Kildare's own Celine Byrne is recognised both nationally and internationally as one of opera's most shining stars. She has performed all over the world, and will grace the Irish stage again in a very special live stream of Puccini’s La bohème from Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in March.

Between rehearsals, Celine took some time to share with us the music that has inspired her throughout her life and career, from her idol Maria Callas to The Smashing Pumpkins…

THE INSPIRATIONAL ALBUM

"I was never a fan of any one particular band, I loved all kinds of music from pop to rock, ABBA to AC/DC, classical music to The Cure. When I was a teenager and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness came out I thought, 'here's an album I identify with'.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

It has everything from gentle ballads to heavy metal with elements of electronic pop and alternate rock. I became an instant fan and still enjoy it as much today as when I bought it. My favourite song on the album is Tonight Tonight, perhaps because of the orchestral arrangement of the track...

THE INSPIRATIONAL SINGER

The late soprano Maria Callas is Celine Byrne's idol

"My first introduction to classical music and opera was through the Soprano Maria Callas, who became my idol. She was capable of singing both lyric and coloratura roles and was intensely dramatic combined with a strong sense of theatre.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Her interpretation of her roles is what struck me and is what drives me. I was honoured to be the only Irish recipient of first prize and gold medal at a competition in her honour in 2010 at the Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens, Greece.

THE CLASSICAL INSPIRATION

Itzhak Perlman is the most supreme violinist of his time and is a legend, to be honest. The 1976 recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons is the most famous of Perlman’s works.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

When it comes to evoking the colours and moods of Vivaldi’s Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, Itzhak Perlman creates rich and varied colours and makes his violin sing. I have listened to so many versions of this work. I love it and never get bored of it. Before the lockdown I got to see a live performance of it led by my friend, violist Lynda O’Connor and it was simply breathtaking and exciting. You can’t beat a live performance and I miss that most with current restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME

"The role of Mimì in Puccini's La bohème is my favourite to perform and in fact it was my first role when I made my operatic debut in 2010. 

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Not only that ,but it was the last role I performed before the pandemic and it will be the first role I will sing when I return to work next month with Irish National Opera in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre!"

Celine Byrne stars in a concert performance of La bohème livestreamed from Bord Gáis Energy Theatre presented by The Irish National Opera on March 13th. The performance will feature The Irish National Opera Orchestra and will be conducted by Sergio Alapont. Tickets are available from Dice.fm.