‘Celtic Fire’ brings music and dance of Ireland to Ames Center stage

Michael Londra (Photo submitted)
Michael Londra (Photo submitted)

Michael Londra is bringing the songs, stories and dances of his native Ireland to American stages with “Celtic Fire,” which plays at the Ames Center in Burnsville on Tuesday, March 14.

“I’m from Wexford in the southeast of Ireland, so I try to paint a picture of home during St. Patrick’s season,” said Londra, a tenor who served as lead vocalist in “Riverdance on Broadway.”

“We do it a little differently at home — no green beer — and I will for sure get people singing, they might shed a tear, and they will also leave having learned some Gaelic.”

Fans of “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance” will likely find plenty to enjoy in “Celtic Fire,” which Londra described as a stripped-down version of those productions.

“Being the lead singer of ‘Riverdance on Broadway’ was an honor and, in many ways, launched my career as a solo artist,” he said. “When I started touring myself, I wanted to take Irish music and dance and strip it to its bare essentials.

“In our show, we try to give you a picture of Ireland without the bombast of the bigger shows. It involves the best of Irish musicians, dancers and myself giving you honest raw talent.”

“Celtic Fire” has a cast of 13 musicians and dancers, many of whom previously performed in “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance.” All of Ireland’s national instruments are employed in the production, some more familiar to American audiences than others.

“My favorite Irish instrument is the uilleann — pronounced ‘illin’ — pipes,” Londra said. “They are the plaintive pipes you hear in the movies. They are softer on the ear than bagpipes. We also have the low whistles, which are just beautiful for slow airs. Of course we have the fiddle and penny whistle, too.”

In addition to the Ames Center performance, Londra is bringing “Celtic Fire” to an array of venues throughout the country in March, with stops in Iowa, Michigan, Indiana and Texas.

Tickets for the Burnsville show are $30-$40 and are available at the Ames Center box office, at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-982-2787. More about the production is at michaellondra.com/celtic-fire.