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June 2019
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2008-09-26 Ballina, St. Muredachs Cathedral

reviewed by Beate

Ballina in Co. Mayo is a lovely place, and the cathedral  right on the banks of the river  is stunningly beautiful. Another church surrounding, but a completely different one from last weeks in Tullamore& The lighting of the altar area was perfect, with lights in different colours which created a magic background for the concert.


The tenors started with In the gloaming, acoustic and a capella from the entrance of the cathedral. Much as I craned my neck, I couldnt even see them back there from my seat! But then again, it was enough to hear their voices carrying through the cathedral& They came up to the altar area afterwards, to launch straight into So strong. This was followed by You raise me up, and a song which I have not really heard in a concert for quite a while, but was very happy to welcome back, Spanish Lady.


Daryl then announced the next two songs, explaining that due to the fact they have been doing a few church concerts in a row they slightly changed the setlist and included a few more hymn-like pieces  like Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod) and The holy city.


And then, during Nella Fantasia, Donna had her first appearance of the night, in a stunning black dress  and her entrance was greated with a huge applause. I am sure the tenors will agree with me here, this really was Donnas night, and boy did she shine! I will really really miss her around, and thoroughly enjoyed her performances during this concert. Next was her first solo, Summertime, which was followed by Libbiamo, for which the tenors of course came back too.


This lead right into the new album section, with three songs from it in a row: Four strong winds, Hard Times, and Shenadoah (acoustic). James told a little bit about Kenya Build before Hard Times, and he also dedicated the song to Basil Love and his family, who had driven over from Sligo.


Remember me then ended the first half.


After the intermission, the tenors started from the main entrance again, with another acoustic song, Swing Low. And while singing, they slowly made their way through the aisle to the altar area. Next was Bring him home, followed by Star of the County Down. As another reminiscence to the church surrounding, next on the list was Panis Angelicus, before Donna joined them again for Caccinis Ave Maria.


Next was another treasure of the night, another one of her solos, O mio babbino caro. Well and truly magnificent. And none of the tenors actually protested this time when they were called back as backing singers for Katie!

Matthew then introduced The Mad Lady and Me, and Daryl did the introduction for Caledonia. This was followed by You aint going nowhere and Irelands call, before Donna came back, in a stunning red dress this time, to join them for Time to say goodbye.


The whole audience was on their feet before this song had ended, and it was a very well-deserved standing ovation!


The encore, and last song of the night, was Nessun Dorma, and it was actually the first time ever that I saw people who had come to pick up friends or family from the church parked right in front of the (already open) church doors to listen in!

All in all, a great concert. And a great success for all involved. As said above, it also comes with a sad feeling to see Donna go  she will be greatly missed! All the best for the future, Donna, hope our paths will cross again some time!