Celtic Woman is the realization of a dream for
Composer and Musical Director, David Downes and Show Producer,
Sharon Browne. Together with Dave Kavanagh, Executive Producer
of the Show, they created Celtic Woman to feature the very
special talents of four young Irish female vocalists and a very
exciting young fiddle player. The five women vocalists, Chloe,
Lisa, Meav and Órla and fiddle player Mairead are led by David
Downes, a prodigious young Irish talent, who has previously
worked as musical director of Riverdance. Celtic Woman portrays
the unique voices and styles of each of the girls as soloists as
well as fantastic ensemble numbers. Performing beautiful and
much-loved songs, Celtic Woman features unique renditions of
Irish songs such as: "Danny Boy," timeless classics like "Ave
Maria", contemporary songs such as Enya's "Orinoco Flow" and
Clannad's "Harry's Game", and a host of spellbinding original
songs created by David Downes. Celtic Woman started life as a
90-minute show for PBS, which premiered in the US in March 2005.
The show was broadcast on over 300 stations and such was its
success that it was developed into a full scale touring
production. The Celtic Woman CD & DVD were released through
Manhattan Records (EMI) on March 1st 2005. Since its release the
CD has been certified gold and the DVD has been certified
platinum. The CD has also been No 1 in the Billboard World Music
Chart for over 60 weeks.
David Downes: Musical Director/Composer
David Downes is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he
studied music and composition. Previously Downes had been
Musical Director of Riverdance for the US touring company,
European touring company, and on Broadway at the Gershwin
Theatre. He was also the orchestrator of Riverdance On Broadway.
As a producer David has recorded four albums with oboist David
Agnew, achieving Gold status in Ireland and Europe, and recently
the Gold debut album of young Irish singer Chlöe. He has also
worked as orchestrator and arranger for Bonnie Tyler, Charlotte
Church, and Secret Garden.
Recording credits as soloist include Grammy-award winning
Michael W. Smith, Michael Crawford (on his Disney album),
Clannad, Moya Brennan, and Bill Whelan.
Chlöe Agnew is a gifted musician studying piano, guitar and
recorder as well as being a magnificent singer. Agnew made her
debut television performance at just four weeks old and first
sang on television at the age of six! She won the Grand Prix at
the first International Children's Song Competition in Cairo in
1998 representing Ireland with a song entitled "The Friendship
She recorded and released her debut album, Chlöe, at the young
age of twelve. Her second Album Walking in the Air, was released
and drew huge attention in the internationally. It was the
interest in her album and Celtic Collections other Irish Female
Soloists that spawned the concept for the Celtic Woman show.
Lisa Kelly was born in Dublin and has been singing since the age
of 7. Classically trained in both piano and singing, Lisa
started her professional career in musicals. She has played many
roles including “Velma Kelly” in Chicago, “Florence” in Chess,
“Laurie” in Oklahoma and “Sandy” in Grease. Lisa has also
performed in many concerts at Dublin’s National Concert Hall
including: “The Magic of Gershwin,” “The Music of Cole Porter,”
and “From Romberg to Rodgers” to name but a few.
Lisa was the lead female vocalist of Riverdance. It was here
that she met her husband Scott and they toured with the show for
four years taking in cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San
Francisco, New York, Miami, Toronto and many more. Lisa recorded
her debut album entitled Lisa. Now a mother to two boys, Cian
and Jack, Lisa has just finished filming her first Solo DVD.
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha has a broad range of performing experience
in Ireland and abroad. Her first solo album, Méav, has sold
extremely well in the US, Japan and Korea. Her second solo
album, Silver Sea, has recently been released and is available
in specialist music stores across Europe and America under the
Celtic Collections Label.
Méav has been invited to perform her own music at many festivals
worldwide. She headlined at a major open-air festival in Seoul
as part of the Korean World Cup celebrations and launched her
second album there. She recently performed to great acclaim at a
prestigious Celtic Festival in Tokyo and sang in the Beo
Festival of Irish Music at the National Concert Hall Dublin.
Orla: Harpist & Singer
Orla has featured as a soloist in concerts around Ireland at
such venues as The National Concert Hall, Dublin, The Opera
House, Belfast and The Waterfront Theatre, Belfast. She has
recorded, performed and toured with Internationally renowned
groups Clannad and Anuna, as well as the oboist David Agnew.
A popular soloist in the corporate sector in Dublin, Orla
appears regularly at such venues as Dublin Castle, Humewood
Castle, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham and Luttrellstown Castle.
Orla was invited to play for The Pope in Rome and she is invited
regularly to perform at Aras An Uactarain for The President Of
Ireland. Orla’s debut album The Water is Wide has earned her
much critical acclaim and has led to countless television and
radio broadcasts. She has toured extensively throughout Europe
and North America where her reputation is steadily growing for
her renditions of haunting Irish airs as well as her own vocal
and instrumental compositions.
Mairead Nesbitt: Fiddle Player
Máiréad, who began playing the piano at the age of 4 and the
fiddle at 6, is a former All-Ireland fiddle champion. She began
formal training in music at an early age, at the Ursuline
Convent in Thurles, and continued at The Waterford Institute of
Technology, at the Cork School of Music under Cornelia Zanidache
and at the London Royal Academy, London Trinity College, with
Post Graduate Studies under Emanuel Hurwitz on violin and piano.
She is a past member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.
Following her formal training, she became a professional
violinist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in 1991. She also
worked on-stage and in-studio with many well-known musicians,
among them Nigel Kennedy, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, Clannad,
Emmylou Harris, Aslan, Chris De Burgh and Jimmy Webb, and
including more traditional Irish artists Dónal Lunny, Sharon
Shannon, Paul Brady, Frances Black, Cooney and Begley, and Jimmy
McCarthy. Mairead had the honor of performing privately for HRH
- The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) on her secret visit to
Dublin last September.