Tonight I went to hear Anthony Kearns sing. He is one of The Irish Tenors. I floundered all day as to whether I was going to go and finally decided at the last minute that I would make the effort. It was well worth it.
One thing I noticed tonight is that Irish folk music is much more lighthearted than Italian opera. I was expecting a heavier opera repertoire but was pleased to see songs such as Star of the County Down, Kitty of Coleraine and McBreen’s Heifer on the program. How can one not enjoy a song by a famous tenor with the word heifer in the title?
While Kearns was worth going to hear by himself, his pianist was an act of his own. Between sets of songs, the pianist Patrick Healy would entertain the crowd with a few stories and a couple of songs. Mr. Healy looked to be in his 70s, but still played and sang well. He is an accomplished musician on his own and has traveled with Kearns for the last 12 years. Healy wrote some of the songs in the program this evening.
I don’t know if the program was chosen based on the fact that he was performing at a college campus, or if he regularly sings such light music. It certainly was more enjoyable than I expected. If you have an opportunity to hear him in person, I would recommend it. Kearns and Healy make a great team and the audience can tell they enjoy working with one another.