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Why languages students should listen to Il Divo

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For those who don’t know, Il Divo is a multinational group, straddling the worlds of classical and pop music. The band consists of American tenor David Miller, Spanish baritone Carlos Marìn, French pop singer Sébastien Izambard and Swiss tenor Urs Bühler, and has released eight albums and has enjoyed a lot of success over the past decade.

However, I would like to write about why I believe that languages students in particular should listen to Il Divo’s music.

They are multinational. Each member of Il Divo comes from a different part of the world: America, Spain, France and Switzerland. The name of the band is Italian for the "divine", and they were formed in the UK. Indeed, Urs speaks German and French, Carlos speaks Spanish and Sébastien speaks French. Their common language, however, is English.

They sing in a variety of languages. Il Divo has recorded songs in Italian, French and Spanish, as well as in English - so listening to their music is a great way of improving your linguistic skills and abilities.

Some of the songs are well-known. On their Greatest Hits CD, Il Divo recorded the famous Celine Dione song from the film Titanic, My Heart Will Go On, in Italian. Therefore, even if you don’t quite understand the language they are singing in, at least you can follow along in English.

They are relaxing to listen to. Because their style is largely classical, listening to Il Divo is a great way to relax - either whilst improving your language, or just whilst listening to songs sung in a language other than English. In my opinion, nothing is more relaxing than a hot bubble bath whilst listening to Il Divo.

They have beautiful voices. Okay, so this reason is biased and not entirely languages related, but Il Divo really do have magical singing voices.

Some of my personal favourite songs sung by Il Divo are Mama, which is sung in English, Alone (Solo) which they sing in Spanish, My Heart Will Go On (Italian), I Believe In You (Je Crois En Toi) which is a duet with Céline Dion and is sung in both French and English, Musica, which is sung in Italian, and Pour Que Tu M’aimes Encore which is sung in French.

Similar artists to Il Divo, who I would also happily recommend to languages students, are Il Volo, an Italian trio, and Josh Groban, who sings in English, Italian and Spanish.

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