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CELTIC WOMAN - A New Journey, Live at Slane Castle, Ireland DVD


Celtic Woman, the PBS sensation, returns for 2007 in A New Journey: Live at Slane Castle, Ireland. Most of the elements return as well: vocalists Chloe, Meav, Lisa, and Orla; fiery fiddler Mairead; music director David Downes; chorus and orchestra; and the New Age-y Celtic and traditional music. New for this show is New Zealand vocalist Hayley Westenra, a picturesque outdoor location, and an almost entirely new song list. Chloe sings "The Prayer" (made famous by Josh Groban) and "Panis Angelicus"; Lisa covers "Caledonia," "The Blessing," and "The Voice"; Orla sings "Newgrange" and accompanies herself on harp for "Carrickfergus"; Meav sings "Dulaman"; Mairead plays "Granuaile's Dance" and "Shenandoah: The Pacific Slope"; and Hayley sings "Scarborough Fair" by herself and duets with Mairead (Handel's "Lascia Ch'io Pianga") and Meav ("The Last Rose of Summer"). Then of course the group performs together ("The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun," "Over the Rainbow," "Beyond the Sea," "At the Ceili," "Sing Out!", "Spanish Lady," "Mo Ghile Mear"). Encore performances from the original show are Enya's "Danny Boy," "Somewhere," and "You Raise Me Up." Hayley proves to be an excellent fit among the beautiful voices, and Lisa seems to emerge as the talent most deserving of attention, but overall the show lacks some of the fresh sparkle of the original. The song list isn't quite as strong, and some of the "primp and pose" choreography is just silly. But Celtic Woman is never less than charming, and at its best can be quite stirring. --David Horiuchi

DVD, 80 minutes