International music sensation Celtic Woman has just announced a series of Australian stops during its 2015 world concert tour celebrating the group’s 10th anniversary together. It was a decade ago that Celtic Woman first introduced millions of new fans to the group’s fresh fusion of Irish musical tradition, contemporary song craft and state-of-the-art stage production. Since then, Celtic Woman’s uplifting music has touched the hearts of a devoted global audience that’s embraced the group’s massively popular public television specials and made the group’s CDs and DVDs into multi-platinum best-sellers.
Recently named the #1 Billboard World Artist of the year for the sixth time, Celtic Woman showcases four gifted Irish women – three world-class vocalists and a brilliant Celtic violinist – whose talent and charisma bring centuries of musical and cultural tradition to life. The 15 member ensemble includes a full band, bagpipers, Irish dancers and the Aontas Choir, all under the direction of Emmy-nominated music producer David Downes. We spoke with vocalist Susan McFadden about the upcoming tour from her home in Dublin.
Why did you move back to Ireland from London?
I’ve been on the road with Cetic Woman forf three years and we’ve spent most years 9 months of the year on the road so when I was coming home I really wanted to be coming “home, home”. So I just kind of packed up and moved back about a year ago. We’re all scattered.
Have you always loved traditional Irish music or has that developed in you as an adult?
A little bit of both My mum and dad brought us up in the city but down in the country we have a huge family, and traditional music is much more prevalent there. They have comps and perform and at the end of the party the obligatory singalong where they all sit around. All these songs that I would have heard in a very raw way after the locals had had several pints. It was great to then as an adult to be able to perform them in a professional manner with this incredible band. I like listening to the songs evolve.
Is the lineup basically the same as when you started with the group?
No it changes all the time, I think that’s inevitable with an all female lineup. Some have left to have babies and do other projects. Especially for the 10 year anniversay the lineup is changing throughout the whole year, some of them are coming back who’ve been touring at different times, the dynamic changes all the time and it keeps it interesting.
How wonderful that you are touring with the Celtic Tenors this time!
Yes, they’re very well known performers and they’ll be our support act. It was only just announced recently, even to us, it was a surprise and we were really pleased to hear that they were coming along. It will be lovely to have fresh faces on the road with us. A nice treat for the audience too.
You’ve done some television work, West End, solo perforning, Celtic Woman, other types of theatre, and several recordings. Do you have preference for any of those?
Honestly it’s being on stage in any capacity. A live atmosphere on stage is where I get my thrill out of it. It’s a different kind of performance because in theatre you have to be in character and in Celtic Woman you get to be yourself which is a unique thing for me, but is something that I’ve really grown to enjoy doing. It was quite daunting at first, quite scary, but I really love it now.
Celtic Woman comes to the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Friday 11 September.