BWW Review: CELTIC WOMAN VOICES OF ANGELS Tour Inspires at Crouse Hinds Theatre
The Celtic Woman returned to Central New York this week for a one-night-only engagement of the group's current concert tour, Voices of Angels. They were welcomed with open arms once again to Syracuse, a city full of Irish pride, as they passionately performed music and dance of the Emerald Isle at the Crouse Hinds Theatre. The beautiful and inspiring concert showcased the best from the talented singers and musicians.
The vocal female ensemble group, Celtic Woman, performs Celtic, new age, and adult contemporary music in high-energy dramatic stage productions that have been compared to other acclaimed international productions such as Riverdance. This is for good reason. Currently comprised of Máiréad Carlin, Éabha McMahon, Susan McFadden, and fiddler Tara McNeill, the group certainly knows how to entertain a crowd and this tour is no exception.
Those who have come to expect gorgeous voices, flowing dresses, Irish dance moves, dramatic lighting and staging, and talented instrumentalists working the crowd will find those elements in spades in the Voices of Angels Tour, named after the group's latest album. Nominated for a Grammy Award, Voices of Angels is also the group's tenth consecutive album to reach number one on the Billboard World Albums chart.
This tour features songs and stories of people who leave behind their homes in Ireland to find a new life and a better future. The melodious music was used quite wonderfully to share some of these stories. The group's homeland pride was most evident and it was beautiful and inspiring to watch.
The three women's effortless and lovely voices blended beautifully to create some breathtaking musical moments together. Their performance of the hit song "My Heart Will Go On" from the film Titanic was quite moving. "Amazing Grace," "You Raise Me Up," "The Parting Glass," and "Let Me Sail" were all breathtaking moments. "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears," which tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who was the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island, was filled with some beautiful emotions; the dramatic performance was a definite highlight.
Memorable solo moments also made the concert an enjoyable one.
Máiréad Carlin received a very well deserved standing ovation for her passionate rendition of "Ave Maria." Her soaring soprano voice took the audience's breath away. Her connection to the music and lyrics was most evident as she performed this and other songs. She captivated.
Susan McFadden was definitely very relaxed and at ease while singing. She is the definition of a graceful performer. Her performance of "The Voice" was a standout moment. Her classiness and confident voice dazzled in the dramatic and beautiful song.
Éabha McMahon strong vocals were apparent as she sang in the traditional old style "sean-nós" way. (Sean-nós is unaccompanied traditional Irish singing.) The performance was a highlight and brought the idea of the Irish homeland to the audience.
Tara McNeill passionately played the fiddle for multiple numbers. She brightened up the stage with her constant smile, pure joy, and flowing red hair. McNeill's harp playing also made "Danny Boy" a favorite of mine, along with the pure singing from the Máiréad Carlin, Éabha McMahon, and Susan McFadden. The four women connect beautifully on stage and it showed in this number.
The opportunity to hear various Irish instruments such as the bodhran, hand crafted tin whistle, bouzouki, bagpipes, and Uilleann pipes is something that makes a Celtic Woman concert unique. The instrumentalists were sensational. Percussionist Ray Fean once again was an audience favorite; he is a natural showman. Percussionist Caitríona Frost was also a delight to watch as she showed off her skills. The use of the bodhran (the Irish frame drum) was wonderfully integrated into the choreography that the four male choral members backing up Celtic Woman perform.
Celtic Woman Voices of Angels is inspirational, passionate, and elegant. The grace and effortless voices these strong women possess make them a pure joy to watch. If you are lucky enough to have the tour come to your town don't miss it!
Running time: Approximately two hours and ten minutes with one twenty-minute intermission.
Celtic Woman Voices of Angels tour performed in Syracuse, New York for one night only on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at The Crouse Hinds Theatre. For tickets and information on upcoming events, click here.