Royal Opera House goes Gaelic

Talitha Mackenzie

Talitha Mackenzie

Gaelic music will take centre stage at a special concert being held at the Royal Opera House in London on 31st July.

The concert, called Voices Across the World, celebrates traditional and contemporary music from 12 different cultures.

New York singer Talitha MacKenzie will be representing the Irish/Scottish tradition with a number of Gaelic songs.


Each singer will perform unaccompanied

Like all the other singers at the concert, she will be performing unplugged, either a cappella or with just a minimal accompaniment.

The Royal Opera House is keen to focus on different singing traditions and the uniqueness of the human voice.

With that in mind they’ve certainly made a smart move by booking Talitha MacKenzie.

She grew up in multicultural New York and became interested at a very early age in different singing styles from all across the world.

Talitha taught herself Gaelic

She heard her first Gaelic song when she was only seven and was immediately hooked. By the time she was in her teens, she was collecting field recordings of old style traditional singing, known as sean nós.

She went on to graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in Music History and Ethnomusicology.

In order to get the authentic character of the songs, she bought a teach yourself Gaelic book and set about the arduous task of mastering the language. Now that is devotion!

According to the Royal Opera House, Talitha now sings Gaelic music in a way that makes you understand Gaelic!

Singing on soundtrack of blockbuster movie Troy

Throughout her career, Talitha has absorbed different musical styles from across the world but Gaelic music remains her first love.

She has recorded several albums of Gaelic songs including Shantyman, Solas, Spiorad and Indian Summer.

Talitha has also had a dalliance with Hollywood, having sung on the soundtrack of the blockbuster movie, Troy.

Talitha, and other singers, will be performing in the Paul Hamlyn Hall between 2pm and 6.30pm on 31st July.

Find out more here.

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Patrick Kehoe

Pat Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dubliners and Planxty.

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