The award winning tenor Sean Costello, created a wonderful night of Josef Locke nostalgia at Cork Opera House with his Celebration Concert remembering the wonderful songs of a golden era. It was wonderful to hear a capacity audience well over sixty years of age sing along to Hear My Song Violetta, The Rose of Tralee and the sweet romance of When You Were Sweet Sixteen.
Costello had recently toured with the successful Mario Lanza Show and starred in the Ballinrobe premiere of The Pirate Queen. His fine tenor voice caught the mood of the moment and he is a crowd-pleasing, performer who looked remarkably like the younger Locke.
Josef Locke was born in Creggan in Derry in 1917 and he sang in the Bogside as the age of seven before achieving local fame as the Singing Bobby. He went on to play 19 seasons at the major venues in Blackpool and his early recording made him the singing celebrity of his era.
Due to tax demands, he quit the English scene after early forays into radio and television as well as five Royal command performances and several films.
He returned to Co.Kildare and had a revival after a 1985 Late Late Show Special. In 1992 the film Hear My Song introduced him to a new generation of fans. He passed away in 1999 and left behind a wonderful legacy of operatic and popular Irish tunes.
Sean Costello is recreating this popular legend on behalf of the Pat Egan Organisation. He was assisted by the Galway wedding tenor Frank Naughton and they Blazed Away with the Drinking Song and finished with a notable Goodbye From The White Horse Inn.
Vladimir Jablukov on violin and his Slovak Festival Orchestra provided memorable music but a few times seemed under-rehearsed especially in The Town I Love So Well and The Hills of Donegal. Otherwise this was a memorable night.