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June 2019
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2004-11-04 "The Celtic Tenors" with Fan Club on a musical tour of the world

Offenbach Post
by J. Schreiner


Again and again, lively trios try to copy the success of the three well-known tenors. "Young" seems to be the magical word in this respect, and the aim of more or less unknown beings of the operatic scene to distinguish themselves from the Belcanto stars. And the attack on the good musical taste is often ridden on popular songs, situated between operatic arias, pop, and rock.


"The Celtic Tenors" - Matthew Gilesan, Niall Morris and James Nelson - are not only young and agile, but they also want to give a new meaning to tenor singing. Well, one might be thankful that the three Irishmen do not participate in the  normally obligatory  high C contest. Instead, "Crossover" is the word of the evening. Everything that sounds even distantly celtic, and is folkloristically situated between Scotland and Ireland in the widest sense, is in demand.


In the Mozartsaal of the Frankfurt Alte Oper, the gig of the three good-looking gentlemen had almost cult character, due to the presence of a Fan Club in the first row. The tenors said thank you, either solo or singing in a trio, with a charming presence and a musical tour around the world.


This is quite attractive too, as the celtic bards have a charming sound, even though it is not a completely new style, which sounds best in songs of their home. For example in the well-known "Whiskey In The Jar", early and much cheered-for highlight of the concert, or "Caledonia", the hymn that every Irishman knows by heart. And if it's going to be nice and pathetic, there's a song for that too. "Love Of My Life" by Queen's Freddy Mercury, only accompanied by piano and guitar, turned out to be a sublime love song with tremendous appeal.


The guest appearance of Matthew Gilesan's sister, Deirdre Shannon, was also very effective. Her clear soprano voice really made the "Last Rose Of Summer" (a song originally from Tom Waits) bloom acoustically. As expected, the Thank You for the Fan Club lead into the German operetta world. "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" ("You Are My Heart's Delight") has a very special quality if it is sung with a slight Irish accent. It could also be stated that "Time To Say Goodbye" is not only suitable for emptying a boxing arena, but for finishing a concert, too. At least it was reason enough for the Fanclub to present some cushions embroidered with hearts.