It’s 15 years since pop Svengali Simon Cowell formed classical crossover group Il Divo, having been inspired by the success of Andrea Bocelli and the Three Tenors. After a three-year search, he settled on classically trained Swiss tenor Urs Bühler, who was performing at the time with The Netherlands Opera and on Holland’s oratorio circuit, French pop star Sébastien Izambard, Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, who has played musical theatre and opera roles, and American tenor David Miller whose credits include Alfredo in La Traviata at Washington National Opera, Rodolfo in Baz Luhrmann’s Broadway season of La Bohème, and The Pearl Fishers for Opera Australia in 2000.

Cowell’s instincts paid off handsomely. Il Divo’s first album shot straight to number 1. Since then, the quartet has sold over 30 million albums and clocked up 50 number 1 records, singing passionate classical arrangements of famous pop songs, standards, and musical theatre numbers, in various languages.

Il Divo. Photographs supplied

But last year, Il Divo separated ways with Cowell. The group’s new album Timeless (their eighth studio album) is the first not released on Cowell’s Syco label. Instead, the four singers oversaw the recording themselves, with Decca Gold/Universal releasing...