By Standard On Saturday Correspondent
Music lovers are in for treat next week when Celtic tenor, James Nelson accompanied by soprano, Maeve Coghlan, and the Celtic Tenor’s pianist, Colm Henry appear in Nairobi to give two fund-raising concerts at the Lord Erroll restaurant in Runda on June 23 and 24.
James is a committed supporter of the Kenya Build project — a charity that builds homes, schools and orphanages for socially disadvantaged children. Irish and local volunteers work on the building projects.
Most recently James has been travelling as part of a team of volunteers (led by Basil Love from Sligo, Ireland) who took part in upgrading the accommodation and education facilities at several AIDS orphanages near the Kibera slum in Nairobi.
His busy opera and concert schedule has literally taken James right across the globe to six continents. In oratorio, he has performed from a repertoire of more than 60 works including Elgar’s Gerontius, Britten’s St Nicolas, Verdi’s Requiem, Frank Martin’s Golgotha in Bern and Zurich cathedrals, and the Narrator in L’Enfance du Christ alongside Katia Ricciarelli in Rome and Florence.
James boasts a repertoire of more than 50 roles in opera and operetta including Tichon (Katya Kabanova) for Opera Theatre Company in Lisbon and Porto, Don Basilio (Marriage of Figaro) under the baton of Raymond Leppard for Scottish Opera, Pinkerton (Madame Butterfly) at Hever Castle in Kent, Snout/Wall (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Singapore Lyric Opera, Lensky (Eugene Onegin) in Russia, Alfredo (La Traviata) at Como in Italy and many roles for New Israeli Opera, Opera Ireland, Wexford Festival and Buxton Festival.
Maeve Coghlan Colm Henry
In 2000, as one of The Celtic Tenors, James signed a three album worldwide deal on the EMI label. Multi-platinum-selling-artists The Celtic Tenors have topped the charts in the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, and at home in Ireland.
"The Celtic Tenors" were awarded the Echo Award in Germany for Best Classical Crossover Act, have sung for world leaders, performed with such musicians as Dionne Warwick, Air Supply and The Chieftains, with many of the world’s leading orchestras, and have recorded a PBS TV special which was broadcast coast to coast in the US.
Their fifth album was recorded in Hollywood in May. last year, and has just been released.
Maeve Coghlan, who hails from Dublin has performed in BBC proms, solo recitals of the music of Henry Purcell and Benjamin Britten and is a Dublin Feis Ceoil winner.
Maeve is an accomplished organist and also conducts church choirs. She now enjoys what she calls "an idyllic life-style" as organ scholar, singing teacher and performer.
Since January, last year, Colm Henry has been Musical Director for the Celtic Tenors and tours as a vital part of the team.
Originally from County Wicklow — the Garden of Ireland —Colm was immersed in music from a young age, joining the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland as a trombonist at the age of 12. Since that time Colm has been pursuing a busy performance and recording schedule with many of Ireland’s foremost artists, including Clannad, Celtic Storm, Tommy Fleming, Westlife, Tony Kenny, and most recently as a member of the group Sephira.
In 2006, Colm co-produced an album for Sephira and was part of their successful nationwide tour.