The crowd-pleasing power of pop diva Celine Dion

Celine Dion opening with The Power of Love.
Celine Dion opening with The Power of Love.ST PHOTO: ANJALI RAGURAMAN

SINGAPORE - French-Canadian chanteuse Celine Dion is part of a rare breed of artists these days - the power ballad diva, one who dominated in the 1980s and 1990s.

Despite dipping into a repertoire that spanned the 1980s to the early 2000s, her first concert in Singapore felt shiny and new. It was filled with plenty of Las Vegas pomp and glamour and a generous serving of her powerhouse vocals as she effortlessly traversed her impressive range.

Speaking to local media earlier this year, she promised to dip into her biggest hits and she did just that, kicking off her sold-out concert on Tuesday (July 3) at the Sands Grand Ballroom at Marina Bay Sands with the knockout punch of The Power Of Love.

Looking like a statuesque matador in her sequinned gold tuxedo, she followed up with a series of winning moves - That's The Way It Is, I'm Alive and Because You Loved Me - before the full-house crowd of around 6,000.

Her almost two-hour-long concert felt like a theatrical production with its costume changes, sweeping overtures by the backing band and elaborate visuals.

At the centre of it all was Dion, and you could hardly keep your eyes off the 50-year-old, thanks in part to her gorgeous costumes and easy banter.

Be it her black ball gown on yet another power ballad, It's All Coming Back To Me Now, or tearing the skirt away to reveal a sequinned dress and sky-high heels as she performed a sensuous rumba with a dancer on Falling Into You, there was drama aplenty.

On All By Myself, the music faded away for her to showcase her perfect pitching as she deftly belted out the lyrics.

She seemed close to tears on Recovering, a song Pink wrote for her after her husband Rene Angelil's death.

Dion certainly took the crowd on a journey.

The destination was arguably one of the most iconic love songs of all time, My Heart Will Go On. Her fans, who had stayed in their seats for most of the concert, rushed to the stage to capture the moment on their phones as she sang the smash hit flawlessly.

"Don't ask me why it took so long (to come here)... thanks for your patience throughout the years," she said at the start of the show. The power ballad diva was certainly worth the wait.