that that was what he really wanted: to become a singer. He turned his life around and started singing at 26. Since then he has not so much as touched his clarinet, and now he sings the most beautiful music as a tenor all over the world with his beloved colleagues and friends. However much they may differ from each other: when they sing together they create a unique sound, brilliant it is with a warmth that strikes directly to one's heart. The first time that I heard them sing in my studio, I thought: I want to take them along with me on tour! Since 2005, they have formed a permanent part of my concerts and since then we have had so much fun together.
Gary likes to meet the fans and every year in July, when André performs on the Vrijthof in Maastricht, he is present at the fan picnic in the City Park or at the fan dinner on the Stiphout Maas cruiser, to say hello to the fans and have pictures taken with them. Gary speaks English and German.
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