Anthony Kearns

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Anthony Kearns
Anthony Kearns by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Kearns performing in June 2011.
Background information
Birth name Anthony Joseph Kearns
Born (1971-08-17) 17 August 1971 (age 43)
Origin Kiltealy, County Wexford, Ireland
Genres Opera, Irish, Classical
Occupation(s) Singer, performer
Associated acts The Irish Tenors, Ronan Tynan, Finbar Wright, John McDermott

Anthony Kearns (born 17 August 1971, Kiltealy, County Wexford, Ireland) is an internationally-acclaimed tenor, record producer, and a member of The Irish Tenors.[1]

Early life[edit]

Anthony Kearns[2] is one of six children in a musical family; as a result, his interest in music came at a very early age. Kearns began singing traditional Irish songs with his family and won many singing competitions in his youth, generally in the Sean-nós tradition. He spent much of his youth playing the button (double row black dot) accordion and various other instruments common in Traditional music. He attended F.C.J. Secondary School Bunclody, singing at their masses and school shows.[3] After leaving school, Kearns studied catering and hotel management, while singing in local musical productions, all the while entering and placing in various singing competitions around the country.[2]

Kearns achieved success in 1993 after entering a national radio competition, "Ireland's Search for a Tenor" on the Gay Byrne program, a competition to celebrate the issuing of a new ten pound note (called a "tenner".)[2] The only competitor not yet to have had formal training,[4] Kearns won the competition at the finals, held on a city street in Dublin, singing The Impossible Dream and Danny Boy. One of his prizes was an appearance on Gay Byrne's Late Late Show on RTÉ television. After winning the competition, he began training with the renowned Irish opera singer and vocal coach, Veronica Dunne, who had been a judge for the competition. Kearns then began pursuing a full-time career in music.[2] After three years at the Leinster School of Music with Dr. Dunne, he studied at the College of Music in Cardiff [Wales].[2]


Kearns'[5] career took a leap in 1998 when Irish producer Bill Hughes and PBS joined forces to begin The Irish Tenors. Kearns, an original member of The Irish Tenors, collaborated with tenors Ronan Tynan, John McDermott, and Finbar Wright to net Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum CD recognitions.[2] His first PBS Special before a live U.S. audience, "Live from Ellis Island," was a tribute to U.S. immigrants. The Irish Tenors are among the top three highest-grossing acts for PBS, raising over $10 million over the course of their collaboration.[6] They continue to tour and produce CDs.

In 2006, the trio starred in a nine-part television series, Irish Tenors & Friends on RTE TV. Special guests included Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paul Carrick, Finbar Furey, Shayne Ward, Sharon Shannon, Peter Grant, and others.

Kearns teamed up with Bill Hughes again for a PBS project called Hallelujah Broadway,[7] filmed in Prague in February 2010. Hallelujah Broadway has since been broadcast on Irish and U.S. television stations, and Hallelujah Broadway concerts have been presented in various cities in the U.S. as well.[2] Recently, he performed with the Air Force Band at a special Veteran's Day 2012 broadcast "America's Veterans: A Musical Tribute," on Maryland Public Television (a PBS affiliate).[8]

Kearns performed at a Pre-Inaugural brunch, as a guest of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, in tribute to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society on 20 January 2013.[9] Kearns also sang as the guest of Governor Martin O'Malley at the Maryland Democratic Party's Inaugural Ball to celebrate the Inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term in office.[10] In March 2012, Kearns sang at a benefit honoring Gov. O'Malley and another prominent Irish-American, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia. Kearns sang at Gov. McDonnell's Inaugural Gala in 2010 and his bipartisan Prayer Breakfast (with outgoing Governor Tim Kaine) the next day in Richmond, VA.[11] On 19 March 2013, Kearns performed at the 2013 Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol as the guest of Speaker of the House John Boehner. Special guests included President Barack Obama and Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Enda Kenny, Members of Congress, and foreign dignitaries from Ireland and the United Kingdom.[12]

On 27 May 2013, Kearns opened the 2013 National Memorial Day Parade Program in Washington, D.C. with a stirring rendition of "America, the Beautiful," with a 260-member chorus from across the country [13] in front of an estimated crowd of 300,000 people to mark the 70th anniversary of World War II, the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.[14][15] On 18 June 2013, Kearns performed at the official U.S. ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Ireland on Arlington National Cemetery.[16][17] This was the first time part of the Eternal Flame was allowed to be taken from the grave site.

Kearns made his debut appearance on the Fox News Network as a solo artist on 'Huckabee' on 24 April 2010, where he shared his "deep passion for music" with former Gov. Mike Huckabee, the program's host.[18] The interview included Kearns' insights about his meteoric career and rise to fame, and a performance by Kearns of "Danny Boy",[19] and "The Lord's Prayer".[20]

Said Governor Huckabee after the interview, "When [Anthony] sang 'Danny Boy' and 'The Lord's Prayer' on my show, he had one of the most positive responses of any guest I've had to date."[21] Kearns returned to the show in 2011 to sing "Ave Maria" which he dedicated to U.S. troops.[22]

Most recently, Kearns appeared on 'Huckabee' to kick off the Christmas season on 1 December 2013, singing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."[23][24] That same week, Kearns headlined the 94th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade (the oldest in the nation) in Philadelphia, PA singing "We Three Kings"[25] before approximately one million parade-goers and 12 million TV viewers.[26]

On 14 March 2014, Kearns headlined the 113th Annual St. Patrick's Day Banquet hosted by the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago. Special guests included Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, and others.[27]

In early May 2014, it was announced that Kearns would join a distinguished line-up as a soloist in the 2014 Memorial Day Concert on PBS—a national tradition over the past 25 years. Co-hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, the concert is a tribute to America's men and women in uniform, their families, and all those who have given their lives for our country. The event was broadcast live to 10 million viewers nationwide from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sun., 25 May 2014. Before the concert, Jerry Colbert, executive producer and founder of Capital Concerts, said of Kearns, "We're pleased to have Anthony Kearns lend his powerful voice for what will be a historic and inspiring tribute to America's service men and women, their families, and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country."[28]

On 12 June 2014, Kearns sang "God Bless America" during the 239th United States Army Birthday Gala held at the historic Union League Club in New York City. The event was emceed by Greg Kelly, co-host of Good Day New York (Fox 5 NY) and a former co-host of Fox and Friends, and featured General Raymond Odierno, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, as the Special Military Guest of Honor.[29]

On September 9, 2014, Kearns headlined the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City -- marking the first time that the museum was open to the public. Kearns sang "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears," by songwriter Brendan Graham which he and The Irish Tenors recorded in 2001 on Ellis Island. The song became a huge hit for Kearns and his Irish Tenor colleagues. Kearns sang before an audience of 1,200 including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who hosted the event as chairman. The event paid homage to those who died in the attacks, the heroes, and survivors. It also commemorated the rebuilding and resilience of New York and its bond with the Americna people. Other event participants included singer Ricky Martin, media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer, former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, and many others.[30]

Kearns recently became a National Ambassador for Wells of Life, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2008 to provide Ugandan communities with access to clean and safe drinking water by drilling water wells. Kearns headlined the 2014 Wells of Life Annual Gala and recorded two Public Service Announcements in support of the organization. Kearns recently announced that he would donate a well honoring those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.[31]

Professional recognition[edit]

Before his major break in 1993, Kearns entered many "All Ireland" singing competitions such as Ceol an Geimhridh, Feis Ceoils, Readoiri, Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, often placing and winning. While studying with Dr. Dunne, Kearns continued competing in talent competitions, twice winning 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 during all Veronica Dunne International Singing Competitions is now presented in Kearns' name.

Kearns was recognized in 2010 by the Irish Music Association as the "Best Irish Tenor in the US, UK, and European Union."[32] Recently Kearns was invited to become the Honorary President of Lanza Legend, a website dedicated to honoring the great tenor Mario Lanza, one of the most influential tenors of the 20th century.[33] In that capacity, Kearns was asked by journalist Lindsay Perigo to write the Foreword to his new book, "The One Tenor: A Salute to Mario Lanza," published in August 2013.[34]

Operatic roles[edit]

Kearns' opera reviews are listed at this footnote:[35] His credits include: "Fenton" in an Italian production of Falstaff. In Irish productions, he sang "Rinuccio" in Gianni Schicchi and the title role in Faust for Opera Ireland, Carmen's "Don Jose" for Ireland's Glasthule Opera,[36] "Don Ottavio" in a Lismore Music Festival production of Don Giovanni,[37] and he sang with the Royal Dublin Society as the lead tenor in the first complete performance since the early 20th century of The Lily of Killarney (part of "The Irish Ring" trilogy).

In the U.S., Kearns has performed the roles of "Romeo" in Romeo & Juliet: Then and Now, "Edgardo" in Lucia di Lammermoor; and reprised his role as Faust for Opera Naples [FL].[38] He also sang "Alfred" in Die Fledermaus for the Emerald City Opera Company in Steamboat Springs, CO.[39]

Charitable causes[edit]

Kearns sings for many causes world-wide.[40] This includes benefit concerts for autism awareness,[41] and benefits to honor and assist U.S. military troops, veterans, and their families, such as the USO's Operation Enduring Care, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund,[42] Stand Up for Heroes, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the World War II Memorial, Saratoga WarHorse, Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness, Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, and Thanks USA.[43] Kearns sang "God Bless America" during the Military Tribute at the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD.[44]

With A Song In My Heart[edit]

In May 2013, Kearns announced his plan to release his solo album, With a Song in My Heart, on the National Defense Radio Show. The CD features 13 tracks of many genres, including the title song from Rodgers and Hart's musical, "Spring is Here" and other beloved standards such as "La Donne e Mobile," "Ave Maria," and "Granada;" "Salut Demeure Chaste et Pure," an aria from the opera, Faust (which Kearns has starred in); the American folk favorite, "Shenandoah," Broadway tunes ("Younger than Springtime" from Rodgers and Hammerstein), and a few Irish tunes - such as the famed ballads, "Boolavogue" and "Danny Boy," and more.[2] The album was released in fall 2013. The album was arranged and orchestrated by Gavin Murphy and Eric Stern, with sound engineer Jonathan Allen of Abbey Road Studios. Musical accompaniment was provided by long-time accompanist Patrick Healy on piano and the Slovak Symphony Orchestra conducted by Allan Wilson.

In November 2014, it was announced that Kearns’ debut solo album, With a Song in My Heart, had been submitted for consideration for a 57th Annual GRAMMY Award nomination in four categories – including “Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.” The news was released by Kearns’ agent and publicist Kirsten Fedewa.[45]


  1. ^ "The Irish Tenors - Welcome". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Anthony Kearns biography". Anthony Kearns website. 
  3. ^ "Interview". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  4. ^ "The Irish Tenors Biography". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  5. ^ "Anthony Kearns Music Biography". 
  6. ^ "Anthony Kearns". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  7. ^ Hallelujah Broadway. "Hallelujah Broadway". Hallelujah Broadway. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Maryland Public Television to honor veterans with live musical production starring Tenor Anthony Kearns". Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Timothy W. Coleman (2013-01-19). "Inauguration 2013: Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns to Perform". Washington Times Communities. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Sing at Maryland Democratic Party's Inaugural Ball Hosted by Gov. Martin O'Malley". 2013-01-12. 
  11. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns Performed at Inaugural Celebration for Gov.-Elect Bob McDonnell". 
  12. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Perform at Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Tuesday, March 19, 2013". 2013-03-18. 
  13. ^ "The National Memorial Day Parade in the news". Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  14. ^ Timothy W. Coleman (2013-06-07). International Policy Digest "Tenor Anthony Kearns Kicks of Memorial Day Parade". Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Open the 2013 National Memorial Day Parade Program in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 27, 2013". 
  16. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Perform at the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy's Visit to Ireland on Tuesday, June 18, 2013". 
  17. ^ "JFK flame brings light to Ireland". Catholic News Service. 
  18. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Perform on 'Huckabee' This Sat, April 24 at 8 P.M. Eastern". 
  19. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns Performs 'Danny Boy' on 'Huckabee'". Fox News. 1 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Anthony Kearns Performs 'The Lord's Prayer' on 'Huckabee'". Fox News. 2 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Anthony Kearns of The Irish Tenors to Perform at President Ronald Reagan's Centennial Celebration in New Orleans on June 16, 2011". 
  22. ^ "Anthony Kearns sings 'Ave Maria' on 'Huckabee'". Fox News. 14 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns sings "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" on Huckabee". 
  24. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Perform on 'Huckabee' Tonight at 8 p.m. ET". 
  25. ^ "Anthony Kearns Sings "We Three Kings" at the 2013 Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia". 
  26. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Perform During the 94th Annual 6abc Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013". 
  27. ^ "Anthony Kearns to Perform at 113th Annual St. Patrick's Day Banquet in Chicago, 3/14". 
  28. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Perform in 25th Annual National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. on Sun., May 25, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET". 
  29. ^ "Renowned Tenor Anthony Kearns Headlined Army Week Gala in New York". 
  30. ^ "Irish tenor Anthony Kearns sings at National September 11 Memorial benefit". 
  31. ^ "Wells of Life National Ambassador Anthony Kearns, World Renowned Tenor, Performs for Wells of Life Gala – Exceeding Fundraising Goal at Sold Out Benefit". 
  32. ^ "Irish Music Association Announces Presentation of 'Best Irish Tenor' Award to Anthony Kearns... - INDEPENDENCE, Mo., April 8". 
  33. ^ "Lanza Legend". 
  34. ^ Lindsay Perigo (August 2013). "The One Tenor". 
  35. ^ "Opera". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  36. ^ "dlr Glasthule Opera | Press". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  37. ^ "Ireland's Lismore Opera Festival Features Anthony Kearns in Rossini Masterpiece". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  38. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns to Reprise Lead Role in Charles Gounod's Faust at... - NAPLES, Fla., Feb. 24, 2012". 
  39. ^ Tenor Anthony Kearns Shines in First Comedic Role in Die Fledermaus, Steamboat Today, 17 Aug. 2011.
  40. ^ "Irish Tenor uses music to inspire prayer, give back". EWTN News. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  41. ^ "Kearns interviews". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  42. ^ "Anthony Kearns Sings to a Sell-Out Crowd at New Zealand Embassy Gala for...". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  43. ^ "Benefit Concert on Feb. 21 with Gov. Bob McDonnell and Tenor Anthony Kearns Yields Five New Scholarships for U.S. Military Families". ThanksUSA. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  44. ^ "The Assembly Line Added To Preakness Infieldfest Concert Lineup | 2013 Preakness". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  45. ^ "Tenor Anthony Kearns' Debut Solo Album Up For Consideration For 57th Annual GRAMMY Nomination". 

External links[edit]