Naas soprano hits high notes in London

KILDARE soprano Celine Byrne is to take the lead role of Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme at London’s Covent Garden later this month, after an audition last Wednesday.

KILDARE soprano Celine Byrne is to take the lead role of Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme at London’s Covent Garden later this month, after an audition last Wednesday.

The Caragh soprano was hired within minutes after her audition at one of the world’s great opera houses. Rehearsals began last week for the opera, running from April 30th to May 17th.

In January and February, she covered for the Finnish soprano, Camilla Nylund in Dvorak’s Rusalka, making her Covent Garden debut in February after the lead suffered an illness.

Given just 30 minutes’ notice that she had to fill in, the Irish singer was described afterwards by opera critic Michael White in the Daily Telegraph as having “saved the day” and as having received “a tumultuous reception”.

She has a master’s degree in music from the Royal Irish Academy of Music where she studied with Dr Veronica Dunne. She also received the academy’s award for outstanding achievement. She has an honours degree in music from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, where she studied with Edith Forrest, Trudi Carberry and Deborah Kelleher.

So far, she has sung with Joseph Calleja, Evelyn Glennie, Barry Douglas and Steven Doane, and she has sung for Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Barack Obama. In October 2010, she released her debut CD For Eternity.