MY KILDARE LIFE: Interview with renowned Caragh Soprano, Celine Byrne

Christmas Gala plans

Sarah Peppard

Reporter:

Sarah Peppard

Email:

sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

MY KILDARE LIFE: Interview with renowned Caragh Soprano, Celine Byrne

Celine Byrne

Celine, from Caragh, is a well-known international soprano.

Celine is the daughter of John Joe and Maureen of Gingerstown, Caragh. She has one sister Jackie and three bothers Gareth, Billy and John. She went to primary school in Caragh and to St Mary’s in Naas for secondary school. Celine now  lives with her husband, Thomas Deans, mother-in-law Phyllis  and three children Noel, Ciana and Cillian who are in Griffith College, St Mary’s and the CBS respectively.

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?

The bog! It’s etched in my memory. I dreaded when my dad told us “we are going to the big tomorrow”. It was hard work and I also tried to get out of it by saying I’d make the tea and get the lunch ready. My siblings hated me slacking off and one day my brother got so annoyed he threw me into a big hole. 

I love where I live as I grew up with all my cousins. All of us would get together and play football and rounders (like baseball but with a tennis ball and racket). We had lots of fun and instead of TV , video games and tablets we had a thing called “outside” and “imagination”.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT KILDARE?

I’m proud of our county football team and although we are not as successful as Dublin, we certainly have the best fans in all the country. I used to go with my dad a lot when I was younger to the matches and I was at the final in ‘98 against Galway and that was a great. The county has a lot to offer for tourists and I’m always telling my colleagues when I’m abroad if the ever come to Ireland they have to come to Kildare to see the Japanese Gardens, National Stud and The Curragh. Also the shopping is great too.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IN KILDARE?

I really like Kavanaghs in Naas for lunch with my husband as I love the atmosphere; High Tea in the convent tea rooms beside the Parish Church in Naas with the girls is second to none and as a family The Soda Bread shop in Naas is our favourite. 

For evenings out for dinner, we tend to go to Killashee.

There are so many wonderful restaurants in Kildare I can’t choose a favourite!

HOW IS THE MUSIC BUSINESS GOING?

I travel a lot and I’m away from home a lot too so I love coming home. I’m so proud that I’m Irish and even more that I’m from Kildare. 

I’m happy to be home for Christmas and on December 17 I’ll be performing my Christmas Gala in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre with orchestra and guests, conducted by David Brophy. 

I’ll be singing music from opera, film and of course Christmas favourites.  Christmas is my favourite time of year and the Christmas Gala is the highlight of my year. 

I’ve been blessed this year with so many wonder opportunities including singing for the Pope and also the President’s inauguration. I’m excited about being home for Christmas and performing at my Christmas celebration gala concert.