Opera singer plans performance in Chapel of the Incarnate Word

An internationally known opera singer from Ireland will present a “From Ireland to Broadway” concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Chapel of the Incarnate Word.

Admission to the concert featuring lyric tenor Anthony Kearns is free to University of the Incarnate Word students, faculty and staff but tickets must be secured in advance with ID from the Office of Campus Life, an administrator said.

“He will perform a concert in honor of Heritage Day,” said Paul Ayala, director of University Events and Student Programs.

The concert is cosponsored by The Wexford Institute, an educational foundation based in Austin, and Tickets 4 Any Event. The public will be charged $20 general admission, Ayala said, adding that those who pay $40 will meet Kearns, who will be accompanied by Patrick Healy on piano, after the performance.

Kearns, 41, one of six children from a musical family in Kiltealy, County Wexford, Ireland, began singing traditional Irish songs with his family and won many singing competitions in his youth. He spent much of his youth playing the button (double row black dot) accordion and various other instruments common in traditional Irish music.

In 1993, he won a national radio competition, “Ireland’s Search for a Tenor,” held on a city street in Dublin, singing “The Impossible Dream” and “Danny Boy.” One of his prizes was an appearance on a late-night TV program. After winning the competition, he began training with Dr. Veronica Dunne, a renowned Irish opera singer and vocal coach who had been a judge for the competition, at Leinster School of Music. While under Dunne’s tutelage, he won the prestigious Dermot Troy Trophy for oratorio, as well as Best Male Singer at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera, and Best Irish Singer at the 1999 ESB Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. The prize for Best Male Singer at the Dunne competition is now presented in Kearns’ name.

Kearns also studied at the College of Music in Cardiff, Wales.

Kearns’ career took a leap in 1998 when Irish producer Bill Hughes and PBS joined forces to begin “The Irish Tenors. Kearns, the founding member of The Irish Tenors, collaborated with tenors Ronan Tynan, John McDermott and Finbar Wright to net gold, platinum, and double platinum CD recognitions. The Irish Tenors are in the top three highest-grossing clients for PBS, bringing in $10 million over the course of their lengthy collaboration. They are still touring and producing CDs.

Kearns teamed up with Hughes again for a PBS project called “Hallelujah Broadway, filmed in Prague in February 2010, and later broadcast on Irish and U.S. television stations

Kearns sings for many causes worldwide including benefit concerts in the United States and Ireland for such things as autism awareness, and many organizations who honor and assist U.S. troops and their families, including benefits for the USO’s Operation Enduring Care and Thanks USA.


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