Eh, the coasts are stereotyped as bastions of cynicism and snarkiness, perhaps with good reason (check Ted Rall's "Confessions of a Cultural Elitist"), but that's not really the point either. The fact is, whether or not CW is thought of as trendy or hip, there is a market for their show, and that's enough to keep a massive tour like this going. Since the show is mostly traditional, I think this fact rankles some of the 20something self-appointed arbiters of what's cool, who have ears only for what's on the radio, and eyes only for women who show it all.
Here's one "20something" young man floored by the talent that all the ladies of Celtic Woman possess. In my book, I would count them as "cool." I see a bit of flirt with the audience; however, nothing to cause the reporter to remark the way he did. I think all is handled in good taste on the stage (and apparently off the stage, as well). The ladies are beautiful, but they would not keep my attention if their voices did not match. Popular in my age group or not, this "stiff, traditional" show ranks very highly on my list of performances. (And yes, I do get a few snickers when I mention who I went to see a few months back).
Unfortunately, like fusilier (in the above post) mentioned, not many 20somethings really enjoy (or readily admit to enjoying) this style of music or the "traditional" show. And with limited access to radio for Hayley (or CW for that matter) here in the States, few "young-uns" my age will learn of Hayley (or CW) unless their parents or grandparents have PBS on their tv sets at all times. Then again, I could be wrong. If anyone can break the "self appointed arbiters of what's cool" from their radio judging habits, it would undoubtedly be the lovely Miss Hayley!
From one 20something, self appointed arbiter of what's cool, with Hayley at the top and CW in the top 5!, Eric
I agree, CW are a manufacture group....manufactured of pure talent that is!! When my mom saw the DVD, she commented on how they weren't selling their looks like other artists. My mom also saw Hayley perform at the Crystal Cathedral and she said how Hayley was just a normal young lady, giving her audience the best of her singing.
"Well something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day."
Claire Dederer (the journalist who wrote about CW in "The New York Times") posted another article about the group in "The Virginian-Pilot & The Ledger-Star". This one is more factual and it does mention Hayley. I don't really like the "teenage classical phenom" name, though. Anyway, here it is. Stephany
Celtic Woman's "Journey" leads to Portsmouth By Claire Dederer 5 June 2007 The Virginian-Pilot & The Ledger-Star
Channel surfers know them. Passing through PBS, they appear: a bunch of impeccably groomed women singing gorgeous harmonies with great sincerity. Every once in a while a tiny, buxom fiddler cavorts across the stage, tossing her white-blond mane. They are Celtic Woman.
Ask anyone whether they've seen Celtic Woman, and they'll probably answer no. Ask if they've seen those female Irish light- classical singers on PBS, and the answer might be yes.
Here is a little Irish shorthand: Celtic Woman is "Riverdance" with singing. It's also a successful recording group whose current tour brings it to the nTelos Pavilion in Portsmouth on Wednesday.
The first PBS Celtic Woman special, in March 2005, has been shown more than 3,400 times on 316 PBS stations, including WHRO in Hampton Roads. The latest special, "A New Journey," is headed for similar figures.
Celtic Woman's record sales have been prodigious. The self- titled debut album, released in 2005, was No. 1 on the Billboard world-music charts for 82 consecutive weeks. It was bumped by the group's Christmas album. Both albums were in turn bumped by "A New Journey," which was released in January. This latest album made a crossover as well, starting at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200.
Sharon Browne, a founder of Celtic Collections records, put the group together in 2004 for PBS.
The first show in Dublin featured five Irish lasses: Orla Fallon, a redhead with harp chops; Meav Ni Mhaolchatha, who adds delicious wriggles to her soprano renditions of traditional tunes; Chloe Agnew, who was 15 when the show began; Lisa Kelly, who has a background in musicals; and Mairead Nesbitt, the sexy fiddling sprite. For the latest show they were joined by Hayley Westenra, a teenage classical phenom from New Zealand.
Backed by an orchestra and a chorus, they perform in various genres: light classical, traditional Irish and pop.
Ian Ralfini, the general manager at the group's label, Manhattan Records, explains their appeal in this way: "There's a feeling of calm and peace."
If you go What Celtic Woman When 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Where nTelos Pavilion, 901 Crawford St., Portsmouth Tickets $27-$54, (757) 671-8100 IF YOU GO What Celtic Woman When 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Where nTelos Pavilion, 901 Crawford St., Portsmouth Tickets $27-$54, (757) 671-8100