Madam Celestina Warbeck (b. 18 August, 1917) was a Welsh half-blood witch and popular singer known as "The Singing Sorceress". She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Gryffindor. She was often featured on the show called Witching Hour, which runs on the Wizarding Wireless Network.
Celestina Warbeck was born on 18 August, 1917 in Wales to a wizard father and a Muggle mother. Her father, a minor functionary in the Muggle Liaison Office, met her mother, a failed actress, when the latter was attacked by a Lethifold disguised as a stage curtain.
Celestina's musical talent was apparent even at an early age; in 1927, the wizarding magazine Spellbound published an article about her talents when she was around ten years old, referring her as a child prodigy.
Disappointed to learn that there was no such thing as a wizarding stage school, Mrs Warbeck reluctantly let her daughter go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (which she attended from 1928-1936 and was Sorted into Gryffindor House), but frequently bombarded the school with letters to form a theatre club, choir and dancing class to showcase her daughter's innumerable talents.
Career as a singer
Frequently appearing with a chorus of backing banshees, Celestina's concerts were justly famous. Three devoted fans were involved in a three-broom pile-up over Liverpool on the last night of her 'Flighty Aphrodite' tour. Her tickets often went on sale in the black market for vastly inflated prices (one reason why Molly Weasley, who listened to her songs every Christmas, could never see her favourite singer live).
Celestina's personal life provided much fodder for the gossip columns of the Daily Prophet. Warbeck became romantically involved with one of her backing dancers early in her career. They married, but ended up divorcing after only a year. Some time later, she married her manager, and they had a son together. However, after ten years of marriage, Warbeck left him in order to marry Irving Warble, a music composer.
Celestina 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.
Some of Celestina's best-known songs include You Charmed the Heart Right Out of Me and A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love. Her fans are usually older people who love her grandstanding style and powerful voice. The late 20th-century album You Stole My Cauldron but You Can't Have My Heart was a massive global hit. She also featured heavily on shows at the Wizarding Wireless Network, one such being the Witching Hour hosted by Glenda Chittock.
In 2003 she allowed a Muggle dog-walker who accidentally took a Portkey to one of her concerts to join her on the stage for a duet of A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love; while the Memory Charm cast on him by a harassed Ministry official appeared at first to have erased his memory of the incident, he since has written a popular song that greatly resembles Warbeck's hit, something she was not amused about.
In the summer of 2014, Celestina Warbeck travelled to the Patagonian Desert to watch the games of the 427th Quidditch World Cup. Her presence, alongside other wizarding celebrities, was noted by reporter Rita Skeeter to have caused "flurries of excitement", with crowd members scrambling for autographs and even attempting to cast Bridging Charms to reach the VIP boxes.
Celestina's latest album was entitled You Stole My Cauldron But You Can't Have My Heart. The promotional tour included a show in Liverpool; fans desperate to arrive at this concert were involved in a three-broom crash.
Magical abilities and skills
- Care of Magical Creatures: In her free time, Celestina enjoyed breeding crups, meaning she had a level of talent in the handling of magical creatures.
- Singing skills: Celestina was a highly popular and talented vocalist, having had a very lucrative career as a pop singer with an impressive discography, along with a huge fan base throughout the wizarding world, proving her abilities as a singer to have been quite legendary.
- A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love
- You Charmed the Heart Right Out of Me
- Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Chuck That Quaffle Here
- You Stole My Cauldron But You Can't Have My Heart (album & title track)
- Nothing Like a Holiday Spell (album & title track)
- Accio Christmas
- My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas
- A Witch and Wizard's Wintry Wondrous Land
Celestina possibly comes from the word celestial, meaning "pertaining to the sky or visible heaven." Warbeck may come from warbler, which is a singing bird.
Behind the scenes
- Celestina Warbeck was played by American actress Shaullanda Lacombe at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- A Celestina Warbeck concert is featured at Carkitt Market, in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. She sings her never-before-heard songs. The lyrics also contain never-before-revealed information about Celestina's wand, written by J. K. Rowling.
- Warbeck is Rowling's favourite off-stage character; the author imagined her to look and act like Shirley Bassey. Rowling took the name "Celestina" from a friend with whom she had worked at Amnesty International in London many years, stating that the name was simply begging to be attached to a glamorous witch.
"Celestina is one of my favourite 'off-stage' characters in the whole 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."
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (Mentioned only)
- Daily Prophet Newsletters
- J. K. Rowling's official site
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (First appearance)
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Mentioned in a magazine)
- The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Mentioned in a magazine)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Celestina Warbeck" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- Daily Prophet Newsletters
- Quidditch Through the Ages
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Portkeys" at Wizarding World
- Pottermore - DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY REUNITES AT QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP FINAL" (Daily Prophet, 08 July 2014)
- J. K. Rowling's official site
- Pottermore (2014) - Excerpt here: Read J.K. Rowling's new Harry Potter story about a singing sorceress - "Hobbies: Travelling in fabulous style, breeding rough-coated Crups, relaxing in any of her eight homes"
- "Entertainment and Interactive Experiences in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Revealed" at Universal Orlando Close-Up