Ireland with Michael Londra: Virtual concert benefits Stephens Auditorium

Ronna Faaborg
Ames Tribune

Fans of Stephens Auditorium can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and support the Ames venue at the same time. “Ireland With Michael — A Virtual Concert” begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. as a video-on-demand performance featuring world-renowned Irish tenor Michael Londra.

Virtual tickets are available at showtix4u.com/event-details/46011, and the link will be good through Friday at 7 p.m., according to a news release. Purchasing the video-on-demand ticket from that link directly supports Stephens Auditorium.

An Emmy-nominated Irish singer and producer, Londra grew up in Ireland and now lives in Ames. He became well-known in the United States as the lead singer for the national tour of “Riverdance.” In March 2000, he became lead singer in the production of “Riverdance” on Broadway, which was a springboard for his recording and producing career, according to his biography.

The virtual show is a "celebration of Irish culture and music for the Irish American Heritage Month of March," according to the news release. “Michael shares his own connection to songs and stories of his home county, his love of traditional music with the gorgeous 10-piece harpist group Cláirsí Neamhaí with local fiddlers, pipers playing jigs and reels that are perfect to celebrate Irish heritage.”

World-renowned Irish tenor Michael Londra presents "Ireland With Michael – A Virtual Concert" starting Wednesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. as a video on demand performance. Ticket purchases benefit Stephens Auditorium.

The core of the show is direct from the National Opera House in Wexford, Ireland, Londra’s hometown. The concert will feature Londra, backed by the Irish Concert Orchestra, two nationally acclaimed choirs — Valda Choir and The Presentation Children’s Choir — and guest musicians from Ireland, the release stated.

“Our audiences enjoyed a Virtual Celtic Christmas with Michael in December,” Tammy Koolbeck, Stephens Auditorium executive director, said in the release. “We were thrilled when we had the opportunity to offer another virtual show for St. Patrick’s Day that benefits Stephens Auditorium.”

In the video, Londra will also venture out to meet performers such as Mark Redmond, who is a performer and teacher on the uilleann pipes, traditional Irish flute and whistles.

Other performers include ballad singer, Roger Maguire; MACA, a traditional all-woman group that sings and plays traditional instruments; and the Shamrock Tenors, a group of men from Belfast, who will perform from Ulster Hall in Belfast.

Londra is host of a new travel and music series, “Ireland with Michael,” that will air on Public Television this spring. He is also the author of a travel book of the same title. The show will take viewers to his live shows and will also feature guest singers, dancers and storytellers filmed in local castles and pubs.

For more information, visit center.iastate.edu/events/irelandwithmichael. To learn more about Londra or his tours of Ireland, visit IrelandwithMichael.com.

Video-on-demand tickets are available starting at $25 for a family ticket. A family ticket plus signed souvenir is $35. A family ticket and signed souvenir plus a Zoom call with Londra is $50.