The Celtic Tenors return to Sidney

The Celtic Tenors return to Sidney

Matthew Gilsenan, one of the Celtic Tenors, called the Peninsula News Review from Dublin, one hour before they were due to perform at the Church of the Three Patrons. Fellow tenor Daryl Simpson forgot his suit at home, and spent much of the day trying to secure one.

“We’ve been to a Catholic priest and three or four husbands of people organizing the event tonight, and that is going to be a large part of the show tonight,” laughed Gilsenan.

Gilsenan, Simpson and James Nelson are returning to Sidney as part of a two-week tour of Canada and the United States. Gilsenan said that the lush greens of the West Coast remind him of Ireland, where “the grass grows over the ditches.”

“Of all of the places I’ve been to in the continent of North America, your neck of the woods gives me a sense of not being so far away, even though it is.”

The group just finished an extensive tour of Germany, including a stop in Weimar. Gilsenan said the group does find time to explore the places they’re in, but Weimar is notable for being close to the Buchenwald concentration camp. Though the other members wanted to go, Gilsenan did not think he could bear it, but the group’s German driver encouraged him, saying that every German schoolchild had to see it for themselves.

“It was a life-changing thing for me.”

Gilsenan said the group picks songs they love and that resonate with them.

“If something really resonates for a performer, it translates to an audience on a deep level, so we sing songs that are relevant to us right now,” he said.

As an example, he brings up one song, “The Dutchman,” made popular by Steve Goodman. It is about a wife who cares for a husband with dementia, which has a special significance for Gilsenan because it affected his own family.

Gilsenan says they sing the “meat and potatoes” of any Irish act, including songs like “Whiskey In The Jar” and “The Irish Rover,” but the audience can also expect some operatic hits and Christmas tunes. This year, the group decided to be “on the hymny, more religious side” for the Christmas selections, though Gilsenan said that happened organically.

To keep it fresh, the group keeps adding new songs to the mix. Their set list is “a constantly living organism” because he said they could never play the same list over and over.

Gilsenan, who has three children, will tell their father if a song’s getting a bit tired, so he said they serve as “quality control” for the group.

“We don’t take ourselves terribly seriously. It’s a lively show, it’s not stuffy in any way. We try to have a lot of interaction with the audience and get everybody singing.”

The Three Tenors are performing at the Mary Winspear Centre on Dec. 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Test positivity rates in Greater Victoria from April 23 to 29. (BC CDC data)
Leaked data shows View Royal top of COVID-19 list for Greater Victoria

View Royal mayor says week was a blip for the township, not the norm

A member of the Downtown Victoria Business Association Clean Team works along Fort Street. The team will be working weekends from May through September, providing seven day a week coverage. (Photo courtesy DVBA)
Downtown Victoria cleanup service expanded for spring, summer

Clean Team members to patrol sidewalks seven days a week through September

Robyn Sealy of Parks Canada and carver Charles Elliot look at the new interpretive display unveiled May 4 at SMONECTEN, the new name of the former McDonald Campground in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve just north of Sidney. (Parks Canada/Submitted)
Campground near Sidney renamed to recognize First Nations

SMONECTEN is new name of former McDonald Campground in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Reality/Submitted).
Sidney warehouse proposal receives more than 40 public feedback comments

Sidney has until May 11 to submit comments to Victoria Airport Authority

Carolyn West plans to run each of the Victoria Goddess Runs this year, in support of Victoria Women’s Transition House Society. (Courtesy Carolyn West)
Runner tackles solo Goddess Run to raise funds for women, children fleeing violence

Women’s Transition House Society named official cause for Goddess Runs

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike grounds Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward comes away with the puck after a battle along the boards with Grizzlies defenceman Jake Veilleux. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Victoria Grizzlies named Island Champions

Grizzlies edged Alberni Valley Bulldogs in back-to-back matches to claim title

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read