Inspiring Irish tenor Ronan Tynan to sing at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Image: Ronan TynanRonan Tynan, M.D., one of the famed Irish tenors whose life story is an inspiration, will grace the stage at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is sponsored by the William and Mary Stack Fund for Irish History and Culture at Fairfield University.

Dr. Tynan will be accompanied by pianist William Lewis and violinist James Graseck. He will set the program on the day of the concert.

"We are pleased to have someone of Ronan Tynan's stature performing at Fairfield," said William M. Stack of New Canaan, who established the program in memory of his father and to honor his mother. "While this is a departure from our usual lecture format, Dr. Tynan's own story of personal courage and perseverance in developing his many talents is a wonderful example of Irish culture and spirit."

Dr. Tynan, who has released five popular albums with fellow Irish tenors Finbar Wright and Anthony Kearns, won the 1992 John McCormack Cup for Tenor Voice at the National Singing Festival in Dublin and the 1996 International Operatic Singing Competition in Marmande, France. When he made his concert debut in 1994 at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Irish Times review noted Tynan's is "a rich Italianate tenor voice with wonderful facility."

Dr. Tynan's first solo album, "My Life Belongs to You," was released in 1998 and went platinum within four months.

But it isn't just his stellar singing that has brought Dr. Tynan international fame. Dr. Tynan's story is one of dogged determination to live out his dreams.

Hailing from Johnstown, County Kilkenny, Dr. Tynan was born with a lower leg disability and his legs were amputated below the knee when he was 20, after a car accident caused complications.

Within a year of the operation, he began winning medals in athletic competitions for people with disabilities. Between 1981 and 1990, he amassed 18 gold medals and 14 world records in international track and field events. He still holds the world records for bilateral amputees in discus, shot put and long jump.

In 1998, Dr. Tynan, an avid equestrian and horse breeder, represented Ireland in an Arnheim, Germany competition, where he placed fifth in the Grand Prix and third in the team event.

Dr. Tynan was the first person with disabilities ever admitted to the National College of Physical Education in Limerick. He followed that with medical training at Trinity College in Dublin and he is now a doctor of sports medicine.

His singing career didn't start until he began formal lessons at the age of 33 at The College of Music in Dublin. His 1992 win at the McCormack competition led to master classes with the famed Italian tenor Ugo Benelli in Genoa, Italy. Shortly after winning at Marmande, where one judge called his voice "a God-given gift," he was the only Irish finalist at The International Pavarotti Competition.

Dr. Tynan has sung throughout Europe and the United States with a repertoire that includes Verdi's "Requiem," Mendelssohn's "Elijah," and Puccini's "Messa Di Gloria." In his albums, he also shows a fondness for Irish and traditional favorites, including "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," " Scorn Not His Simplicity," and "Amazing Grace."

Dr. Tynan joined the Irish Tenors in 1998. This collaboration has produced 5 albums and has sold more than 1.5 million albums worldwide. The trio performed on three popular PBS specials.

Most recently, Dr. Tynan has sung for President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush and he was one of the performers at the 2001 September 11 Memorial Service at Yankee Stadium. He sings a widely acclaimed rendition of "God Bless America," which he has offered at several Yankees games, including the Division and World series.

Dr. Tynan has appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC's "20/20" and an Irish documentary called "Dr. Courageous." He released his memoir, "Halfway Home: My Life 'Til Now," in January 2002.

Tickets for the Quick Center concert are $35 and $30. For tickets, call (203) 254-4010 or toll free, 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 10, 2002

Vol. 35, No. 33