Thursday 19 September 2019

My cultural life: Celine Byrne

Celine Byrne will be performing Home for Christmas at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Celine Byrne will be performing Home for Christmas at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Jack Lemmon in The Apartment
Jeunes filles au piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Daryl on The Walking Dead season finale

Celine Byrne is an internationally-acclaimed soprano, who has just finished as Mimi in La Boheme. Her Christmas gala concert, Celine Byrne Home for Christmas, takes place next Sunday December 18 at Bord Gais Energy Theatre. She'll perform popular songs from the world of opera and operetta such as O Mio Babbino Caro, and Un Bel Di Vedremo from Madame Butterfly, along with festive favourites such as In The Bleak Mid-Winter and O Holy Night. She will be conducted by David Brophy. Celine is married to Thomas Deans and they have three children, Ciana, Cillian and Noel.

Film: The Apartment

Jack Lemmon in The Apartment

My favourite is The Apartment (above), a 1960 American romantic comedy film that was produced and directed by Billy Wilder, and which stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. It was Wilder's next movie after Some Like It Hot and it was a box office hit. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and won five, including Best Picture. The Apartment is an insightful movie made by one of cinema's most talented directors.

Opera: La Boheme

I love La Boheme which I just finished last week at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. It's a wonderful story and the music is so beautiful. I love most of Puccini's operas. I have sung Tosca, Liu and Butterfly which all end in tragedy. All these complex ladies end their lives because of their inner torment. Mimi dies of consumption. In La Boheme Puccini takes achingly human feelings and sets them to music - music that soars with the ecstasy of love, crackles with the pain of jealousy and cries with the agony of loss.

Painting: Girls at the Piano

Jeunes filles au piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Jeunes filles au piano (above) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is my favourite painting. I came across this painting in an art book and loved it as it reminded me of my sister and me as I always accompanied her as she had her piano lessons. I never had any formal music training but my sister went to piano and guitar lessons. She never pursued a career in music and I took it up when I was 18 when I had my first singing lesson. Years later when I was singing in The Hermitage in St Petersburg with tenor Roberto Alagna I wanted to go and see the museum and couldn't believe it when I saw the painting.

Song: Come What May

Come What May is best known as the romantic love theme from Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film Moulin Rouge, where it is sung by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in their respective roles as Christian and Satine. When my husband proposed to me he played the song and we included the text "come what may I will love you till my dying day" from the song in our vows and for our first dance we performed the song.

TV: Walking Dead

Daryl on The Walking Dead season finale

I don't really watch much TV but when I do you I watch Sons of Anarchy (about a biker club in California) on Netflix and The Walking Dead on Fox (which is about the aftermath of zombie apocalypse). No analytics here on these just to mention that these are very entertaining programmes and I like the characters, especially Daryl in The Walking Dead (above).

Tickets for Celine Byrne Home for Christmas can be purchased from Ticketmaster or the Bord Gais Energy Theatre Box Office.

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