The Irish Tenors Come to bergenPAC, 3/11
Back to the Article
by BWW News Desk
Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan have been touring together as The Irish Tenors since 1998, with sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall, Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and major concert halls throughout the world. Their faces and voices are familiar to PBS audiences through several specials, including the "Ellis Island" recordings that sold a million CDs and DVDs.
Since they first joined voices in 1998, The Irish Tenors have made countless traditional treasures breathe with new life. Moreover, they've proven themselves gifted interpreters of a wide range of material, with such songs as "My Heart Will Go On" (from Titanic), "Fairytale Of New York"(previously recorded by Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues) and even Jimmy Kennedy's "South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way)". These songs live comfortably in their repertoire alongside "Danny Boy," "Whiskey in the Jar" and "Fields Of Athenry".
Daniel Harte and Bill Hughes formed the idea of a trio of Irish tenors during a Cannes festival at which the famous Three Tenors, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Plácido Domingo were performing. Harte & Hughes wanted to produce a television special and first approached Ireland's Finbar Wright in 1998 to join the group but Wright's recording contract with Sony BMG prohibited such a venture. They then invited Canadian John McDermott to head up the group and he accepted. After conferring with Ireland's leading vocal coach, Dr. Veronica Dunne, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan were asked to join. In 1999, "The Irish Tenors-in Dublin" debuted on PBS television in the United States.
PBS signed up for another special by the increasingly popular New Group but early in 2000 McDermott's mother died and John decided he could not fully commit himself to the group. Days before PBS was to film The Irish Tenors - Live in Belfast Daniel Harte & Hughes again contacted Finbar Wright and asked him to step in. Wright agreed to help and was asked to stay on for upcoming tour dates. Having left Sony, Wright was able to join the trio on a permanent basis.
In 2001, the Irish Tenors filmed their third special, an historic PBS broadcast at New York's Ellis Island, hosted by Irish/American actor Martin Sheen. Their album "Ellis Island" topped Billboard's Heatseeker list and landed on its "Top 10 Best of 2001".
The 2005 album Sacred features McDermot, Wright and Kearns, according to the album cover.
In 2006 Karl Scully replaced Ronan Tynan for 6 years, and the increasingly successful blend of voices presented a television 9 part series for Ireland's RTE  titled The Irish Tenors & Friends. Friends performing on the television special with The Irish Tenors include Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paul Carrick, Finbar Furey, Hayley Westenra, Shayne Ward, Sharon Shannon, Peter Grant, Rebecca Storm, Lucia Evans, and Celine Byrne.
In 2007 the South Carolina Legislature issued a "Proclamation" welcoming the trio to that State at their performance in Charleston. The trio continues to tour yearly.