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Wonderfully sincere entertainment with the Celtic Tenors.

by Tjako Fennema for De Gelderlander, Netherlands


The (3) Celtic Tenors with Irish (pub) songs, opera highlights, evergreens and folk. With the cooperation of soprano Donna Malone and Robbie Overson/guitar.

Spant!, Sunday evening.

Between 2 performances by The Canadian Tenors in Gooiland, the extremely popular Celtic Tenors made an appearance at Spant! And as far as I am concerned, the winners are from Ireland. With a guitarist, backing tracks, a piano and occasionally the slender soprano Donna Malone, the gents treated their audience to a very pleasant garland of songs with introductions in English. Every now and then, they even threw a little “Bussums” into their comments. And indeed, the audience clapped along, and hummed along with the humming chorus from Puccini's “La Boheme” in “10,000 Tears”, paraphrased by soprano Donna Malone.

And who doesn’t know “Pie Jesu” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem”? Unfortunately, the microphone made Malone’s soprano a little too sharp. After some practice, the audience also gave its all for the well-known “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini's “Turandot”. I do not understand why the soprano used a microphone in the first place; singing “O Mio Babbino Caro” (Puccini, the notary opera “Gianni Schicchi”) and Caccini's well-known “Ave Maria”, she could easily have taken on the auditorium without one.


The Irish gentlemen – never trust a redhead – devoted a significant part of the programme to wonderful Irish songs, and casually claimed the great successes of English literature for their own country: “Joyce, Yeats, Shaw and Bram Stoker are all Irish, and we already have the euro as well”. Such was the atmosphere of the evening.

The famous “3 Tenors” (Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras) were obviously their inspiration, but these men reminded me of the legendary university campus performances of the Kingston Trio in the 1960s. No vocal showing-off here! Uncomplicated, beautifully sung, no fuss; they just did their job the way they were supposed to, by creating a wonderful program to delight their audience. And who wouldn’t sit up straight for “Whiskey in the Jar” - Irish whiskey is spelled with an e – and “Finnegan’s Wake”?

“Nella Fantasia” (from the movie “The Mission”) and Bocelli’s “Con Te Partirò” (“Time To Say Goodbye”) went down a treat, with Donna Malone in her bright red evening gown stealing the show. Another remarkable feat was that of Robbie Overson, who proved to be a very competent accompanist on his amplified guitar.
For the encore, the gents plucked a repetiteur of the Netherlands and Metropolitan Opera from the audience, the Irish Brenda Hurley. She currently works in our country, lives just around the corner from Spant! and really worked the piano keys for the encore “Nessun Dorma”.

This ensemble is world-class. A group called “The Three Celtic Soprano’s” is currently touring Europe as well.