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

From right: Brad Cameron, BCEHS superintendent of patient care delivery for Greater Victoria, with primary care paramedics Em Funk, Tyrone Trotter, Fiona Galvin and Peter Hill at the Leigh Road station. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore paramedics didn’t waver when faced with COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Emergency Health Services personnel are this year’s Courage and Bravery Award recipients

February is Black History Month. (Photo: Government of Canada)
Camosun College highlighting Black content with research guide during Black History Month

The collection includes a range of works by Black authors and creators

Amy Morrison was surprised to find a note on her windshield for parking on a public street with no restrictions in south Oak Bay where she works. (Amy Morrison Photo)
Oak Bay resident uses notes to claim street parking

‘You must have noticed, we park in front of OUR HOUSE,’ note writer says

Debra Sheets, a University of Victoria nursing professor, is starting Victoria’s first Memory Cafe program for adults with dementia and their caregivers. (Photo: Debra Sheets)
Memory Cafe Victoria hopes to connect local dementia community

Adults with dementia and their caregivers will participate in weekly Zoom socializing and activities

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read