‘Celtic Woman’ marks 10th anniversary with reunion, tour _lowres

Photo by David Conger -- Celtic Woman are, from left, Máiréad Carlin, Lynn Hilary and Susan McFadden.

“Celtic Woman,” the internationally touring stage production that deftly blends pop, classical and Irish music, is staging a 10th anniversary tour.

The 2015 “Celtic Woman” world tour will visit Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S. The schedule includes stops in more than 80 North American cities, including New Orleans.

Lynn Hilary, a veteran principal vocalist in “Celtic Woman” as well as the mother of all Celtic-themed stage extravaganzas, “Riverdance,” recently spoke about the “Celtic Woman” tour from Florida.

The show’s Irish performers, Hilary said, seemed to have brought their homeland’s ubiquitous rain to the Sunshine State.

“It’s been quite rainy here, but we’re used to that,” she said.

Luckily, Florida’s warmth and humidity are balm for singers.

“Definitely great for the voice,” she said. “Not great for the hair.”

Hilary will do seven weeks in North America with “Celtic Woman,” including its Friday show at the Saenger Theatre. She has performed in New Orleans about a dozen times through the years, with “Celtic Woman” and “Riverdance.”

“It’s a very original kind of place,” she said of the city. “Whereas somewhere like the main street in Nashville (Broadway) is quite touristy. New Orleans has that authentic vibe, like it was like that a hundred years ago.”

Two other singers in the show’s deep pool of singers are performing the role Hilary sings before and after her latest trek with “Celtic Woman.”

“I just arrived last week,” she said. “I’m actually having an easy ride.”

A big contrast to Hilary’s first work with “Celtic Woman.” That extended from 2007 to 2010.

Hilary lives in the Republic of Ireland’s capital city, Dublin.

“I’m a home bird, really,” Hilary said. “I miss Ireland as well. I was just hearing about one of my favorite walks at home from one of my friends. I thought, ‘Ah, I miss it already.’ So it’s nice that I can not be away too long.”

Dublin is lovely, she said. “And you can drive for about half-an-hour out of the city and be in the countryside. Sheep and cows and God knows what all. Lots of green fields. So you get the best of everything, yeah.”

Original cast members are rejoining “Celtic Woman” during its 10th anniversary tour.

“It’s like a reunion,” Hilary said. “That was one of the ideas.”

The principal vocalist lineup for the New Orleans “Celtic Woman” show features Hilary, Susan McFadden and Alex Sharpe. Of course, the show always features its most recognizable star, fiddler and founding member Máiréad Nesbitt.

Hilary loves the vocal blend she has with the other principal vocalists.

“Some voices sound good together and some clash together,” she said. “But we have a lovely blend. We do two songs a cappella, ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Over the Rainbow.’ They’re a highlight for me, because I get to sing with the two girls with very little else, musically, going on. It’s such a treat. Our voices go together like a perfect cocktail.”

And there are no “Celtic Woman” divas, she added.

“Oh, God, no. It’s such a joy to sing with these two. They’re such humble girls on stage, too, so it’s just a lovely atmosphere.”