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2005-07-19 Entertainment Writer

Atmosphere inspires loose Celtic Tenors
By RICK de YAMPERT
first for a classically trained tenor Monday night.

 

As he and his mates in the Celtic Tenors performed at the Bandshell, the three lads from Ireland galloped through the folk song "The Wild Rover." As they reached the song's finale, they applied some opera-rocket afterburners and Gilsenan flailed his right arm in a perfect imitation of rocker Pete Townshend's patented windmill maneuver.

 

And who could blame Gilsenan?

 

Presenting an "informance" -- a combination performance and informal talk -- the trio took to the "Margaritaville" atmosphere that is the Bandshell and Boardwalk and hammed it up accordingly.

 

Oh, and they managed to bust a few moves of the operatic and Irish folk song variety, just to let the beachcombers in the audience know they deserve their "tenors" label.

 

"We were going to wear Speedos," Celtic Tenor Niall Morris quipped as the trio opened their mini-concert with accompanist David Munro on piano. Instead they wore jeans and T-shirts as they hop-scotched through such Irish folk songs as "The Star of County Down" and "The Spanish Lady," which Celtic Tenor James Nelson dubbed "a wee Dublin song."

 

The trio dusted off their Italian and sang a piece by opera man Rossini -- a work whose Italian title, Gilsenan quipped, means "very difficult to sing." Yes, they can do the opera thing but, truth be told, the lads had so much fun with the spirited Rossini ditty and its "mamma mia" chorus that it sounded like a pirates' pub song (yes, that's a good thing).

 

The Celts also performed a work by one of the greatest tenors of all time -- Roy Orbison. Yes, that Roy Orbison, and yes, the Celtic Tenors nailed Roy the Boy's mournful ballad "A Love So Beautiful."

 

No doubt the Celtic Tenors will get down to more serious business when they perform Wednesday night at Peabody Auditorium with the Celtic/pop group Leahy. But don't be surprised if the guys also resurrect a lot of the fun spirit they displayed at the Bandshell.