Today, J.K. Rowling shared a new tale from the Harry Potter universe over on Pottermore. While her last update checked in with the book’s heroes, this time we got a deep dive into the life of one of the Wizarding World’s lesser-known characters: The singing sorceress Celestina Warbeck. “Celestina is one of my (favorite) ‘off-stage’ characters in the whole series, and has been part of the Potter world ever since its inception,” Rowling wrote. “I always imagined her to resemble Shirley Bassey in both looks and style.”
Here’s an excerpt from Rowling’s biography of Warbeck, originally posted on the members-only Pottermore site, then shared with today.com:
Internationally-acclaimed singing sensation Celestina Warbeck (sometimes known as ‘the Singing Sorceress’) hails from Wales. Her father, a minor functionary in the Muggle Liaison Office, met her Muggle mother (a failed actress) when the latter was attacked by a Lethifold disguised as a stage curtain.
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.
Frequently appearing with a chorus of backing banshees, Celestina’s concerts are justly famous. Three devoted fans were involved in a nasty three-broom pile up over Liverpool while trying to reach the last night of her ‘Flighty Aphrodite’ tour, and her tickets often appear on the black market at vastly inflated prices (one reason why Molly Weasley has never yet seen her favourite singer live).
Celestina has sometimes lent her name and talents to good causes, such as raising funds for St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries with a recording of Puddlemere United’s anthem ‘Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Chuck That Quaffle Here’. More controversially, Celestina was vocal in her disagreement when the Ministry of Magic sought to impose restrictions on how the wizarding community was allowed to celebrate Hallowe’en.
And here’s a video of “Celestina” performing one of her hits at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.