Emmy® nominee, Michael Londra, the Irish singer best known as the voice of Riverdance on Broadway and for his own US TV special, "Beyond Celtic", presents an evening, bringing you “Christmas from Ireland” told in song, dance and the festive stories of his youth.
The evening features traditional, heartwarming Irish carols like Winter, Fire and Snow and Gaelic versions of Christmas songs you will love such as "Oiche Ciuin" (Silent Night). Michael will also sing Celtic songs of a new Ireland including his own popular carol "Beyond the Star" recorded and performed by choirs worldwide. The famed tenor sings many carols more familiar to international audiences like O Come Emmanuel and The First Noel but sung in a Celtic more traditional style by one the "greatest Irish singers of our time".
Irish musicians join Michael onstage to perform age-old Celtic airs on the haunting uilleann pipes, fiddle, low whistles and the national drum of Ireland, the bodhran. They thrill the audience with their own frenetic traditional jigs and reels. The musicians are some of the most popular traditional players in Ireland, playing festivals and concerts throughout the year.
Rounding out the evening are the breathtaking dancers, built from Michael's connections to Riverdance. They perform traditional and modern dances that reflect the two worlds that Ireland lives in. The dancers are some of the best in the world, performing with Riverdance, Lord of the Dance and many more productions but come Christmas they present breathtaking steps especially choreographed to celebrate the season and dances traditionally danced during the holiday season.
Coming from a large musical family, Michael tells the tales of his grandmother and the Christmas traditions of her home such as "The Wren Boys" where locals dress in unusual garb on St. Stephen's Day (December 26th) gather at the crossroads and on to wander the village, singing in the streets. He also tells the story of "Oiche Nollaig na mBan" (Ladies Christmas) and many other Celtic traditions at Yuletide. Hear the stories of ancient times in rural Ireland and how customs of the day evolved. Michael will tell the tale of how the famed "Wexford Carol" was born and reputedly found in a churchyard in the 12th century in his home county. Michael's recording of this carol is featured on Jim Brickman's "Christmas from the Heart" and is considered one of the most popular recordings of the piece.
Michael Londra has been described as "one of the greatest Irish singers of all our time." Since his breakthrough role as the Voice of Riverdance on Broadway, Londra has become one of the top international soloists.
He has recently appeared in the headlines for his PBS special "Beyond Celtic" receiving two Emmy nominations and for being invited to perform at the 50th anniversary of JFK's visit to Ireland. (more info here)
His recording of "Danny Boy" is now regarded as "one of the best recordings in history," with over 8 million views on YouTube.
Michael was nominated for two Irish Music Awards for Best Solo Performance and Best Irish Tenor in which he won Best Irish Tenor at the 2012 Irish Music Awards.
Chicago based Celtic singer, 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 premiere of "JFK" where he was noticed by the producers of Riverdance. He went on and sang lead in first Riverdance tour of North America in 1998 as well as Riverdance on Broadway 2000 and 2001.
Londra has been featured on the Universal Records Arias Ancora project with Luciano Pavarotte, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. He is the creator of Radiocelt, which is part of Accuradio Network, one of the top ten internet radio stations. He also produces and stars in the touring Irish shows and is an ambassador for Concern Worldwide.
Most recently, Michael co-produced his own PBS special titled Michael Londra’s Beyond Celtic which aired across the United States over 300 times from August through December 2011.