Irish singer, Celine Byrne, made her operatic début as Mimi, in Scottish Opera’s 2010 production of La Bohéme and since then has performed extensively throughout Europe as well as in the US, China, Russia and Mexico. In March 2012 Celine made her Covent Garden début standing-in for Camilla Nylund as Rusalka under the baton of Yannick Nézét-Séguin. Celine’s also covered the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Covent Garden. Most recently Celine performed the role of Micaëla in Carmen with The Moscow State Opera and the role of Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at Lismore Music Festival along with several concerts with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and performances of Richard Strauss´ Vier letzte Lieder in Austria and Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder, National Concert Hall, Dublin. Celine will conclude 2013 with a return visit to the Royal Opera House in December as First Flower Maiden in Parsifal under Antonio Pappano. Future engagements include concerts with Roberto Alagna and Placido Domingo, Richard Strauss´ Vier letzte Lieder with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in the NCH, Dublin, the role of Der Marchallin in Der Rosenkavalier under Patrik Ringborg in Kassel and Mimi in La Boheme with Moscow State Opera.
A frequent concert performer, Celine has become familiar to international audiences thanks to her collaborations with world-renowned tenors José Carreras, Roberto Alagna and Joseph Calleja. Together with Carreras, Celine has graced stages in Rotterdam, Linköping, Malmö, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Nürnberg, Hamburg and Zadar. Her musical partnership with Roberto Alagna has seen her in concert in Russia’s two major artistic centers; Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow and at the famous Mikhailovsky (Mussorgsky) Theater, St Petersburg Recent noteworthy engagements brought her back to Carnegie Hall, the Turkish culture and congress centre Lüfti Kirdar with the Istanbul Borusan Orchestra to the Dubai Duty Free Derby, The International Eucharistic Congress and to the National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing where her concert was broadcast to 400 million people.
Celine received her Masters in Music from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2007, also receiving the RIAM award for outstanding achievement.. She also has an honours Music Degree from the Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin, where she was awarded the college Gold Medal for excellence. She has received coaching at the National Opera Studio of London and studied with Christa Ludwig at the Vienna Staatsoper. In 2007 Celine was awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal at the Maria Callas Grand Prix, Athens. Other awards include the Margaret Burke-Sheridan Gold Medal in 2009 for her contribution to the Arts, the William Young Prize at the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, Dublin 2007 and the ‘Brabants Dagblad Press Prize’ at the IVC International Singing Competition in s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.
Celine’s repertoire includes Oratorio, Opera, Operetta and Lieder. Works performed include Messiah (Handel), Requiem (Fauré), Mass in C (Mozart), Requiem Mass (Mozart), St. Paul (Mendelssohn), Elijah (Mendelssohn), Rückert Lieder (Mahler), Drei Lieder (Korngold), Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5 (Villa-Lobos) and Four Last Songs (Strauss). Her roles include Countess Almaviva Le Nozze Di Figaro, Fiordiligi Così Fan Tutte, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Donna Anna Don Giovanni, Nora Riders To The Sea, Nedda I Pagliacci, Liù Turandot, Lauretta Gianni Schicchi, Wally La Wally, Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, Micaëla Carmen, Hanna Glawari The Merry Widow, Marguerite Faust, Rusalka Rusalka, Juliette Roméo et Juliette, Agathe Der Freischütz and Ann Chute Lily of Killarney.
“…a soprano of fine lyrical quality and a touching actor too.” – Opera magazine
From their modest beginnings as a local school choir in Dublin’s inner city in the mid 1990s, the Dublin Gospel Choir have become a household name in Ireland, playing a host of concerts each year, plus a large number of corporate and charity events. Their annual slot at Ireland’s internationally-acclaimed boutique festivalElectric Picnic is now legendary and the choir are no stranger to large outdoor venues either, having performed to a sell-out 82,000 crowd at Croke Park. They have shared the stage with music industry heavyweights such as Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, John Legend, Damien Riceand The Chieftains. The choir also featured along with Chris de Burgh on a special New Year’s Day BBC Songs of Praise programme which was broadcast to over 35 million viewers worldwide.
To great acclaim, the choir released their debut album Moving On in 2006; featuring a mix of gospel classics and contemporary cover versions.Their second album Doing Their Thing repeats this mix of the traditional and the modern. Doing Their Thing is out now!
Tallaght Choral Society was formed in 1967, when Tallaght was still a small village at the foot of the Dublin mountains. A group of singers came together under the direction of Fr. Donal Sweeney OP to form a church choir based in the Dominican Priory. Under a succession of music directors (see below), the small church choir gradually took on the mantle of a choral society and now has a membership of over 100. The current music director Mark Armstrong was appointed in 2002 and under his baton the society has continued to flourish and now has a reputation as one of Ireland’s strongest choral societies.
Tallaght Choral Society has participated in many RTE productions and its successful collaborations have included works with the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra, the R.I.A.M. orchestra, Belfast Philharmonic Choir and Liverpool Welsh Choral Union. In May 2007, it was part of a 500 strong choir performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gerhard Markson. On Christmas Eve, 2007, the society was invited to sing for the RTE televised Mass from Mount Argus church. In 2007, Tallaght Choral Society celebrated its 40th anniversary and is delighted that it still counts its founder, Fr. Donal , among its members.
RTÉ Cór na nÓg was founded in 1987 and consists of 65 children aged 10-15. The choir provides expert musical training and is keen to emphasise the enjoyment of music-making as well as the hard work and commitment required by its members. Their unique relationship with RTÉ leads to varied and exciting performance opportunities with regular broadcasts on national radio and television and collaborations with artists of the highest calibre.
In recent years the choir has sung on RTÉ lyric fm, RTÉ Radio 1, the Late Late Toy Show, Mass on Sunday and Fair City and they regularly perform in venues such as the National Concert Hall, the O2 Arena, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Áras an Uachtarain. Recent concerts have included Pucinni’s La Boheme with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, and appearing as special guests with the world’s best selling classical artist, Andre Rieu. Their traditional free St Patrick’s Day concert in Dublin is always a hugely enjoyable occasion for choir members, family and friends!
Recordings include Gerard Victory’s UltimaRerum, the highly praised CD/Video Faith of Our Fathers and a CD of Christmas music produced for RTÉ lyric fm and the RTÉ Guide.
The idea for the establishment of an Army School of Music was first mooted in November, 1922 by General Richard Mulcahy, the then Chief of Staff of the army.
The Army No. 1 Band was formed in 1923 and gave its first public performance under the direction of Colonel Fritz Brase at the Theatre Royal, Dublin, in October of that year. The Band, the first of four military bands established between 1923 and 1936, has retained its original title.
The No. 1 Band has performed at all major ceremonial occasions since the foundation of the State, including all Presidential Inaugurations from that of President Douglas Hyde to the present day.
The band’s engagement schedule now includes attendance at ÁrasanUachtaráin for Presentation of Credentials ceremonies of newly appointed Ambassadors, the provision of musical support for State visits to Ireland by foreign Heads of State and high profile State Engagements such as The National Day of Commemoration. In addition the band fulfils all military music requirements for the Defence Forces’ Eastern Brigade.
Concert engagements at the National Concert Hall, recitals in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, and a highly successful Schools Concerts programme are a regular part of the band’s life. The band has performed at festival and military tattoos in Italy, Holland, Germany and France. Since 2010 Captain Fergal Carroll has had responsibility for the administration and musical direction of the Army No.1 Band.
Louis Walsh was born on the 5th August 1952 in Kiltimagh, County Mayo. He is the undisputed king of the Irish pop scene. He is the man behind some of the most successful bands in pop history, masterminding the careers of Boyzone, Westlife, Samantha Mumba, Girls Aloud and Shayne Ward. The fact that he has achieved a staggering 28 number one hits is a testament to his success and is one of the reasons why Louis Walsh is one of the most respected names in the music industry today. In 2004 Louis first appeared as a judge on The X Factor and is still there in 2013.
The Celtic Tenors have established themselves as the most successful classical crossover artists ever to emerge from Ireland. In 2000, following an impromptu audition at EMI in London, the Celtic Tenors were signed on the spot to an international record deal, a highly unusual event that was the talk of the music industry.
The Celtic Tenors fifth album is due for release pre Christmas. Recorded in the Hollywood Hills, this new album is a collection of songs from North America, by songwriters including Stephen Foster and Bob Dylan. Essentially a roots album with rich harmony driven songs, Celtic Tenors, Daryl, James and Matthew were privileged to work with the Grammy-winning team of Steve Lindsey, Dillon OBrien and Dave Way.
The Celtic Tenors continue to re-invent the whole tenor idiom by pioneering a new style of cool never before seen on the classical stage and by breaking the traditional stuffy tenor mould.
While each of The Celtic Tenors have been influenced by the musical traditions from their own individual parts of Ireland, Daryl, James and Matthew show great flexibility in melding their voices to suit the appropriate classical, folk, Irish and pop genres. The Echo Award in Germany for Classical without Boundaries was presented to The Celtic Tenors in recognition of this fact.
With a total album sales worldwide, including compilations, of over one million, and a full international touring schedule, the Celtic Tenors have topped the charts in the USA, Canada, Germany, the UK and Ireland.
The Celtic Tenors:
- have sung leading roles with top opera companies and performed in oratorio and concerts across the globe
- have appeared on TV across the USA, Canada and Europe
- have produced their own German TV Special Ein Grosser Irischer Abend which was broadcast to millions across Germany and subsequently broadcast as a PBS Special coast-to-coast across the USA, Celebrate with The Celtic Tenors
- have sung for world leaders and appeared in concert with such names as Dionne Warwick, Air Supply and The Chieftains
- headlined Irish and Celtic Festivals in Europe and the USA and performed with orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
The Celtic Tenors live show is an experience overflowing with vitality and variety from start to finish. The unique voices, charm and wit of Daryl, James and Matthew, combined with talented young Musical Director Colm Henry, combine an emotive journey with a thoroughly uplifting experience. Equally at home performing to large festival crowds or intimate concert halls and theatres, and whether backed by a live band, symphony orchestra, solo piano, or even acapella, their voices and personalities always shine through alongside their undeniable celtic charm.
Catch the Celtic Tenors in concert, enjoy their eclectic mix of classical, folk, Irish and pop.
Lt Col Mark Armstrong is Director of the Irish Defence Forces School of Music. Commissioned in 1989, Lt Col Armstrong has built a career as one of Ireland’s most accomplished and versatile musicians. Equally at ease in the concert hall and recording studio, he has worked with all of Ireland’s top artists and ensembles to critical acclaim.
Guest conducting engagements include concert performances and recordings with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theatre Company, Irish Film Orchestra, RTÉ Chamber Choir and Irish Youth Wind Ensemble.
Since the early 1990’s Lt Col Mark Armstrong has also enjoyed a busy career as an arranger, film orchestrator and music producer with collaborations with many of Ireland’s top artists. As a conductor he has maintained close involvement with choral music throughout his career and is currently musical director of Tallaght Choral Society. Mark has enjoyed travelling abroad widely with Ireland’s military bands, most recently to Germany, Italy and the UK.
Between writing her first album – 2008’s ‘Sea Sew’ – and its eagerly-awaited successor, Lisa Hannigan’s life has changed in oh-so-many ways. She penned her first songs in hope rather than the expectation that the wider world might find a use for them; knocked out at rehearsals in a freezing barn in the Irish countryside, the record was produced at a friend’s studio within a fortnight. Yet the self-released ‘Sea Sew’ went double platinum, was nominated for theChoice Music Prize and the Mercury Prize in the UK, and saw Hannigan play bewitching guest spots on the likes of ‘Later…With Jools Holland’, ‘The Late Late Show , ‘‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ and ‘The Colbert Report’.
To say that the response to ‘Sea Sew’ exceeded Lisa’swildest expectations is, appropriately, an understatement. Why appropriately? Well, because understated has very much been the manner in which Hannigan has conducted her life as a solo artist up until this point. At the Mercury ceremony, she eschewed the big stage of the Grosvenor Room and accompanied herself on guitar as she delivered a quietly entrancing version of ‘Lille’. And in keeping with the music inside it, even the artwork of ‘Sea Sew’ was a homespun affair, with sleeve art and every lyric hand-sewn by the artist herself. “Sea Sew was the most honest record I could make at the time that I made it,” says Lisa now, “but I look at it today, and there’s a certain sense of wanting to appear happy and confident. I wanted it to seem as though nothing bothered me.”
For those of us gazing on from afar at her evolution as a performer, the first glimmer that there was something more to Lisa Hannigan than meets the eye came last year, when she appeared alongside GreenGartside, Teddy Thompson and Vashti Bunyan on a tour celebrating the music of Nick Drake. By common critical consensus, her transformation of Drake’s ‘Black-Eyed Dog’ as a macabre deathly jig stole the show. You couldn’t watch what she did to that song and not feel excited about what she was going to do next.
It doesn’t take long in the company ofLisa’s second album, ‘Passenger’, to hear that excitement repaid. Hannigan famously made her name as the beautiful, breathy accompaniment to Damien Rice, with whom she sang and toured for seven years. It is on this second solo album that you sense she’s truly found her own voice, and it is on aching, mournful form from the very opening song. ‘Passenger’ begins with ‘Home’, which was written shortly after Lisa read ‘Skippy Dies’ by Dublin author Paul Murray. “It’s set at a boys’ boarding school,” she explains, “and I think the atmosphere of wild uncertainty, urgency and frustration that consumes you at fourteen sort of grabbed hold of me.” Abetted by the demonic ivory-pounding of Gavin Glass and the breathtaking violin playing of Lucy Wilkins, the rain-lashed ruminations of the song portend a more undulating emotional journey than ‘Sea Sew’.
Having spent just two weeks recording her debut album, you might think that Lisa and her band would have relished the opportunity to stretch out the recording process on ‘Passenger’. Hannigan had other ideas. Keen to capture the electrifying synergy that her musicians are apt to summon on a live stage, the band, together with producer Joe Henry (Elvis Costello, AniDiFranco, Solomon Burke, Loudon Wainwright III) went to Bryn Derwyn studio in Wales and made the record in a week, followed by a day of strings and horns in London. The collaboration with Henry came after a chance meeting at the Royal Festival Hall, where Lisa guested at the Kate McGarrigle Tribute Concert. “He expressed an interest in working together that night, but what really sealed it was meeting him in Pasadena where he lives. He’s a proper Southern gent. We got the train out to there from L.A, and as we alighted, he crossed the tracks to meet us. He was in one of those proper old American villages that has a hardware store and bakery and a butcher –not like anywhere that exists any more. We shook hands and that sealed the deal.”
She may have taken a somewhat circuitous route to the limelight, but ‘Passenger’ feels like Lisa Hannigan has finally come of age. That said, she still bears the same worry and nerves of someone unsure why people are suddenly so interested in her. In other important respects though, significant progress has been made. “I never used to feel comfortable calling myself a songwriter. I just used to think of myself as a singer. But now, I allow myself that luxury.” In time, Lisa Hannigan may even allow herself to believe she is a great songwriter.