Soloists Noriana Kennedy and Nicola Joyce join with duo Lumiere (featuring Eilis Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon) to weave an incredible storytelling experience through the magic of song. The Celtic history of Ireland, Scotland, mainland Europe’s west coast and the east coast of the US and Canada are balanced perfectly by the four qualified vocalists.
With a long history in the music industry as individuals, Celtic Divas as a group are flawless. Vocals that are pitch perfect transport you to different eras. Songs such as ‘Banks of Ohio’ – about a man who murders his sweetheart because she wouldn’t marry him – are sung with such feeling and emotion by Noriana Kennedy, whose powerful voice also cruises over ‘Cold Haily Rainy Night’ and ‘Lure Me Low’ – a song written by Kennedy about sirens luring sailors to their deaths in the deep sea.
Sharing influences that are far reaching, from Greek mythology to battle songs during the American Civil War, Celtic Divas cover songs old and new. Lumiere, with their delicately balanced voices and superb harmonies, do amazing versions of ‘Ye Jacobites by Name’ and ‘Paddy’s Lamentation’.
Nicola Joyce, a double threat of vocals and playing the bodhran, sings traditional English folk song ‘John Riley’ and then ‘No Linen No Lace’ – a song she wrote for her own band, Grada. The band, which includes two guitarists, a double bass player and a very enthusiastic violinist, are fantastic and add greatly to the unique and haunting sounds of the Divas.
Irish dancers from the Christine Ayers School of Dance treat the audience with some fancy footwork in the intermission. The dancers have recently won a swag of awards in Ireland and are the first Australian dance group to do so.
In the Melbourne Recital Hall, a beautifully intimate and intricate building, these charming women sweep the audience off their feet and take them on a journey through cultures and histories long since past, but definitely not forgotten.