Lisa Kelly
Lisa Ann Kelly is a singer of both classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 and celtic music
Celtic music
Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe...

. She has taken part in many musical theatre productions and concerts, and is a member of the musical group Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman is an all-female musical ensemble conceived and assembled by Sharon Browne and David Downes, a former musical director of the Irish stage show Riverdance...


Early life

Lisa Kelly was born in Dublin, into a musical family, with both her parents and sisters being singers. Lisa herself has been singing since the age of seven, when she starred in the musical version of Bugsy Malone
Bugsy Malone
Bugsy Malone is a 1976 musical film, very loosely based on events in New York City in the Prohibition era, specifically the exploits of gangsters like Al Capone and Bugs Moran, as dramatized in cinema...

. Her parents are both heavily involved in amateur theatre, influencing Lisa toward studying drama, as well as being classically trained in both piano and singing.

Music career

She has played several principal roles, such as "Velma Kelly" in Chicago
Chicago (musical)
Chicago is a musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago. The music is by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the "celebrity criminal"...

, "Florence" in Chess
Chess (musical)
Chess is a musical with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, formerly of ABBA, and with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story involves a romantic triangle between two top players, an American and a Russian, in a world chess championship, and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other;...

, "Laurey" in Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance...

, "Maria" in West Side Story and "Sandy" in Grease
Grease (musical)
Grease is a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The musical is named for the 1950s United States working-class youth subculture known as the greasers. The musical, set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School , follows ten working-class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of love,...


She has also performed in a number of concerts in Dublin's National Concert Hall
National Concert Hall
The National Concert Hall is a concert hall located on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin, Ireland, close to St. Stephen's Green, and is the principal national venue for classical music concerts in Ireland....

, including The Magic of Gershwin, The Music of Cole Porter and From Romberg to Rodgers, and has won numerous national awards for singing and drama.


After deciding to take a break from her day job in the computer industry to return to theatre, she played the lead role in the Christmas pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk is a folktale said by English historian Francis Palgrave to be an oral legend that arrived in England with the Vikings. The tale is closely associated with the tale of Jack the Giant-killer. It is known under a number of versions...

at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre. This led to her being cast in the American production of Riverdance
Riverdance is a theatrical show consisting of traditional Irish stepdancing, notable for its rapid leg movements while body and arms are kept largely stationary. It originated as an interval performance during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, a moment that is still considered a significant...

 – The Show
as lead female vocalist in 2000, a position she held for five years while touring. While touring with Riverdance, Lisa met Australian dancer Scott Porter, who later became her husband.

Solo album

In 2002, Lisa was asked to record a solo album with director David Downes
David Downes (Irish composer)
David Downes is a composer, pianist, producer, and musical director who is best known for being the co-founder and musical director of the all-female Irish ensemble Celtic Woman.-Career:...

 on the Celtic Collections label. The resulting debut album, Lisa, was released in 2003. Songs featured on this CD are "Carrickfergus", "Siúil A Rún", "The Deer's Cry", "Lift the Wings", "The Soft Goodbye", "Home and the Heartland", "Homecoming", "Now We Are Free", "Dubhdarra", "May It Be
May It Be
"May It Be" is a song composed by Irish musician Enya and featured in Peter Jackson's 2001 film The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring...

", and "Send Me a Song".

Celtic Woman

Lisa was again approached by Downes in 2004, and asked to be part of Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman is an all-female musical ensemble conceived and assembled by Sharon Browne and David Downes, a former musical director of the Irish stage show Riverdance...

, originally planned as a one-night event at Dublin's Helix Theatre
The Helix
The Helix is a building on the Dublin City University campus between Glasnevinand Whitehall on Dublin's Northside, originally planned to be called the Aula Maxima. It was completed in 2002, and it is described as a "performance space" and holds concerts, university conferring ceremonies and...

. The group has since released five albums and DVD performances of their concerts and embarked on several world tours.

She says she accepted a spot in Celtic Woman because "I wasn't doing anything else that day." She did not know any of the artists she would be performing with when they first got together but Kelly stated that "the show is blessed with the girls [the show's creators] picked." She has toured with Celtic Woman throughout most of their tours and appears in every CD and DVD to date.

Lisa performs several songs with Celtic Woman. She sings "Send Me a Song" and "The Blessing", both originals that have been featured on the original and A New Journey CDs, DVDs, and tours respectively. They were written by David Downes and feature him on the piano. Another song written by David Downes is "Green the Whole Year Round", which has been featured on the Christmas Celebration DVD and Greatest Journey CD and DVD, but not any tour. Lisa performs "The Voice" in A New Journey, which was originally supposed to be sung by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha is an Irish singer and recording artist specializing in the traditional music of her homeland. She was one of the original soloists in the musical ensemble Celtic Woman. She sings in multiple languages: English, Gaelic, French and Latin....

, and also features fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt
Máiréad Nesbitt
Máiréad Nesbitt is a Classical and Celtic music performer, most notably as a fiddler and violinist. She is currently the fiddler for the group Celtic Woman.- Background :...

. "The Voice" was written by Irish novelist and composer Brendan Graham
Brendan Graham
Brendan Graham is an Irish novelist and composer. He has published three novels, The Whitest Flower , an Irish no. 2 best seller, The Element of Fire and The Brightest Day, The Darkest Night .He also wrote the lyrics for Rolf Løvland's "You Raise Me Up"...

. Another song that Lisa performs in the original performance is "May It Be", originally from the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Lisa sings "Caledonia" in A New Journey, and sang Sting's "Fields of Gold" during the Isle of Hope and Songs From the Heart tours. In Songs From the Heart, she also sings "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress," accompanied by Máiréad Nesbitt on the violin.

During the A New Journey tour, Lisa took a break for the birth of her third child, Ellie. She was replaced by Alex Sharpe
Alex Sharpe
Alex Sharpe is an Irish singer who is mostly known for being a former member of the ensemble Celtic Woman.-Early career:She began her career portraying Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin...

 who later became a full-time member of Celtic Woman when Orla Fallon left.


In 2009, Lisa Kelly sang the main title song If You Believe for the Disney movie Tinkerbell – The Lost Treasure.

Personal life

Lisa is married to Australian dancer Scott Porter. They have three children: sons Cian and Jack and daughter Ellie. She calls them, "hands down, the most important parts of my life", and they accompany her on tour when they are not in school. Lisa's sister Helen has performed with Celtic Woman in the choir.


  • Lisa (2003; re-release 2006)
  • Celtic Woman
    Celtic Woman (album)
    Celtic Woman is the eponymous debut album of the singing group Celtic Woman. The members of the group were first featured on the PBS musical special also by the same name. With the help of said special, Celtic Woman reached #1 on the World Music charts within weeks and remained there for a record...

    (March 2005)
  • Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration
    Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration
    - Bonus Track on Japanese edition :- Chart positions :- Sales and certifications :...

    (October 2006)
  • Celtic Woman: A New Journey
    Celtic Woman: A New Journey
    Celtic Woman: A New Journey is the second on-stage production by the group Celtic Woman. The show was filmed at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland and featured Hayley Westenra as a new addition to the group...

    (January 2007)
  • Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey
    Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey
    Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey is the fourth studio album by the group Celtic Woman, released on 28 October 2008. It is an Essential Collection album composed of tracks from their self-titled debut and A New Journey albums with a couple reworked, plus three new tracks.Performers in The...

    (October 2008)
  • Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart
    Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart
    Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart is the fifth studio album by the group Celtic Woman released on 26 January 2010.Performers in Songs from the Heart are vocalists Chloë Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, Alex Sharpe and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt...

    (January 2010)

External links

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