Celtic Woman at the Celtic Cafe

Celtic Woman - The Show - On Public Television Stations, March 2005

Two thousand years. It is over two thousand years since the Celts arrived in Ireland, bringing with them a tradition of song that greeted new dawns, celebrated life and wept with sorrow. Voices carried over mountains and lakes, bearing with them many tales now cherished in our hearts. The poetry of song is part of who we are.

Today's voices are gifted, lifted by the beauty of music that embraces them. And in Ireland, four more pure and graceful voices you will not find than those of Celtic Woman.

Celtic Woman is the culmination of a dream for Sharon Browne, Celtic Collections, for it is she who signed these magnificent talents, and she who has made Celtic Woman a reality. Alongside David Downes, one of Ireland's brightest stars following his musical work on Riverdance, Sharon understood how the Irish are acknowledged for their unique gift of music, their dance, their song, and how people around the world can be entranced by the talents that flow from Irish shores.

Five remarkable talents, four singers and a fiddle player, were brought together to make Celtic Woman a reality. David had heard each of them and had been involved in the production of some of their first recordings, but it was in their combined abilities that he knew Celtic Woman would soar. And, as musical director, his was the opportunity to bring it to life.

And so it is. Chloe, at just 15, has a gift that first came to light when she was 11. Lisa's versatility flows through her songs and some will know her from Riverdance. Meav has a pure soaring soprano voice that resonates through her songs. And in Orla's voice you will hear a connection that is intrinsically and truly Irish.

Alone or united, their voices will stay with you, finding a place that cannot be forgotten. Each song has been chosen to release the true talents of these remarkable women.

And let us not forget the singular brilliance of Mairead as she whirls across the stage, driven by the music of her fiddle and her gift of expression. Whether battling with Bodhran drummers or providing inspiration for the four women, Mairead generates an electric atmosphere and a stunning spectacle.

The Celtic Woman show is an exhilarating creation, with a stage design and light show that crackles with atmosphere. Birch trees, beach stones and a bridge all draw the eye to where a river tumbles off the stage to dramatic effect. It is from this landscape, under huge white sails, where the performers will steal the hearts of all who listen to them.

Welcome to Celtic Woman, a new dawn of Irish voices.

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brings five exceptional young Irish stars to the screen in a spectacular performance recorded live at Dublin's prestigious Helix Centre. The program airs on PBS as part of the March 2005 pledge drive (check local listings). Find your local affiliates through www.PBS.org

The official Celtic Woman Show website: CelticWoman.com

Musical director, conductor, composer and arranger David Downes - currently working as musical director of Riverdance - has garnered the forces of the Irish Film Orchestra, the Aontas Choral Group and these new and exciting soloists to create a moving and momentous spectacle.

CELTIC WOMAN brings together four singers and an extraordinary violinist who perform some of the most beautiful and best-loved songs in the musical repertoire. They bring the Dublin audience to its feet over and over again.

Chloë Agnew, only 15 years old, delights with "Walking in the Air," "Someday," "Nella Fantasia" and Brahms' "Lullaby." Lisa Kelly sends the audience into raptures as she performs "Send Me a Song" and "May It Be" from Lord of the Rings. Méav Ní Mhaolchatha thrills listeners with her pure, soaring soprano in a unique arrangement of "Danny Boy" and "She Mov'd Through the Fair." Orlagh Fallon not only sings "Harry's Game," but also plays the Irish harp on "The Isle of Inish Free" and accompanies Chloë on "Ave Maria."

Animated violinist Máiréad Nesbitt engages in a musical battle with two Irish bodhrán drummers and has the audience members dancing in their seats with her own expressive interpretation of the liveliest of lively Irish dance music and haunting slow airs.

The excitement builds when the five Celtic Women perform together in David Downes' unique arrangements of songs, including "Somewhere" from West Side Story, "Orinoco Flow," the moving "One World" and "You Raise me Up."

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David Downes, Musical Director/Composer

David Downes is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he studied music and composition. Performing credits include concerts in Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Wembley Arena, and on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, appearing with among others, James Galway, Alan Stivell, Boyzone, The Washington Symphony, Moravian Philharmonic, and National Symphony Orchestras. Recording credits as soloist include grammy-award winning Michael W. Smith, Michael Crawford (on his Disney album), Clannad, Moya Brennan, and Bill Whelan.

As a composer, David's television, film and theatre credits include Thou Shalt Not Kill, The Enemy Within, The Hunt For Red Willie at the Peacock Theatre, and Jeff Daniels' Escanaba In The Moonlight. He composed the music for The Shaughraun at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, which broke box office records.

David has been Musical Director of Riverdance for the US touring company, European touring company, and on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre. He was also orchestrator of Riverdance On Broadway. As a producer David has recorded four albums with oboist David Agnew, achieving Gold status in Ireland and Europe, and recently the Gold debut album of young Irish singer Chlöe. He has also worked as orchestrator and arranger for Bonnie Tyler, Charlotte Church, and Secret Garden.

Chlöe Agnew is a gifted musician studying piano, guitar and recorder as well as being a magnificent singer. She is no stranger to show business as both of her parents, Twink and David Agnew, have been in the entertainment industry all her life. She made her debut television performance at just 4 weeks old and first sang on T.V. at 6 years of age. She won the Grand Prix at the first International Children's Song Competition in Cairo in 1998 representing Ireland with a song entitled "The Friendship Tree". Chlöe has performed in Pantomime Shows for 5 years.

"Chlöe", the album, is a beautiful collection of songs, from film scores such as "When you Believe" to traditional favourites such as "Danny Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". This first album, recorded when Chlöe was only 12 years old also features classical tracks such as "Lascia ch'io Pianga" and "Ave Maria".

Chlöe Agnew's second Album "Walking in the Air", recorded at 14 years of age, released last December was successfully advertised on Television in Ireland and drew huge attention in the International markets at Midem in Cannes this year. It was the interest in this and Celtic Collections other Irish Female Soloists that spawned the concept for this "Celtic Woman" show.

Both of Chlöe's albums have been produced by David Downes, the Musical Director of both Riverdance and this "Celtic Woman" show.

Lisa Kelly was born in Dublin and has been singing since the age of 7. Classically trained in both piano and singing, Lisa started her professional career in musicals. She has played many roles including "Velma Kelly" in Chicago, "Florence" in Chess, "Laurie" in Oklahoma and "Sandy" in Grease. Lisa has also preformed in many concerts in Dublin's National Concert Hall, "The Magic of Gershwin", "The music of Cole Porter" and "From Romberg to Rodgers" to name but a few.

In 2000 Lisa joined the American touring production of Riverdance-The Show as lead female vocalist. It was here that she met her husband Scott and they toured with the show for four years taking in cities such as LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Toronto and many more. In 2002 Lisa recorded her debut album entitled "Lisa".
Now a mother to two boys, Cian and Jack, Lisa is back in Ireland where she is currently teaching piano and singing. She is preparing for her second album to be recorded this year.

Méav Ní Mhaolchatha has a broad range of performing experience in Ireland and abroad. Her first solo album, Méav, has sold 40,000 copies and is particularly popular in the US, Japan and Korea. Several of the tracks from the debut Méav album were featured on compilation albums, including one (Ailein Duinn - Warner Special Marketing), which sold 100,000 units. Her new album, Silver Sea, has recently been released and is available in specialist music stores across Europe and America under the Celtic Collections Label.

Méav inherited her love of classical and traditional music from her family in Dublin. She began her studies of voice, harp and piano at an early age and continued them while completing a law degree at Trinity College Dublin.

During the past year, she has been invited to perform her own music at many festivals worldwide. She headlined at a major open-air festival in Seoul as part of the Korean World Cup celebrations and launched her second album there in May 2002. She recently performed to great acclaim at a prestigious Celtic Festival in Tokyo and sang in the Beo Festival of Irish Music at the National Concert Hall Dublin in August 2003. She performed in the Netherlands for the first time in November 2003 and returned there for a solo concert tour in Spring 2004.

Orla Fallon is a harpist and singer whose career is going from strength to strength in the field of Irish Music. She tours extensively throughout Europe and North America where her reputation is steadily growing for her renditions of haunting Irish airs as well as her own vocal and instrumental compositions.

An accomplished harpist, Orla has won many awards worldwide including The International Feis Ceoil, Dublin and The International Pan Celtic Harp Competition on two occasions. In December 1999 Orla was invited to perform in the prestigious Basilica Of The National Shrine in Washington D.C. Her performance, which the critics described as "haunting and deeply moving" led to an invitation to perform live on a national television broadcast in the United States .

Orla has featured as a soloist in concerts around Ireland at such venues as The National Concert Hall, Dublin, The Opera House, Belfast and The Waterfront Theatre, Belfast. She has recorded, performed and toured with Internationally renowned groups Clannad and Anuna, as well as the oboist David Agnew.

A popular soloist in the corporate sector in Dublin, Orla appears regularly at such venues as Dublin Castle, Humewood Castle, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham and Luttrellstown Castle. In September 2000 Orla was invited to play for The Pope in Rome and she is invited regularly to perform at Aras An Uactarain for The President Of Ireland.
Orla's debut cd The Water is Wide has earned her much critical acclaim and has led to many television and radio broadcasts, including most recently UTV's Kelly Show and RTE's Open House.

Máiréad Nesbitt, member of a well-known musical family, comes from Loughmore, Co. Tipperary. Her parents, John and Kathleen, are musicians and teachers and her sister Frances and four brothers, Seán, Michael, Noel and Karl, are all musicians, too.

Máiréad, who began playing the piano at the age of 4 and the fiddle at 6, is a former All-Ireland fiddle champion. She began formal training in music at an early age, at the Ursuline Convent in Thurles, and continued at The Waterford Institute of Technology, at the Cork School of Music under Cornelia Zanidache and at the London Royal Academy, London Trinity College, with Post Graduate Studies under Emanuel Hurwitz on violin and piano. She is a past member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.

Following her formal training, she became a professional violinist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in 1991. She also worked on-stage and in-studio with many well-known musicians, among them Nigel Kennedy, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, Clannad, Emmylou Harris, Aslan, Chris De Burgh and Jimmy Webb, and including more traditional Irish artists Dónal Lunny, Sharon Shannon, Paul Brady, Frances Black, Cooney and Begley, and Jimmy McCarthy. Mairead had the honour of performing privately for HRH - The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) on her secret visit to Dublin on 9th Sept 04.

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Feature: Bernadette Price
Original Web Design: Alexander Servas

Mairead Nesbitt
Lisa Kelly
Mairead Nesbitt
Mairead Nesbitt
Celtic Woman CD
© 2005 by CelticCafe.com