Shania Twain is ending her lengthy hiatus from performing with a two-year residency at Caesars Palace beginning in 2012, and she says she plans to seek advice from another Canadian diva who has found success in Las Vegas.
“I will call Celine (Dion) — somebody should warn her now,” Twain joked during a news conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
“I think Celine will be very insightful and very helpful.”
A Caesars Palace residency proved hugely successful for Dion, with a five-year stint at the Colosseum that ended in 2007 and a return engagement that began in March.
Twain is likely banking that a Sin City stint will give a similar boost to her career, which has stalled in recent years as she recovered from the breakup of her marriage to hit-making producer Robert (Mutt) Lange.
Wednesday’s announcement is the latest step in a carefully orchestrated comeback for Twain, the notoriously private 45-year-old who in recent months has stepped back into the spotlight with a reality TV series, a revealing autobiography and now the announcement of her Vegas engagement.
Tickets, which range from $55-250, were set to go on sale Wednesday evening at the exact moment Twain took the stage at the CMT Awards.
Aside from the opportunity to perform for rapt audiences at a glitzy venue, stars have also flocked to Vegas because the residency format is an appealing alternative to the often-arduous process of touring, and would allow Twain to remain in one place with her nine-year-old son, Eja.
“I’m beyond excited,” said a beaming Twain, who will perform 60 shows per year beginning Dec. 1, 2012. “I feel like I’m on the top of the world. Honestly, I feel like I’ve climbed a very giant mountain and I’m just standing right on top with my arms open wide.
“This is really beautiful, really lovely, I’m very excited today.”
Still, the Vegas gigs could provide a challenge for the Timmins, Ont., country-pop superstar.
She hasn’t released a new album since 2002’s “Up,” and not only has she strayed from the stage in recent years, but Twain also claims that the painful breakup of her marriage caused her to lose her voice.
She said Wednesday that she’s seen “great progress” with her vocal problem, and representatives from the Colosseum at Caesars Palace pledged to create the best possible conditions for Twain’s voice, pointing out that the venue featured a micro-climate system to protect performers’ vocal cords. Twain said she wasn’t concerned about whether her seemingly fragile voice would endure her demanding Vegas schedule.
“I’ve never missed a show ever in my career — any vocal performance ever — and the show did go on, sometimes against what was better for me,” she said.
On June 12, Twain will release the new single Today is Your Day — the first song she’s written solo in six years.
“I don’t want to do that this time. The show will go on but this time around, I’m going to feel confident and good about it.”
In fact, the singer — looking tan and healthy in a sleeveless white dress — could hardly contain her excitement during Wednesday’s gathering.
“I wish I could just get started tomorrow,” she enthused.
“Today is a turning point for me. I feel as though I’m about to step into a world of endless creative possibilities and that is so exciting for a songwriter, for an artist, to take songs and translate them into such a magical place, on a magical platform.
“So this will be like no other platform I’ve ever been on before with my songs. It’s a whole new beginning, I think, for the old music, if you will.”
But there will be new music in addition to old.
“I’m very excited about the new song. I was petrified of writing a new song without Mutt — a whole new world for me. It had been many, many years since I had written by myself, so that was new and scary.
“The song, really, every day cheered me up so much I thought, well, maybe I should share it.”
Twain says that penning the new track has revived her creativity.
“It’s really set me off ready to get back into the studio. I’ve written a whole bunch of other things over the course of this year and I absolutely will make another record soon. And I will be making it over the summer,” she said, before noting that the new material might not be released in time for her Vegas gigs.
“I am not putting any pressure on myself as to when it will be ready.”
As for Twain’s own vision for her Vegas show? Well, that too is yet to be determined.
“I decided I would only begin dreaming now about what it will be like, and I will now let my imagination run wild,” she said.
“It’s early stages, it’s going to be a process and I really don’t know what you can expect as far as anything specific.”