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June 2019
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2007-11-23 Rathgar Church, Dublin

reviewed by Marie

My husband Ray and I were privileged to be in the Church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar last Thursday evening for the "Celtic Tenors and Guests" concert. It was a charity event in aid of Kyuso a very needy parish in Kenya. It faces many issues "famine, water shortages, HIV/AIDs" educational needs etc....the concert raised 34,000 euro for this worthy cause. It was quite a coincidence that James was flying off to his own project in Kenya very early the next morning.

The church is a beautiful one and a perfect setting for the concert. It had been sold out for many weeks. As the audience arrived a string quartet played on the altar which created a lovely atmosphere. The evening was introduced by the popular broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan. Miriam had the Celtic Tenors on her chat show earlier in the year and remarked on the big viewing figures that night!!! The local Rathgar Gospel choir made up of teenagers and young adults were the first to perform. It was their very first appearance in a concert so they got an extra special round of applause to settle their nerves :-) They sang three songs and received a great reception.

It was then time for the Tenors to take the stage. They bounced on singing "I'll Tell Me Ma" and immediately got the audience clapping along. James said how happy the group was to be singing for such a worthy cause in the Three Patrons Church. He joked that they had considered dressing as the "Three Patrons" he would have made a fairly good St. Patrick and Matthew would have looked well as St. Colmcille but for some reason they couldn't persuade Daryl to get into the St. Brigid outfit!!! <LOL> The guys then sang (to the best of my recollection) Song for Ireland, An Poc Ar Buille and You Raise Me Up - all terrific. Next Donna Malone joined the group and the audience were treated to a beautiful rendition of the Barcarolle from the Tales of Hoffman. This was followed by an unusual quartet version of the Brindisi from La Traviata which was excellent . I hadn't seen Donna Malone before but I'm very much looking forward to seeing her again as she has a beautiful voice. An enthusiastic Irish Rover was followed by, for me one of the highlights of the evening, the lovely old parlour ballad "In The Gloaming" sung a cappella. The unaccompanied voices singing that lovely air in the hushed church was a moment to remember. The first half ended with "Remember Me".

The second half opened with another of my favourites "Caledonia". Daryl then explained how the following song was a trifle more difficult for him than his colleagues as growing up north of the border he had not learned Gaelic in school. This meant he had a little study to do on the lyrics and to get some translations from the willing James and Matthew before he could give it a go. The song he was referring to was "An Cailin Rua" (The Red-Haired Girl) - needless to say Daryl did fine! Next was the sprightly Star of the County Down after which we had a change of mood when Donna, on stage alone, began the Ave Maria to be joined by James and then Matthew and Daryl. Next James explained the song they were about to sing "Ten Thousand Tears" was based on Puccini's "Humming Chorus" from Madam Butterfly - another beautiful moment to remember followed. The Puccini theme continued with Donna returning to sing O Mio Bambino Caro (from Puccini'c Gianni Schinni recently produced here in Dublin by Opera Ireland) and then Nessun Dorma with audience participation!

The tempo changed once more with Wiskey in the Jar and everyone clapping along and entering into the spirit of things with gusto. The programme continued with some other old favourites including "All out of Love" , The Holy City, and of course Paddy McGinty's Goat. The "argument" in the latter, over who takes the lady's part, was better and funnier than ever and that B flat from Daryl....... whew!!!!
Shortly after this I nearly fell off my seat when James mentioned that I was in the audience and thanked me for the work done on Tenor Tours for the group and all the other tenors on the site.....I can't remember exactly what he said, it's all a bit of a blurr as I was busy picking myself up off the floor and trying to cover my bright red face at the same time <LOL> Thank you so much James. I love doing the website and would like to do more than I do. I don't expect thanks and this is the very first time anything like this has happened. I mention it as it shows again what a wonderful group of gentlemen the Celtic Tenors are and how much they appreciate their fans and those who wish them well.

The Gospel choir joined the Tenors on stage and soon it was "Time to Say Goodbye" after which there was a great standing ovation and after cheering and applause we got an encore which was greeted with another standing ovation. The audience would have kept the guys on stage for another hour given the chance!! A fantastic evening.

Marie runs a lovely site called Tenor Tours. Please visit her site to see photos of the Rathgar Church Concert and much more.