Unateresa's Eye on Irish Dance by Unateresa Sheahan Gormley
A sneak preview of Michael Londra's "Beyond Celtic" - VIDEO
Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 11:07 AM
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Michael Londra, the lead singer from "Riverdance", launches into his brand new National PBS Concert Special, accompanied by the world's best in Celtic musicians, including the sensational sister duo Sephira, the legendary Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, and phenomenal Celtic dancers. Filmed in the Historic California Theatre, this concert special is truly "Beyond Celtic".
Michael Londra is from the opera capital of Ireland, a small town on the South East coast called Wexford. He decided in the early 90s to follow his heart and started singing professionally. His leap of faith was rewarded when he soon became a leading man in musical theater in Dublin playing many roles. US director and choreographer, Larry Fuller asked Michael to play Bobby Kennedy in the world premier of "JFK" where he was noticed by the producers of Riverdance.
He was offered the role of lead singer in the US National Tour which included performances at Radio City Music Hall and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In March 2000, Michael again was offered the position of lead singer in the new production of Riverdance on Broadway, taking the role from acclaimed Irish singer Brian Kennedy. This was the platform from which Michael's recording and producing career began.
Michael's first album "Celt" was produced by acclaimed producer Steve Skinner who co-produced the Grammy nominated soundtrack of RENT. He has worked as an arranger/co-producer for Bette Midler and Celine Dion and has collaborated many times with Arif Mardin, producer of Norah Jones' acclaimed CD. The album was released in 15 countries worldwide selling particularly well in Korea where it reached No 1 in the World Music Charts.
He appears with Pavarotti, Bocelli, Il Divo, Sarah Brightman and Kathryn Jenkins on the Universal Records Asia 2009 release Arias : Ancora.
His recording of Danny Boy was described by The Irish Emigrant in New York as "One of the best recordings of Danny Boy in history." The Youtube video of this recording has been downloaded by 3 million people as of October 2010. CapitalCeltic.com names Michael as "one of the greatest Irish singers of our time".
He has performed as guest singer Irish supergroups De Dannan and Teada
In 2004 Michael was chosen for the role of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ Symphony" This production was based on the score of Oscar nominee John Debney and had its spectacular US premiere in Hollywood on September 11, 2005.
Michael's work with partner Jean Clancy on the Celtic Woman project created by Sharon Browne was a turning point in Michael"s career off stage. He has been involved in many productions around the world as an artistic director and producer. This year CELT Productions collaborated with Celtic Entertainments to bring Dance of Desire to China and with Harmony artists to bring Caution:Men at Work touring China also.
He created Radiocelt.com in Chicago in 2003 which is part of the Accuradio network (one of the top ten internet radio stations in the world). In addition, Michael has been very active in yet another role, this time as an ambassador for "Concern Worldwide" www.concernusa.org. Through several cd releases which raised considerable awareness for the charity, and through his high profile visits to Haiti, Michael has helped bring the issue of poverty and hunger to the attention of the public.