Méav shines on with the Divinas

last minute rehearsal with the wonderful John Parricelli on guitar - photo courtesy of Magdalena Borowska

Méav always has a special way of surprising us. It was a much anticipated news when we were informed that on May 30, 2012 , the Celtic Songbird Méav joined two talented international singers: Rita, and Yulia in filming a new show offering a mix of classical, international, and contemporary cross over music to be aired on the United States' Public Television Stations in 2013.

"Divinas showcases the music of three female world music singers : Russian-New Zealander Yulia, the Iranian-Israeli Rita and myself with the rich sound of a string ensemble." Méav told us during our interview for "The Lark" newsletter.

Award winning producer and musical director, Craig Leon, with International Media Executive Gustavo Sagastume combined talents to bring to us this enchanting new PBS show. Méav told us more about the creators of Divinas.

"Craig Leon is the Grammy-winning musical producer of Divinas." Méav explained. "He has worked with an amazing array of musicians from the Ramones and Blondie to Pavarotti and he has a particular interest in folk music so we had great fun working together. The executive producer is Gustavo Sagastume, who has created many successful PBS specials including Yanni, Andé Rieu and Celtic Thunder. I met him at the first Celtic Woman recording in Dublin many years ago so I was delighted to work with him again."

The Château de Chambord in France was chosen as the venue for the filming. It was truly a majestic place to host such amazing music and voices.
Méav told us about her experience performing in this unique venue.

"I love France and I have visited Paris many times before, but I had never visited Chambord Castle where we filmed the Divinas show for PBS. It is situated in the Loire Valley which is a few hours outside Paris and it is an extraordinary place. You enter the Castle grounds through woodland so perfect that it seems unreal - then the castle emerges in parkland with banners flying from the turrets - it's otherworldly. The time I enjoyed the most was when the castle closed to the public in the evening, and we could roam around the buildings and grounds undisturbed. The birds were calling overhead and it was so peaceful and beautiful - such a rare opportunity. I loved being based in Paris and using my very rusty French!"

During our interview, we asked if Méav she had personally known Yulia and Rita before filming Divinas.

"We met for the first time just a few days before the concert to work out arrangements of our group numbers and get to know one another." said Méav. "We had a very busy few days in studio but we had great fun and plenty of laughter together working on our different languages!"

It was a very memorable filming experience for Méav.
She told us about the day of the filming when the weather began to change drastically.

"We had a wild thunderstorm on the day of the concert which meant we had very little rehearsal time on the outdoor stage - but it made the concert performance extra exciting as our adrenalin was really pumping!"

We complimented Méav on her beautiful blue off-shoulder gown she wore for the concert.
It was indeed very stunning on her!

"Thank you so much - it is by a French designer, Paule Ka." Méav said.

When asked if she had a hand in choosing her songs for Divinas and if she had a particular favorite, Méav happily told us:

"Yes, I worked with the producer Craig Leon on the choice of songs. My favorite solo track to perform is 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.' I have always loved the Roberta Flack version, but it was really interesting to hear the earlier folk interpretations of it, too, when preparing for the show."

The Divinas show featured so many unforgettable songs such as: Carmen, Vincent, Shenandoah and On Raglan Road.
We asked Méav: if she could switch one of her songs with any of the songs performed by either Rita or Yulia on this PBS show, which one would she love to have sung?

"They both bring such personal style to their interpretations so I can't really imagine singing them, but I loved Rita's Persian folksong 'Shaneh' - a lot of the sounds of the language are very like Irish. I also loved Yulia's 'Ochi Chornia - Dark Eyes' - especially the section at the end where she does the really fast vocals." Méav replied.

"Divinas will be aired in the Spring of 2013. Yes, there will be a CD and DVD available too." Méav happily informed us.

Méav's voice and music had been described as unforgettable and enchanting.
Her loyal and loving followers are all truly excited about the PBS show Divinas, and the upcoming concerts.
We all gladly anticipate Méav's US return in 2013. With Méav's voice combined with two greatly talented singers Rita and Yulia, it is a guarantee that the PBS show and concerts will truly be just "divine!"

The Official Méav Fansite
Celebrates 7 years online!

An Anniversary Note from Méav:

Méav reunites with Celtic Woman
in their new Holiday CD
"Home for Christmas"

Released on October 9th, "Home for Christmas" became the most anticipated Christmas Cd by all loyal fans and followers of Méav and Celtic Woman. 2007 was the last year Méav sang and performed with the ladies. This year, our Celtic Songbird happily rejoined her former Celtic Woman colleagues Mairead Nesbitt, Chloe Agnew, and for the first time recorded with Lisa Lambe for a Christmas Cd produced by David Downes under Manhattan Records.

"I was delighted when David Downes rang up to invite me to sing on Home for Christmas. We always enjoy our studio time together immensely." Méav happily told "The Lark" editors, on a recent interview before the Cd release this October.

When we were given the news of Méav's recent reunion with CW for this new Christmas CD, we excitedly congratulated her and asked how it was recording with the ladies again.

Méav thanked us and said :
"It was great to be blending with my old colleagues Chloe and Mairéad again, and to sing with Lisa Lambe for the first time. I knew of Lisa through her theatre performances but we had not worked together before. I have also sung with her new husband, Simon, who is a great performer too. It's a small world."

We jokingly asked if this Cd, like the first Celtic Woman Christmas CD (A Christmas Celebration) was again recorded in the middle of summer.

"Yes!" Méav emphatically replied.
"When David first sent me the guide rehearsal tracks, I was sitting barefoot on a sunny beach. It's a bit like the fashion industry - everyone is planning at least one season ahead. David put up some decorations in the studio to help us get that Christmassy feeling though!"

We curiously asked if Méav was able to suggest or choose which Christmas song she would to sing on the NEW Celtic Woman Christmas Cd, and if she had a particular favorite.

"Yes, we discussed quite a few song ideas - I was very happy with the choices we made." said Méav.
"I don't think I could pick a favorite!" she added.

Méav was part of the original Celtic Woman ensemble.
Their first PBS DVD was recorded 8 years ago in 2004. She recorded 3 best selling CDs and 3 memorable DVDs during her time with the Irish super-group. We asked Méav if she kept in contact with the the original members all these years.

"We are still in touch but not often together. Lisa Kelly is now based in the US so we rely on email or texts to stay connected."

The new Christmas album is highlighted by much loved holiday favorites such as "Winter Wonderland," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and Christmas classics like "What Child is This" and "Silent Night."

With the angelic voices of Méav, Chloe and Lisa, accompanied by the dynamic fiddler Mairead, The Irish Philharmonic Choir and the Irish Film Orchestra, this new holiday album "Home For Christmas" will surely fill your home with the true Christmas Spirit on this blessed season.

The new "Home for Christmas" CDs are out for sale now.
There are two CDs: "Home for Christmas" and the Target exclusive "Home for Christmas" Deluxe edition with four extra tracks on it.

Méav recently told us: "I have an additional solo on it - 'In The Bleak Midwinter'."

Get yourself a copy and send one as a gift this Christmas. Share the Celtic Songbird love and magic this holiday season.

Page Two
7th Anniversary Contest Page

Page Three
DIVINAS Review Page

Page Four
Healing Music Feature

Page Five
Calendars/Remembering A Friend...