International Opera Singer Caitlin Downie Returns for Fourth Celtic Christmas

International Opera Singer Caitlin Downie Returns for Fourth Celtic Christmas

Celtic Christmas returns to two new London venues and Downie is extending the tour to Hertford and Margate.

This festive and intimate music experience promises carols passed down from generation to generation, sung in an authentic way. This magical evening of yuletide song is guaranteed to put you in the Christmas mood. “Caitlin

“Downie gives a striking vocal performance.” Duncan Grindall, BroadwayBaby

Having both an Irish and Scottish heritage, Downie created Celtic Christmas to celebrate authentic Celtic music. She performs well-known festive carols, but with their original sound and using instruments used in years past (including the bouzouki, bodhran, low whistle and Uilleann pipes).

“There’s so much history and legacy in these songs because they’ve been with us for generations… you can’t help but love them”, Downie tells us.

Downie’s talent and love of music has also been passed down through the generations. Her grandmother, Marion Studholme, was a stalwart of Sadler’s Wells Opera and a regular on television and radio during the 1950s. As was her husband, Andrew Downie; a successful director, singer and actor.

“The highlight of the concert is the music, but also getting to work with my talented band, sing in some wonderful venues and meet the audience afterwards”, Downie says.

Downie’s band includes Tad Sargent (performed with Joglaresa, Kate Rusby and at The Globe Theatre), Dominic Henderson (from Teyr), and Jonathan Pease (composer, conductor and runs the East London Evensong Choir).

Downie has already experienced success herself, with her app, Sopranotron, reaching the Top 5 in the UK iPad charts and the Top 10 in the US. She’s performed on the Cabaret Stage of London Pride, had a sold out run at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, opened the SS14 Ted Baker Catwalk Show and sung at the Sugar Plum Fairy Foundation fundraising ball.

Celtic Christmas isn’t Downie’s only performance this festive season. She’s also performing as “the Opera Singer” in the new Sink The Pink Christmas show, How to Catch a Krampus.

Six Celtic Christmas tracks from the tour will be released in mid-December.

Tickets (£10 online, £13 on the door):
About Caitlin Downie:

Moments of Sense and Style

Moments of Sense and Style

In a digital age where we’re flooded daily with words, stories, and great hunks of content to digest, it’s not often an article can make you stop and think rather than swipe away. Syreeta Challinger’s ‘The Moment That Made Me’ for October’s Glamour Magazine did just that.

Syreeta’s tale begins in Sydney, Australia on the second night of a holiday back in 2014. She was 5,000 miles away from their Hong Kong home and laying next to her partner who had suffered a terrifying and near fatal brain haemorrhage, which then triggered a stroke. She had awoken to Rob staggering and screaming, clutching his head in agony before having a seizure and vomiting. He was 37.

What followed was a painful and unimaginably difficult set of circumstances; after intensive surgery, Rob was brought out of his coma unable to speak and with right side paralysis. He had to relearn fundamental life skills such as eating solid food and swallowing and needed assistance getting dressed.

Syreeta and Rob had built exciting and high profile careers; she a product development manager in fashion, he a brand agency director. Urban nomads, they travelled globally and frequently and enjoyed an active and creative life. In the blink of a moment, their lives were turned upside down in the most brutal of ways.

Leaving Sydney after three months, they returned to Rob’s home town of Lincoln to continue with his significant recovery. Syreeta commuted into London with the aim of preserving a connection to their former life, but it became evident that Rob’s recovery was impacted by her absence so she resigned and became his full time carer. 2016 was difficult and isolating, but while sorting through some possessions, Syreeta stumbled upon an old sketchbook where an idea they had for a concept store named Moments of Sense & Style (MOSS) sat patiently waiting.

She began working on the MOSS plan and brainstorming product ideas – like patterned notebooks, candles and art and carefully considered how her and Rob’s harrowing story could be reflected in their craft. 

Gradually, it came beautifully together. Born from a desire to create light out of the darkness, it became a stylish concept store with an innovative and conceptual approach to dealing with life changing events. Each scent of each candle is integral to the remarkable brand story. Syreeta’s main job is carer to Rob, who thankfully has made remarkable progress in the circumstances and helps with MOSS product design.

There is so much to take away from Syreeta and Rob’s horrific story. The importance of enjoying life when it is good, as we never truly know what’s around the corner. How acts of complete and utter selflessness, showing courage and strength during the most testing times and temporarily putting your life on hold for the person you love are the real Stories we should be sharing on social media.

We applaud both Syreeta and Rob and covert their considered design, high-quality products. This is accessible luxury with meaning and a reminder that creativity really can heal.

As Syreeta wisely reminds us ‘‘Play the cards you’ve been dealt, as best you can’.





Join The GOOT Community!

Join The GOOT Community!

We thought we’d start a segment of our website where we give shouts outs people making cool things happen in London, and around the world.

A few years ago, Max Benoist – a French expat from beautiful Montpellier – found himself travelling around Europe reviewing different open stages in each of the cities he went to. With a background in web design and photography, what started off as a small database of these open mics he had gone to morphed into a huge directory of over 600 open mics around the world and a global community of artists who have played at them. Settling in London a couple years ago, Max and his GOOT business partner Valerio Lysander now run two very popular weekly open mics, and have recently partnered up with St John’s Church in Hoxton where they plan the monthly ‘Sanctuary’ series’.

GOOT also offers stunning (and budget-friendly!) video production. Max’s signature ‘One Shot Session’ live videos have now been made for over 40 artists, which are all displayed and promoted through the elegant GOOT website. You can see who has done a session, where they’ve played around the world, and read all about who they are and where they came from through their online profile.

His music videos are simple, beautiful, and really capture the essence of the performer. Want to see for yourself?! This one he did for Valerio Lysander’s ‘Cotton’ is our favourite.

In addition to all of the different hats he wears as music promoter, event planner, web designer, photographer, and film maker, Max is an extremely talented songwriter, with a unique folk-rap blend and lyrics in both French and English. And because he is just so darn talented, he makes all of his own videos – the most recent being his new single ‘Stylo‘ which features the visual stylings of Milena Milak.

Whew! We get exhausted just thinking about all of the things this guy can do!

Join the GOOT community and stay up to date with what they have coming up next by following them on the various platforms: