Interview with Lisa Lambe, Celtic Woman

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How It’s New York: The Grand Marshal of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade Francis X. Comerford this year presented Celtic Woman with an award for being ambassadors for Ireland, days after the four performers packed Radio City Music Hall.
How It’s Irish: The concept group entirely comprised of performers from Ireland embodies the essence of the Irish/celtic woman.

Orla O’Sullivan talks to Lisa Lambe of Celtic Woman and finds that many of the songs “evoke a quintessentially female energy”– and thinks about water…

It’s not surprising that a singer equally known as an actress should like one of her songs best of the 22 that Celtic Woman performs during its Believe show set. “I love my solos,” admits, Lisa Lambe, the one redhead among the foursome known as Celtic Woman. (The other three are blonde—we’ll call it the luck of the Irish).

Lambe, the newsest addition to chart-topping Celtic Woman, said in an interview that Dúlamán was probably her favorite from the set for several reasons. Among them, it’s in the Irish language (know as ‘Gaelic’ though, more correctly ‘Gaeilge’), which itself is very musical.
It clearly offers scope for Lambe to bring her particular talents to the celtic table.

 “I’ve come from a theater background and I try to bring that side—physical theater—in view.”
Dúlamán is one of many numbers that evoke a quintessentially female energy—or the water element in Daoist philosophy. It is one of several songs about the sea in the show. Gorgeous lighting, with waves of green light and channels of purple sent out into the audience create the watery context for Dúlamán, a song in which a love contest is played out based on the different characteristics of two types of seaweed the protaginist is harvesting, Dúlamán (‘channeled wrack’) being one of them.




There’s great theatricality also to Lambe’s other solo “A Spacemen Came Traveling.” The Celtic Woman rendition of the 1970’s hit by Ireland’s Chris De Burgh gives it an entirely new, female energy, as the longhaired women sway in their floaty, ethereal gowns and wave their outswept arms to the music.

Celtic Woman is riding the wave of popularity being enjoyed by what you might call fusion traditional Irish music—following in the wake of Enya and Riverdance, among others. However, only an additional mystery element can explain its place at the top of the world music album charts with each of its six releases.

“For me to join when the show is at such a peak of success is amazing,” says Lambe.



The other most prominent members of Celtic Woman are longtimers Chloe Agnew, and fiddler Mairead Nesbitt, plus singer Susan McFadden.

Besides the four perfomers most readily identified as Celtic Woman there’s a chorus of three others, Kate Donoghue, Andrea Delaney, and Mairead Maguire, and a male band, two of whom do solos, Ray Fean on bodhrán and Anthony Byrne on bagpipes.

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Copyright 2012 New York Irish Arts