Gli Unici (Italian for “The Only Ones”) with Donald Braswell II weaved a Christmas spell over the New Braunfel's Brauntex Performing Arts Theater on December 22, 2012. New Braunfels is a popular tourist town northeast of San Antonio, Texas.
The trio of tenors (Donald Braswell, William Chapman, and Timothy Birt) magically entertained a large audience, many of which were members of the Downtown Rotary Club of New Braunfels. The purchase and restoration of the historic Theater was orchestrated by a group of key community leaders in 1999. It offers creative works of internationally renowned, regional, and resident artists.
The Downtown Rotary is a large sponsor of the historic Theater and the Rotary is a past supporter of Gli Unici. The San Antonio Chapter sponsored the tenor extravaganza at Laurie Auditorium in January early this year. So Gli Unici began their year and ended their year with the Rotary.
The powerful show was a fundraiser for the Texas Hill Country Opera & Arts. President Arden Dorn presided as MC thanking all for their support. Beautiful slides of New Braunfel's Christmas lighting adorned the screen behind the singers and were provided by Roxanne Dorn, Arden's photographer wife.
Gli Unici (Italian for “The Only Ones”) performs a variety of classical and opera selections, similar to Il Divo, that highlight their powerful voices and versatility. This performance was made extra special by the professional lighting and fog.
Gli Unici presented a mixture of crossover pop (the Italian version of “Nights in White Satin”, “Sogno”, and a new original “Pappa”), Opera (“La donna e mobile” from Rigoletto, “Una furtiva lagrima” from Elixer of Love, and “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot), and fabulous versions of spirituals (“O Come, O Come Emanual”, “Panis Angelicus”, “In the First Light”, “Avé Maria” and “You Raise Me Up”. Plus, Christmas wouldn't be complete without “Silent Night” and “White Christmas”.
Dorn praised the show at the reception afterwards at the Kork. “The tenors were at their finest tonight. Their selections and blending of their voices was the best I've ever heard. It was a wonderful concert!” This sentiment was echoed by many revelers at the reception.
In addition to their group performances, each handsome entertainer has an independent singing career. Braswell has been performing most recently in Florida and returns there in February.
Chapman spent time last summer in Europe where he had further operatic training and appeared in Italy concerts. Birt rejoined the group in San Antonio in December after performing New York City in November. The trio will team up again in three concerts in February, 2013.