"A New Day..." was a Las Vegas residency show performed by Celine Dion at the 4000-seat Colosseum at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, USA. It was created and directed by Franco Dragone (known for his work with Cirque du Soleil) and premiered on March 25, 2003. 90-minute event, "A New Day..." introduced a new form of theatrical entertainment, a fusion of song, performance art, innovative stage craft and state-of-the-art technology. Celine was originally contracted for three years, however, due to its immediate success, the show continued for an additional two years. "A New Day..." ended on December 15, 2007, after a 5 year run of more than 700 shows and 3 million spectators. It reached one of the highest concert grosses in music history, grossing over $400,000,000 in its entire run.
...> About The Show
The original inspiration for the show occurred when Celine and her husband Rene Angelil visited Las Vegas in 2000, at a time when she was taking a break to start a family, and they watched a performance of "O" by Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio. Celine was so moved and impressed by "O" that she insisted on going backstage afterwards to get to know the performers. Franco Dragone in turn heard about Celine´s favorable reception of his work, and several weeks later, wrote a letter to them to put forth the idea of an artistic collaboration. Angelil called Dragone, they arranged an in-person meeting, and "A New Day..." was the result. Celine initially intended for the show to be named "Muse", but the band of the same name owned worldwide performing rights. Celine offered $50,000 for the rights, but the band declined, with lead singer Matthew Bellamy explaining that he didn´t want people to think they were Celine´s backup act. The Colosseum venue was built using fast-track construction processes in only about 140 days. The stage was designed to slope upward at 5.7 degrees away from the audience, to provide the best acoustics possible in a circular theatre. The other purpose of the sloped stage was to show lighting details, designs, and textures of the stage for Celine´s show. This proved extremely hard on the dancers´ bodies, and a few were forced to leave the show early as a result of their injuries. The original plan for the stage backdrop/scenery was to simply use a giant video projector, but when the lighting designer, Yves Aucoin, pointed out that this would create unacceptable shadows when dancers ran in front of it, Angelil went back to Phil Anschutz, whose AEG Live was underwriting the production, and persuaded him to contribute an extra $10 million for the construction of the largest indoor LED screen in North America. The LED Screen was produced by Mitsubishi Diamond Vision LED Screens. This was a HDTV LED Screen Installation with a 8mm Display "Dot Pitch". The screen consisted of many separate LED panels put together.
...> Title And Visual
The show name was the subject of controversy in last October, 2002, when British rock act Muse posted a message on its official Web site saying it had refused offers by the producers to use the word Muse in the show´s title. Paul Farberman, a lawyer representing Celine, tells Billboard that "Muse" was only one of the titles being considered for the show: "We were talking to them to try to work it out, but they made unrealistic demands to get the clearance", he said. "Once negotiations broke off, we didn´t feel comfortable with it and decided to go with another name". And finally the spectacle was called "A New Day..." logically after Celine´s album "A New Day Has Come" released in March, 2002. Designed by Marie-Josée Gravel of Triplex communications, the "A New Day..." visual took its inspiration from Celine and the Dragone creators´ vision for the show. "At the heart of the illustration is a mouth - lips formed by the suggested pulse of a heartbeat, vocal chords, the vibrations of an instrument. We discover an image of Celine that is grand and pure in its simplicity. The silhouette evokes a force, a passion, a fragility. Celine emerges from amongst the brilliant lights of Las Vegas. Her rhythm is internal… she is listening, watching". Celine was moved by the final result of the visual: "For me, this image represents the moment in music when all instruments are in harmony - a strong and intense moment. I see a heartbeat in the fire of the desert, a soft but powerful feeling in the center of Las Vegas, the city of lights and passions. I see my old self to the left, the new to the right. This show marks a turning point in my personal journey. It will guide me to self-discovery, to push the limits of performance and offer a new stage experience to my devoted fans...".
...> The Show
"A New Day..." was a spectacle created for, with and about Celine Dion. Dragone continued to assemble an all-star production team that includes. The show featured the largest indoor LED screen in North America. Dragone uses the screen to evoke the mood within the music and create an environment that transcends the usual physical limitations of theatrical productions. With lighting, projected images, traditional props and remarkably sharp three-dimensionnal screen graphics, the set for "A New Day..." placed Celine, the performers and, indeed, the audience in European town squares, great city centers, picturesque antique temples and starry sky-scapes. "Our goal with this project is to create a spectacle like no other, a fusion of song, theatre, dance and technical innovation", said Dragone. "I see Celine as a satellite who captures images". The spectacle lasted only one hour and thirty: "It is the standard in Las Vegas, explains Celine, because the hotelkeepers who offer spectacles also want that people go to eat in the restaurant". Celine and her family moved to a house in Lake Las Vegas, located in Henderson, Nevada where they lived during the five years of the show. Performances of "A New Day..." were presented 200 evenings a year, Wednesday through Sunday, at 8:30 p.m. Regular ticket prices were US$87.50, US$127.50, US$150.00 and US$200.00.
...> The Colosseum
The construction of the Colosseum began when Park Place acquired the resort on December 29, 1999. The magnificent room of 4,000 places and with an area of 171,235 sq ft, which costed $95 millions to the Caesars Palace, is connected in the heart of the Caesars Palace hotel complex. In Las Vegas, all the big productions rose on a base of 4,000 daily spectators, with two representations in a 2,000-seat room. Because she has to take care of her voice, Celine gave only a single show a day, but in a 4,000-seat room.
...> The Rehearsals
It is in La Louvière in Belgium, 30 miles south of Brussels, on June 24, 2002, that the rehearsals of the show start in fitted out studios by the company Dragone, first with 60 artists. Celine came on October 17, 2002 and the rehearsals went on until November 15, 2002. Celine and her family moved to a rented house in La Louvière, where they lived during the rehearsals. As for the 58 selected artists for the show, they were chosen after castings in Amsterdam, La Louvière, Londres, Paris, Montréal, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. More than 4000 candidates proposed their services for this show; finally, 1500 'performers' were auditioned. The rehearsals included dance, aerial, vocal, percussion, acrobatic and theatrical workshops. Franco Dragone has begun to gather a who´s-who of internationally renowned multi-disciplined artists to develop the essence of the show. Furthermore, the rehearsals for Celine, were not specially vocal, but especially physics: she followed a physical training, every morning; she attended workshops, with the artists. Celine passed in the hands of the make-up women, so that they realize a moulding of her head for the preparation of hats; between the fingers of the wardrobe master. When Celine finally moved to Las Vegas, USA, the rehearsals continued at the Colosseum of the Caesars Palace until the premiere.
...> Show Evolution
When "A New Day..." was announced in the summer of 2002, it took the entertainment world by storm as Celine Dion was about to do what no other artist at the height of their career had ever done - stop touring and invite the fans to come to her. The Las Vegas gamble paid off as the show became an instant hit and was the second best-selling concert in North America in its first year. The success continued from there with performances selling out night after night throughout the show´s run. The show´s status as one of the hottest tickets in Las Vegas has been a constant since opening at the $95 million Colosseum designed specifically for the show. Through a unique blend of concert, dance, theatre and multi-media, "A New Day..." transports audiences to a virtual world where each song shapes a universe of its own. To keep the show fresh and exciting for returning fans, "A New Day..." continually evolved throughout its five-year run. New songs were incorporated, showcasing the best of Celine Dion´s musical catalogue, as well as favorites from legendary artists such as Frank Sinatra, Etta James and Elvis Presley. With new songs came new set designs, and to add to the visual interest on stage, Celine and cast donned new custom-made costumes each year.
...> Broadcasts And Recordings
The originally scheduled DVD release date was postponed because of changes and improvements made to the show since the initial filming. Instead, a live CD was released in June 2004. "A New Day..." was re-shot in high-definition during the January 17-21, 2007 week and released on DVD on December 7, 2007 and on Blu-ray Disc on February 5, 2008. The two disc set, which contains more than 5 hours of never-before seen footage, including the concert and three exclusive documentaries: Because You Loved Me (A Tribute to the Fans), A New Day: All Access and A New Day: the Secrets, became very successful on the music DVD charts around the world. The premiere, on March 25, 2003, was broadcasted live during a TV special titled "Celine Dion: Opening Night Live Las Vegas" wich was hosted by Justin Timberlake and aired on CBS channel in USA. Also, the Quebec TV station TVA broadcasted a TV special dedicated to the last show of Celine with "A New Day...", on December 16, 2007. The show was entitled "Les Adieux de Céline Dion à Las Vegas" (meaning "Celine Dion´s Vegas Farewells"). The cameras entered the intimacy of Celine and Rene Angelil during latest show´s night (December 15). Viewers could see Celine leaving her home with her husband and their son who attended his mother´s show, Celine in her dressing room or in the elevator that took her to the stage.
...> Songs Set List
1. "A new day has come"
2. "The power of love"
3. "It´s all coming back to me now"
4. "Because you loved me"
5. "To love you more"
6. "I´m alive"
7. "I drove all night"
8. "Seduces me"
9. "If I could"
10. "Pour que tu m´aimes encore"
11. "I surrender"
12. "Ammore annascunnuto"
13. "All the way" [ ft. Frank Sinatra ]
14. "I´ve got the world on a string"
15. "I wish"
16. "Love can move mountains"
17. "River deep, mountain high"
18. "My heart will go on"
...> Additional Notes
- "Nature boy" was the show´s opening performance from March 2003 to November 2004. It was replaced by "A new day has come".
- "Have you ever been in love" was performed from March 2003 to November 2003. It was replaced by "Et je t´aime encore".
- "Et je t´aime encore" was performed from November 2003 to November 2004. It was replaced by "Pour que tu m´aimes encore".
- "The first time ever I saw your face" was removed from the setlist in August 2004.
- The instrumental interlude, "Aria di lucia de lammermoor" was removed from the set list at the end of 2004.
- The instrumental interlude, "A new love" was last performed on November 10, 2006.
- "God bless America" was performed on Independence Day in 2004.
- "In some small way" was performed from December 2004 to January 2005.
- "Happy Xmas (War is over)" was performed in December 2005.
- "At last" and "Fever" were removed from the set list in May 2006. They were replaced by "All the way".
- "What a wonderful world" was removed from the set list in August 2006.
- "River deep, mountain high" was added to the set list on November 11, 2006.
- "Can´t help falling in love" was performed on August 16-17, 2007.
- "Taking chances" was performed from November 2007 to December 2007.
- "The Christmas song" was performed in December 2007.
...> Show Merchandise
During the run of the show "A New Day...", from 2003 to 2007, the Caesars Palace opened an special Boutique with a lot of products about Celine Dion and the show, in the same Casino-Hotel in Las Vegas, USA. The boutique included Celine´s albums, show souvenirs, candles, T-shirts, golf balls and many more accesories. In the entrance of the boutique, there was a big screen showing Celine´s music videos.
...> Promotional Poster / Advertising
...> On Backstage
During the run of this residency show, three show programmes were distributed (all in English). The programmes were sold at the boutique of Celine Dion in the lobby of the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, USA.
...> First Programme
A first show programme was distributed in 2003, the first year for "A New Day...". This is a real masterpiece. It contains 100 pages full of information and pictures from the shows, rehearsals, backstage and more. Its dimensions are 21,5 x 28 centimeter.
On March 25, 2003 who attended the opening night show, received as present a special bag of "A New Day...", wich contained the 100-page show programme, four Celine postcards, pictures of the concert and of behind-the-scenes, "One Heart" free copy CD, a bottle of Celine´s new fragrance, a pewter Chrysler key chain, a laminated index card with the show logo and a welcome card from the Caesars Palace.
...> Second Programme
A second show programme was distributed in 2004 by AEG/Concerts West. This is also a real masterpiece. It contains fabulous color photos of show members, printed on smooth/shiny paper. It also includes 2 fold-out pages of Celine and a 4-page center-fold portrays dancers in motion, and also has a page advertising Celine´s perfume with 2 lift-and-sniff samples. The programme contains almost 100 pages and its dimensions are 30 x 25 centimeter.
...> Third Programme
A third and final show programme was distributed in 2007, final year of "A New Day...". This real masterpiece features a dramatic glossy full-color cover and pages throughout an introduction letter from Celine. It is full of pictures from the behind the scenes, rehearsals, the construction of the Colosseum of the Caesars Palace and information about the set designs, song/set list, biographies of the musicians, singers, and dancers. It also contains countless beautiful photographs of Celine performing and a huge fold out poster in the center. The programme contains almost 80 pages and its dimensions are 30 x 25 centimeter.
Several brochures of the show were made available throughout the run of "A New Day...", to help promote the concerts.
...> 2003 Brochure
A first brochure (with 3 pages) of 2003, contains the concert dates from August 2003 to January 2004, the seating chart and a 3-page colour photo with information about the show.
...> 2004 Brochure
A second brochure (with 3 pages) of 2004 contains the concert dates from May 5, 2004 to January 1, 2005, the seating chart and a 3-page colour photo of Celine (performing "I´ve got the world on a string" in 2003) with little reviews of the show, from various famous magazines.
...> 2004 Brochure
Another brochure (with 3 pages) of 2004 contains the concert dates from July 1, 2004 to February 2005, the seating chart and a 3-page colour photo of Celine (performing "I drove all night" in 2004) with little reviews of the show, from various famous magazines.