While book readers will recognize the name of Mrs. Weasleys favorite 'Witching Hour' star, the Singing Songstress Celestina Warbeck, until now all they knew was her name.
J.K Rowling’s latest addition to the Pottermore site, which offers and immersive reading experience for fans that include games and in-depth back stories of lesser known characters, is the back story for the famed singer of the wizarding world. The new story highlights Rowling’s world building skills as she continues to enhance and fill in details of the magical world she created with the Harry Potter series.
The biography tells the tale of the half-blood witch, who was born in Wales to a wizard father and a muggle mother, who herself once dreamed of stardom.
Celestina’s extraordinary voice was apparent from an early age. Disappointed to learn that there was no such thing as a wizarding stage school, Mrs Warbeck reluctantly consented to her daughter’s enrollment at Hogwarts, but subsequently bombarded the school with letters urging the creation of a choir, theatre club and dancing class to showcase her daughter’s talents.
Among Warbeck’s special abilities Rowling lists ‘Ability to drown out a chorus of banshees’, a tongue in cheek jibe as the flamboyant singer performs with a back up group called The Banshees.
Along with the new biography, fans are treated to an original recording of one of Warbeck’s most well known songs, You Stole My Cauldron but You Can’t Have My Heart, which is performed daily by a look-a-like version of Celestina Warbeck and The Banshees at Universal’s Wizarding World in Orlando Florida.
The biography details a rise to fame following her stint as a Gryffindor at Hogwarts, as well as a private life that would surely have the vivacious star all over TMZ
Celestina’s personal life has provided much fodder for the gossip columns of the Daily Prophet. An early marriage to a backing dancer lasted only a year; Celestina then married her manager, with whom she had a son, only to leave him for the composer Irving Warble ten years later.
The character very much resembles to the well known singer Shirley Bassey, of Goldfinger fame, but her name is equally special,
Celestina Warbeck is one of my favourite ‘off-stage’ characters in the Harry Potter series, and has been part of the Potter world ever since its inception, making an early appearance in the short-lived ‘Daily Prophet’ series I produced for members of the equally short-lived fan club run by my British publisher, Bloomsbury. Although we never lay eyes on Celestina during the whole seven volumes of the Potter books, I always imagined her to resemble Shirley Bassey in both looks and style. I stole her first name from a friend with whom I worked, years ago, at Amnesty International’s Headquarters in London; ‘Celestina’ was simply begging to be scooped up and attached to a glamorous witch.
While the final book in the Harry Potter series was published in 2007, Rowling’s new additions to Pottermore have kept the series relevant and the fan base strong enough to warrant Wizarding Worlds around the globe. Keeping the series relevant will help keep up the hype for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them trilogy which Rowling is penning for a 2016 release.
Are you excited to hear more about the Wizarding world? Let us know in the comments below.
Image: Ricky Brigante Via Flicker, Pottermore