Fifteen legendary songs by great artists such as Louis Armstrong, Tom Jones, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Nancy Sinatra, Adele, Sam Smith or Shirley Bassey were heard at the Bond in the Opera performance on the last weekend of August. Below is adapted from a review by Zuzana Vachová.
"...When Celeste Buckingham stepped onto the stage, she suddenly shone the whole stage. A gorgeous, gold-black robe, her overall expression full of grace made it clear that this singer would perform at an an impressive high singing & performance level. In addition to having the advantage of perfect English (which is largely reflected in singing), she remained herself. She wasn't an imitation of Tina Turner, Shirley Bassey, or Adele - she understood very well that she shouldn’t slip into the imitation of the original singers, but she had to remain herself. Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey is a jazz concept, her characteristic voice sharpness, jazz accentuation of phrases, a dramatic dramatic expression that makes this title song an unforgettable hit. Celeste took it in her own way, softening her expression, but retaining the dynamics and typical phrasing. It shows the maturity of the singer, who does not need to slide to the role of star imitation. …
In the first part, Celeste excelled with the hit Diamonds Are Forever. Shirley Bassey also sang it - by the way, it has never happened in the history that the title song for Bondova was sung the same singer, Bassey broke this "status" several times and sung up to three songs for Bond: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. Again, Celeste did not imitate Shirley: she captured the essence of this magical song, greatly mastered the heights, and with such a heavy and familiar song proved to be a distinctive personality on our scene.
This fact was fully reflected in the second part of the concert. The greatest space in it was given to a singer who had to alternate different expressive positions. For example, "Nobody Does It Better" from Bond's Agent who loved me was sung by Carly Simon. The song is extremely subtle, gentle, more reminiscent of romance, and has no tension and drama like GoldenEye. But Celeste delivered even this song majestically. In the second part, she seems to have gained more confidence on stage and it must be said that it belonged to her entire stage and her audience loved her for her delivery. No, she didn't play Tina Turner again. She kept her own face, and her singing performance was all the more convincing and believable. She also worked well with the orchestra and was pleasantly sovereign on stage. Probably everyone was literally shaking with the excitement of how she handled Skyfall, originally sung by Adele, one of today's top singers. And it must be said that it was the absolute peak of the evening.
Celeste is profiling herself as a singer who has done an enormous amount of work over the years since her the television competition: not only in singing but also in personality. And with this powerful orchestra she dominated the entire Bond in the opera. It was just an evening full of inner drama, refinement and grace - and we don't mean the outfits of people in the audience, but the performances of singers and musicians…"
Photos: Zdenko Hanout