RTE Christmas Programme – “A Christmas Festival” Regina Nathan Soprano Proinnsías Ó Duinn Conductor Irish Chamber Choir RTE Concert Orchestra
This was my first time to perform and present a whole concert and was the idea of Fr Dermod McCarthy. He had come to one of my recitals and thought I could do it. I remember practising the script in RTE for recording and being so nervous. Some of the takes were really funny!
On Saturday June 29th I will be performing a concert in St. Columba’s Church, Bindon Street, Ennis to help raise funds for the vital maintenance work needed on St. Columba’s.
This beautiful church has opened its doors to host many events over the years, connecting the local community by keeping it active and alive with concerts, coffee afternoons, school music concerts, children’s programmes, the Christmas Tree Festival and many other interesting and fun projects.
I love performing in this very special venue. The love and care and goodwill of all involved radiates out of every stone and precious stained glassed window. But as with churches throughout Ireland, congregations are dwindling and the expenses needed to maintain such treasures are difficult to come by, to say the least.
Apart from the fact that it has become an important venue option for so many events, it would be a crime to witness such a building so steeped in history, culture and craftsmanship, disappear.
Hence, this concert in June 2019. I hope you will ‘Save this Date’ and will be able to find the time to come and share this evening with me. I am so looking forward to it myself.
Tickets are €30 and all proceeds go to the maintenance work needed on the church to continue making it a safe and viable venue into the future.
Seating is not allocated so please arrive early to avail of the best seats!
Saturday 25th November 2017 at 8.00 p.m.
St. Columba’s Church
Bindon Street, Ennis, Co. Clare
Regina Nathan Soprano returns for her annual Christmas Concert to St. Columba’s Church, Bindon Street, Ennis at 8.00pm
“It has become a lovely social occasion: this beautiful old church with its magical candlelit ambience, great acoustics and warm seasonal refreshments. It is the perfect way for me to start my Christmas and to meet old (and new) friends.”
Regina will perform a delightful selection of popular songs from musical theatre, arias and Christmas favourites and will be joined by pianist Mairead Hurley
Sunday 24th April at 7:30 p.m.
Charing Cross Theatre, London
produced and performed by Regina Nathan SOPRANO
with Robert Chevara DIRECTOR Linnhe Robertson PIANO
My World is My Song is an exciting concert performance starring soprano Regina Nathan and featuring a rich and eclectic mix of songs and arias that enhances the deep connections between the music we love, our everyday experiences and our personal stories.
Regina will perform a thought-provoking, memory-evoking programme of songs from a variety of genres that includes classical arias and more modern hits from legendary storyteller-singer-performers including Janis Ian, Leonard Cohen and Edith Piaf.
Regina Nathan is a well-known Irish soprano who has worked with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and has sung major soprano roles nationally and internationally. The show is directed by award-winning theatre and opera director Robert Chevara. Regina will be accompanied by Linnhe Robertson of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Booking: Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers St, London WC2N 6NL
A regular collaborator with Regina, Linnhe Robertson is a renowned Pianist and Music Coach who works with singers and opera companies worldwide. Until recently, she was Head of Vocal Studies in London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she now holds the role of Artistic Consultant for Voice and Opera. She also coaches at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and regularly performs as an accompanist in recitals with singers.
Robert Chevara is an award-winning theatre and opera director who divides his time between London and Berlin. He is a former Director of Productions at English Touring Opera. A prolific director and regular collaborator with Regina, he last year directed the Danish premiere of Mike Bartlett’s playsCock / Bull, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Copenhagen and the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ early plays The Chorus Girl Plays in Chicago and Provincetown. In April, this year, he will direct Williams’ In the bar of a Tokyo Hotel with Linda Marlowe in London’s Charing Cross Theatre.
The image I chose for Sopranos! features (your’s truly as) Antonia in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman under the direction of Dieter Kaegi with Opera Ireland.
I felt it visually embodied a great sense of operatic drama i.e. Antonia is acknowledging an imaginary performance but she has been warned that the exertion of singing will kill her. However, she cannot help herself!
The dress—and it’s all about the dress—was designed by set and costume designer (and friend) Louis Désiré!
The theme, based on a subject that is close to my heart, emerged during a masterclass I recently gave when a student asked “who is Montserrat Caballé?” I was shocked though somewhat consoled by the fact that the same student had not heard of Freddie Mercury either!
All of the great sopranos had a different style of singing and performing and have contributed directly to the learning, singing styles, techniques and performance of modern opera singers.
Through aria, song and anecdote I want to pay homage to the contribution that those great sopranos have made to opera and music. Their legacy lives strong but their memory is in danger of fading.
The ‘Caballé-Mercury issue’ highlighted a niggling fear I have held in recent years that these women are in danger of being relegated to obscurity rather than being praised and highlighted for the contribution they have made.
Montserrat Caballé and the sopranos of the (very) late 19th century onwards are the only ‘demonstrable’ reference point we have for a heritage that is hundreds of years old as they, unlike their predecessors, have been recorded.
Each of these singers had a different style of singing and performing and have contributed directly to the learning, singing styles, techniques and performance of modern opera singers.
At the height of her singing career Montserrat Caballé was described as having a honeyed quality in her timbre, huge range and fabulous agility that she deployed like a magician in the bel canto operas. It is generally agreed that Caballé set a new standard for the “floated” pianissimo—a sustained soft note in the upper register and an essential to every soprano’s vocal armory. Caballé’s pianissimo has been described as ‘angelic’.
Maria Callas, one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century—‘the Bible of opera’—is considered a controversial figure among critics who have described her voice as “instantly recognisable” but “essentially ugly”! A tireless worker, Callas brought a great acting ability to her roles that was comparatively unique and that greatly inspired those that followed.
Apart from having extraordinary careers, many of these women led lives as extraordinary as those of the heroines they portrayed with experiences worthy of any modern-day soap opera!
Leontyne Pryce, one of the first African Americans to become a leading artist at New York’s Metropolitan Opera who, when it was proposed she play Aida, insisted that “when she makes her debut at the Met, she must do it as a lady, not a slave.”
Lily Pons‘ after whom the town of Lilypons, Maryland, USA is named appeared as the face for Lockheed airplanes and Libby’s tomato juice in advertisements and had a beloved pet ocelot she originally believed was a jaguar.
Renata Tebaldi became known as “Miss Sold Out” at the New York Metropolitan Opera due to the popularity of her performances. A rivalry with Callas may have been fictional but it delighted the media and helped in keeping attention on them both.
Swiss-born Lisa Della Casa described as “the most beautiful woman on the operatic stage” and “sexy”.
Irish born Margaret Burke-Sheridan known as ‘Maggie from Mayo’ made her operatic debut in Rome’s Tatro Costanzi before and embarking on a highly successful though short-lived career in many of the great Italian opera houses and London’s Royal Opera House. Puccini was said to have been spellbound by her Madama Butterfly.
Sopranos! – Arias, Songs and Stories of the Great Operatic Sopranos
Monday 22nd February at 8:00 p.m.
National Concert Hall, Dublin
All tickets €20
Booking www.nch.ie | T. 01 417 0077