It’s been a rough go for Céline Dion so it was understandably emotional when she returned to the Colosseum stage in Las Vegas Tuesday night after losing husband René Angélil to cancer last month. And, naturally, the concert was a tribute to the man who was both her manager, father of her children and love of her life.
The first 20 minutes of the show, which streamed live on CelineDion.com, began with a quote from Dion. “I understood that my career was in a way his masterpiece, his song, his symphony. The idea of leaving it unfinished would have hurt him terribly. I realized that if he ever left us, I would have to continue without him, for him.”
A slideshow of family photos and Angélil’s TV appearances followed. She kicked off the concert with “With One More Look at You,” her voice breaking at times and then addressed the audience, who welcomed her with a standing ovation.
“I did rehearse this song in my closet and it went way better than that,” Dion said. “Through my life I only had eyes for my husband, who sat out here night after night. People thought that I was looking at him, but I didn’t need to because every time I closed my eyes, I felt René on stage with me — whether he was seated in his seat right there, in the balcony, backstage or at home with the kids. He’s always been on stage with me and nothing will ever change that.”
Angélil, who was also her manager, “always surrounded me with the very best people possible,” she continued. “I trusted him so much that I rarely had the chance to worry about anything. Now I guess it is just a natural impulse to constantly question myself: ‘Would he let the kids play with these toys? And is this song too fast? Is this song too slow? Don’t talk too much.’ It’s pretty amazing that since he physically is no longer with me, he is even more present.”
She continued to speak fondly of her late husband, and told them that she still talks to him and thinks of him all the time. And after saying a few lovely words about René in French, she launched into her hit, “Where Does My Heart Beat Now?”.
She kept it together for most of the 100-minute show until she belted out “All By Myself” and that’s when the tears came. Bravo, Céline. May you continue to heal and stay strong.