Celine Dion calls Vegas chapter a career risk worth taking
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 11:41AM EST
Known as the Queen of the Vegas strip, Celine Dion’s first engagement in 2003 at Caesars Palace boasted five years of sold-out performances. Now Dion, 44, is packing them in once more at the iconic American venue, and telling the world that playing Vegas was a career risk worth taking.
“I think you have to take chances,” Dion said in an interview aired on Monday on CTV’s Canada AM.
Dion and her husband and manager, Rene Angelil, made headlines in 2002 when news of their 600-show deal with Caesars Palace first broke. Under that contract, Dion agreed to appear five nights a week in the lavish spectacle “A New Day.”
At the time, critics took aim at the couple, saying that Las Vegas was the place where fading singers headed to turn a buck. Those barbs were not lost on Dion.
“People thought: ‘They’re going to start this show and the Titanic’s going to sink again. You heard what you heard,” Dion said.
Others, however, called this business decision a brilliant move for the recording artist.
Pulled together by theatre director Franco Dragone and choreographed by Mia Michaels, Dion’s 90-minute Vegas spectacle showcased her biggest hits performed against a backdrop of grand dance sequences, special effects and performance art.
“We had this project in front of us of presenting a whole new way of performing on stage,” said Dion. “I wasn’t concerned at all.”
During the show’s run from March of 2003 to December of 2007, “A New Day” made musical history, grossing more than $400 million. It also attracted three million spectators to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace -- and to Las Vegas, a fact which was well-noted by local business owners and other singers.
Dion’s success lured other stars, such as Elton John, to Vegas. Singer Shania Twain also took note of Dion’s achievements. The country star will make her Vegas debut at Caesars Palace on Dec. 1, 2013.
“I’m a singer. I’m a mom. But I’m a big fan of a lot of artists,” said Dion. “They came to see my show…and I heard the question ‘Celine, you’re making it. But is it really possible?”
In retrospect, Dion had no inkling of the success she would enjoy in Vegas, or how it would change the perceptions of other artists about playing this town. “I guess they thought I was going to change diapers on the crap table,” said Dion, the mother of three young children.
However, the chance to perform again without strain of travelling for a world tour enticed Dion back to Vegas for three more years. That deal was announced in 2010 and saw Dion back at Caesars Palace in 2011.
“Travelling the world is sometimes difficult,” said Dion.
“It’s wonderful to have the chance to be stable,” she added. “Vegas gives you a lot of opportunities to present something spectacular for your fans.”