World-renowned Irish soprano Celine Byrne is to perform her first concert in Galway which will raise vital funds for mental health non-profit Let’s Get Talking, on Saturday April 23rd. “An Evening with Celine Byrne” is a chance to hear Celine sing popular arias from the world of opera and operetta along with other favourites. Celine hopes that the concert can raise enough funds to support the work of the organisation. Before the big night we chatted with Celine about what the audience can expect and why she chose to partner with Let’s Get Talking.
This is your first solo concert in Galway – are you excited to perform here?
I’m really excited! I can’t wait, it will be my first time performing a concert of my own in Galway, which I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. It has also presented the opportunity to promote Let’s Get Talking so I’m very excited about coming and I look forward to seeing you all there.
In 2021 you were announced as an ambassador for mental health non-profit Let’s Get Talking which provides services here in Galway, can you tell us about why you took on this role?
I have discussed in the past that I’ve had some mental health issues, like many of us, I’ve had stress. I’ve come through a pandemic where I lost my job which meant I lost the means of supporting my family as I am the primary earner. So, of course my mental health has been affected throughout the past two years but not only that, before the pandemic I’ve had times where I’ve felt down with my job as there’s a lot of travelling alone and being alone. It’s an honour to be an ambassador for Let’s Get Talking, I think for so long mental health has been a taboo subject and I want to be able to normalise it. If we can go for a regular checkup with a dentist or bring our cars for a MOT, why can’t we have a mental health checkup? When Let’s Talking approached me, I jumped at the opportunity and I hope I will do the role proud and continue being their ambassador for many years to come.
Can you tell us a little bit about the service Let’s Get Talking provides & what you love about Let’s Get Talking’s approach?
Let’s Get Talking is a non profit counselling and psychotherapy service which has a non-set fee. Clients make a donation based on what they can afford for their sessions, ensuring no one is excluded from accessing mental health support due to their financial circumstances. They have many counsellors and psychotherapists that can support you at any time in your life, many attend therapy for personal development – which I think is amazing! Early intervention is where we should be as a nation, preventing a crisis before things get too bad, and we just need to normalise it. So far, Let’s Get Talking has supported over 5,000 people in Ireland and in 2021 provided 14,504 sessions in Ireland including Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, and Dublin.
What do you love about Let’s Get Talking?
I love that no one is left behind. Anyone can attend the service, for any reason or age (from 10+) including depression, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, addiction, trauma, grief, bullying, eating disorders, parenting issues, and family breakdown support to name a few. What stands out to me about the service is that there is no set amount of sessions, so people can be with them for as long as they like, and there is no “Drop off” when a person turns 18 which is really important to keep the therapeutic relationship and progress in place.
What can the audience expect on the night of your concert?
I’m looking forward to our concert on 23rd of April, and I think people can expect a mixture of music from the world of opera, Irish songs, musicals along with some pop songs. I’m singing everything from the famous “O Mio a Babbino Caro”, to “Danny Boy”, to “The Rose” by Bette Midler so there really will be something for everyone! I think music has a profound effect on people emotionally, and can often be the common denominator that brings people together. It’s great to be performing again and I’m looking forward to performing for the people of Galway and raising vital funds for my wonderful charity, Let’s Get Talking.