This past December, Dolores O'Riordan was honored by being given a second invitation to perform for Pope John Paul II at the Concerto di Vaticano in Natale, or the Annual Vatican Christmas Concert. This is the second time Dolores got to perform in Vatican City, her first being the 2001 Vatican Christmas Concert (also here), where she beat out such controversial artists as Britney Spears, Elton John, and George Michael to make the cut. Just think of it as an American Idol contest, only the Pope replaces that annoying Brit.
This year, Dolores performed a total of three songs: a very orchestral "Linger" (sans the rest of her bandmates), the classic Christmas hymn "Adeste Fideles" (better known to our English-speaking readers as "O Come All Ye Faithful"), and lastly, a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" with all of the inivted artists singing together. Dolores was backed by the Summertime Gospel Choir on "Adeste Fideles" and by the Third Millenium Symphonic Orchestra on all three songs, led by Renato Serio.
Those who remember last year's concert will remember the name Renato Serio, who was reportedly "overwhelmed" by Dolores' "soft but... strong and powerful" voice. Dolores was equally pleased to make his acquaintance.
· "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" (Dolores O'Riordan with other artists) (MP3, 192k, 3.2 mb) John Lennon and Yoko Ono cover; Dolores can best be heard singing at the 1:00 mark.
· "Adeste Fideles" ("O Come All Ye Faithful") (MP3, 192k, 5.3 mb) Traditional Christmas Hymn
· "Linger" (MP3, 192k, 6.0 mb) With the Third Millenium Symphonic Orchestra, led by Renato Serio
Thanks to Essentially Cranberries for hosting these files.
The concert was recorded by national Italian TV network Canale 5 and broadcast on Christmas Eve. Also shown during the broadcast was the traditional "meet and greet" session between the artists and the Pope himself, where the Pontiff gave his annual benediction to the Vatican Christmas Concert performers. The TV broadcast gave viewers an extremely rare shot of Dolores' son, Taylor Burton, now five years old, who customarily kissed the Pope's ring. Standing beside Taylor was Dolores' mother, Eileen O'Riordan, an ardent Catholic. Taylor and Mrs. O'Riordan can be seen in the video captures below.
Be sure to check out the December news archives for more on the Tenth Vatican Christmas Concert.
Below, you'll find 92 (!) video captures from the television broadcast. Also shown during the broadcast were clips from previous editions of the Christmas Concert, where Dolores can barely be seen in the 2001 edition. The shots below are at high resolution 1024x768 format, great for desktops/wallpaper!
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