By then it was clear that Celtic Woman had a big future, and the organizers had hit on a musical formula with wide appeal by mixing together traditional Irish songs, a little light classical, pop standards (the repertoire has included Bobby Darin’s “By The Sea,” the Josh Groban hit “You Raise Me Up” and Enya’s “Orinoco Flow”) and even a few tunes from musicals and movies (such as “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”).
The group has gone on to release three more studio albums, 2007’s “A New Journey,” 2010’s “Songs from the Heart” and 2012’s “Believe” (each of which was accompanied by a live DVD).
The success has been sustained as the lineup has seen Kelly, Fallo and Mhaolchatha leave, and singers Alex Sharpe, Lynn Hilary and Hayley Westenra arrive and then depart. Today’s lineup features vocalists Agnew, Lambe (who joined in 2011) and Susan McFadden (who joined in 2012), as well as Nesbitt.
Lambe (pronounced “Lamb”) said she will have two solo performances during this year’s show. One will be a traditional Irish song, “Dulaman,” which tells the tale of a young woman who is torn between two suitors. The other is the Simon & Garfunkel classic, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
“I think what’s great about Celtic Woman is David (Downes), our musical director, who’s just a genius in so many ways, he chooses songs that you think how will this ever sound like it’s never been sung before, a song like ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ a great anthem, an incredibly famous song?” Lambe said. “And he did this incredible version for us, and it was just one of my favorite moments.”
Lambe’s association with Downes predates Celtic Woman. She began her career in theater, landing roles in such productions as “Improbable Frequency,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Wireman” and “The Shaughraun.” It was during that latter production that Lambe met Downes, who served as its musical director, as well as Nesbitt, who was also cast in the play.