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2002-03-31 Concert Review Dublin, Gaiety Theatre

reviewed by Dick O'Riordan
Sunday Business Post

 

One thing I really like about the Celtic Tenors is their honesty. They've officially come out: they're a crossover act. You would be surprised the number of classical artistes who are reluctant to admit that while merrily coining it in the burgeoning `popera' market. That's where the dosh is.

 

If you are in any doubt, just listen every Saturday morning to Niall Carroll's classical Top 20 on Lyric fm. So the Celtic Tenors have carved a nice little niche for themselves, and what matter if Count John McCormack is spinning in the garden where the praties grow. Come to think of it, Caruso had a few nice little earners on the go throughout his career.

 

The Celtic Tenors show is basically of the variety/entertainment genre. Those who used to stand there all stiff and stuffy are now engaged in Boyzone-type hoofing routines while criss-crossed by coloured laser beams and enveloped in a fog of dry ice.

 

Hunky Niall Morris, James Nelson and Matthew Gilsenan have been marketed very well, are fine singers and are confident enough personalities to overcome the packaging. The clincher is that they really enjoy the experience -- and it shows.

 


In crossing over, as it were, they barely looked back. There were tributes to, among others, Roy Orbison, Freddie Mercury, Tim Rice, Paul McCartney, Phil Coulter, Jimmy McCarthy and Andrea Bocelli. Back-up was by the Vard Sisters who recently reformed and, despite references to stretch marks (their joke, not mine), looked like a million dollars. Their sensitive harmonies in the hymn Criost an Siol were superb and they contributed handsomely to a satisfying evening's entertainment.

 

An added treat was soprano Deirdre Correa. This beautiful singer from Co Meath is a sister of Celtic Tenor Matthew Gilsenan. I'm all for this sort of nepotism.