Six weeks after the death of her beloved husband, René Angélil, Celine Dion returned to the stage in Las Vegas with a combination of professionalism and understandable emotion.
The opening 20 minutes of the Feb. 23 concert at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace was livestreamed on her website (you can view it here) as a thank you to her worldwide fan base.
After a sweet montage of Angélil through the years played overhead, Dion appeared in a solo spotlight, wearing a black sequined gown.
She surveyed the crowd – on its feet as soon as the curtain parted – with a look that conveyed a little fear and much gratitude before launching into “With One More Look at You”/Watch Closely Now,” the Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson duet from “A Star is Born.”
Her voice sometimes lapsed into a rasp as she dug deep to unleash its full power and she frequently looked skyward as she sang.
Dion, 47, then addressed the crowd, sharing such sentiments as, “We were one, and nothing has changed. We will always be one.”
“I might not hear his voice yet, but I talk to him. I think of him all the time. I feel and I know he hears me. One way or another, I know he will give me a sign for his approval or not,” she said with a slight laugh, “and now I can feel that he’s telling me to zip it and start singing.”
With that, Dion went “all the way back in time” for a soaring take on 1990’s “Where Does My Heart Beat Now.”
The songbird has 10 shows scheduled through mid-March and is reportedly keeping this opening tribute throughout.