CAROUSEL OF HOPE BALL
On October 23, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the "Carousel Of Hope Ball", a benefit concert wich took place at The Beberly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, USA. Every other year in October, the "Carousel Of Hope", with the generous assistance of a corporate sponsors and artists in the entertainment industry, raises millions of dollars in support of treatment and research programs at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. A portion of the event proceeds were given to the Los Angeles chapters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Diabetes Association. During the concert, Celine performed "My heart will go on", in which she wore a black dress. On backstage, Celine was photographed with Babyface and Miss America Nicole Johnson.
AN AUDIENCE WITH: BEE GEES SPECIAL
On November 7, 1998 Celine Dion appeared during the broadcast of the famous British entertainment television show "An Audience With", in which a host, usually a singer or comedian, performs in a concert for an invited audience of celebrity guests, interspersed with questions from the audience, in a light hearted revue/tribute style. This time, the TV show was dedicated to the Bee Gees. The concert took place at the ITV Studios in London, UK. It was a one-off special in which the Bee Gees get a star-studded audience up on their feet - dancing to the "Gibb" brothers beat - when they perform some of their most famous and catchiest hit records. This episode featured the Bee Gees, who perform hits such as - "You should be dancing", "Alone, "Massachusetts", "Night fever", "More than a woman", "Jive talkin´", "Islands in the stream", "Chain reaction", "Guilty" and "Heartbreaker", among others. The Bee Gees also performed the duet "Words" with Boyzone, and "Immortality" with Celine Dion. Finally, they answered questions from a number of celebrities. Celine´s appearance was via satellite from Canada. The show was aired on ITV channel in UK.
CBS SPECIAL THESE ARE SPECIAL TIMES
On November 25, 1998 Celine Dion appeared during the broadcast of the one-hour TV special-concert entitled "CBS Special: These Are Special Times", aired all across the United States on CBS channel. It was recorded to help promote Celine´s Christmas album, "These Are Special Times". The show included two musical guests, Andrea Bocelli on "The prayer" and Rosie O´Donnell on "Do you hear what I hear?". Celine also performed album tracks ("O holy night", "These are the special times"), her number-one hits ("The power of love", "Because you loved me", "My heart will go on"), as well as favorites ("Let´s talk about love", "The first time ever I saw your face"). The show´s sequence was: Celine first performed "The power of love". Then, she talked to the audience and she introduced the famous American stand-up comedian, actress, singer, author and media personality Rosie O´Donnell. They performed in duet "Do you hear what I hear?" (a Christmas song written in October 1962, with lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker). Then, Celine performed "Oh holy night" and then was shown a pre-recorded video with footage from Celine in Charlemagne, Canada. Then, Celine performed "Because you loved me", "Let´s talk about love" (in which she was accompanied by a children choir) and Roberta Flack´s "The first time ever I saw your face", in which some footage from her wedding (with manager Rene Angelil) was shown on big screen. Celine also performed "My heart will go on". After a costume change, Celine performed "The prayer" in duet with Andrea Bocelli. Bocelli also performed in solo "Ave Maria". Celine ended the show with "These are the special times". The "CBS Special: These Are Special Times" was a television ratings champion, ranking number-one for the night and drawing an audience of more than sixteen million viewers. The show was nominated for two Emmy Awards. The album "These Are Special Times" was re-released worldwide between October and December 2007 as a collector´s edition. This 2-disc digipak contains the original CD and previously unreleased DVD of this CBS TV special.
CONCERT IN ALBANY
On December 1, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, USA with the "Let´s Talk About Love Tour". This was the last 1998 concert in USA with this tour. According to Greg Haymes from The Times Union, Celine delivered a show worthy of consideration as one of the year´s most amazing. Even arena-rock veterans like Aerosmith won´t be able to top this for the sheer extravaganza factor. Backed by a six-piece band and trio of backup singers, Celine stormed the heart-shaped stage with "Let´s talk about love', the subject matter varied little during her 95-minute show. "Tonight we´re here to talk about love, right?", Celine asked between "Because you loved me" and "The reason". The crowd, predominantly couples and women, loved every minute of it. Celine tried to get funky with uptempo filler like "Treat her like a lady" and her Bee Gees´ disco medley, complete with a white pants suit-clad Celine doing John Travolta´s dance moves to a disco mirror ball. Making the most of her video presence, four giant overhead screens and numerous monitors also scattered around the stage, Celine sang video-duets with the Bee Gees as well as Barbra Streisand. Her highwater mark may have been during her tribute segment, especially her homage to the Beatles (the unexpected "Because" filtered through a French cafe) and Frank Sinatra (an effective rendition of "All the way", ironically her most understated performance of the night). It was, of course, the "My heart will go on" that everyone came to hear, and her roof-raising encore rendition, in which she sang the second half of the song from a ship´s bow-like railing at the point of the stage, was almost worth the price of admission itself. The opening act, the seven-piece Dakota Moon, turned in a firey half-hour performance. According to some fans who attended the show, "we were mesmerized from the moment Celine walked on stage until the moment she left. This was the greatest thrill to be able to see her in person. Words cannot describe how beautiful the show was and how touched we were at her warmth and true beauty".
CONCERT IN HALIFAX
On December 5, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, Canada in front of more than 10,000 people with the "Let´s Tal About Love Tour". The entertainment reporter Stephen Cooke from The Chronicle Herald, wrote: "There´s a saying that goes 'You can never be too rich or too thin'. Unless you´re Celine Dion. Of course, she´s rich because she sells gajillions of records and her concerts, including last night´s at the Halifax Metro Centre, are constantly packed. She´s thin because each show is a rigourous two-hour workout, and she´s been touring for four months. I figure she clocked a couple of kilometers making the rounds of her square stage in the centre of the floor to reach out to every corner of the arena. And reach out she did, bringing the crowd to its feet several times, getting it dancing, and occasionally bringing tears to its eyes". This concert at the Halifax Metro Centre, a huge production, began with a showstopper, the title track to her recent album, "Let´s talk about love". As the lights gleamed and Celine faced the roaring crowed, her image appeared on video screens superimposed on the rotating earth, and a youth choir from Halifax´s L´ecole Beaufort joined her onstage for the final choruses. Then she ditched her skirt, revealing hip-hugging, sparkly grey slacks, to launch into the upbeat "Declaration of love", prowling the stage and letting off a karate kicks while wailing in true disco diva fashion. There´s an annoying trend among popular female singers to drain a song of its life by squeezing every last drop out of it with virtuostic bravado and it would be easy to lump Celine in with this brand of squealers, except she knows what to do when given a skillfully crafted melody like Carole King´s "The reason", where her voice is raised aloft on a stunning crescendo, or her sole French number, "S´il suffisait d´aimer", in which she sounds sweeter, more profound and more affecting in her native tongue. On the other hand, her rendition of the bombastic Jennifer Rush 80s hit "The power of love" is pretty much the same as the original and doesn´t offer much in the way of intrepretation. She gets to sing out loud and sing out strong, but the sound and fury doesn´t signify a whole heck of a lot. Celine´s technical skill as a singer is better displayed in a duet on "Tell him" with Barbra Streisand, who appears on audio and videotape. Even though Babs is on tape, Celine doesn´t take advantage and try to outsing her, instead letting the emotion come through her control and flawless harmony. The impressive number gets a standing ovation, for as much as the trick as for the tune. Between songs, Celine is down-to-earth and jovial, delivering kisses to the cheeks of kids who bring flowers and joking goodnaturedly about her girlish figure. Midway, she delivers a heartfelt acoustic set, with her band sitting round her in a circlem that for me is the true highlight. A stunningly evocative "The first time ever I saw your face" is proof enough that Celine has instincts most singers only dream of. After a rousing "Saturday Night Fever" medley, Celine returns in a flowing red gown for the inevitable finale of "My heart will go on" from "Titanic". Clinging to a metal railing that rises from the floor, she beckons to her devoted fans, who would gladly go down with her ship if so asked. This was a special benefit concert to support the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.