In anticipation of her return to Las Vegas in August, Celine Dion performed with Andrea Bocelli during the 19th annual Keep Memory Alive's Power of Love™ gala in the MGM Grand Garden. It was on March 25, the 12th anniversary of her first performance in Las Vegas when Dion announced she was returning The Colosseum at Caesars Palace to resume her residency, “Celine” beginning Aug. 27.
During the rehearsal, the atmosphere was electric as Dion and Bocelli walked on stage. Wearing a silk blouse and pencil jean skirt, Dion looked stunning when she first greeted the orchestra as she confidently walked to her microphone. She was relaxed and ready to perform.
She is a professional but with a whimsical side. While the staff was adjusting the sound, Dion strutted across the stage and would dance. When Bocelli said a quip to her, Dion laughed and told him to stop it, singing her lyrics, “Can you feel it?” Even in rehearsal, she is mesmerizing as staff and gala volunteers stopped to watch her perform.
Dion spoke with AXS.com after rehearsal about her return to Las Vegas and other possible plans.
AXS.com: How do you feel about returning to Las Vegas—is it a feeling of returning home?
Celine Dion: It is my home. We live here pretty much all year long. This is where we are raising our kids. It is definitely our home and it is great to be back.
AXS: Growing up in Canada, what or who were your musical influences?
CD: My influences were pretty strange in a way because it totally is not at all what I am doing. I am the youngest of a big family, and my brothers and sisters were all musicians. They were listening to Janis Joplin, Supertramp, Mahogany Rush, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. I would also listen to French artists like Jacque Brel and French Canadian singers like Ginette Reno, who is one of my favorites.
There are many influences because we are in Canada, and we are between French and English. Still the musical culture I received when I was young through my brothers and sisters is grand.
AXS: With your musical range, have you ever considered performing on Broadway in a musical?
CD: No. There are not a lot of things I am not interested in, but I am not interested in Broadway. I would love to make movies, I would love to be on stage and make records and songs. Right now Broadway is not an interest and never was but we should never say no either.
AXS: Your new show will be more intimate and more engaged with the audience. Why did you choose to create this kind of show?
CD: The show we have done for two years, most of my shows are intimate. I sing ballads, talk to people, I want to have a contact with them and we share a moment, so it has always been like that. It is now inevitable for me to create more intimacy.
I haven’t been on stage for a while with my husband struggling and fighting really hard since he has been sick. It is natural to come back and let the emotion take place and share that moment with my audience. It just makes it that much more intimate.
AXS: How do you feel about Andrea Bocelli?
CD: I always thought he had the voice of God and that God sent him here for us to be able to understand what God is trying to tell us but we cannot always hear him. Andrea is here for that. To sing with him is always an honor and a privilege. At first it was an honor. It is still an honor but now that I know him more, and we became friends, it is such fun. The fact that I was intimidated (before) is no longer there, but I am so impressed by him and will be for the rest of my life. The friendship grew, and it is wonderful.
“Celine” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace is scheduled Aug. 27 to Jan. 17, 2016. Ticket prices range from $55 to $250 and may be purchased in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office, online at thecolosseum.com or right here on axs.com.