Frank Ryan (tenor)
The family moved to Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland when Frank was six years old and where his parents ran a victualling business. His voice developed late and he was in his mid 20s when it was discovered that he was a tenor, which won for him the Tenor Solo award at the Dublin Feis Ceoil in 1931 and the Feis Mathew on four occasions. He joined the Fermoy Choral Society in 1935 and took leading roles in The Gondoliers, Pirates of Penzance, The Geisha, The Yeomen of the Guard, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado and in later years, Lilac Time.
His beautiful tenor voice soon attracted attention around Ireland, which led the adjudicator, Topliss Green to comment "a new McCormack is born", when he awarded him top marks at the Dublin Feis Ceoil in 1938. He turned professional when he joined the Dublin Operatic Society in 1939 and sang leading roles in Faust, Maritana, The Bohemian Girl, Ernani, The Magic Flute, The Lily of Killarney, Martha, Cavalleria rusticana and La boheme. He sang with famous leading ladies of the time such as Elena Danelli, Lena Menova, Joan Hammond, Marion Studholme and Marian Lowe. He travelled extensively, appearing in London (Albert Hall, Festival Hall, Seymour Hall), Glasgow, Belgium, Italy, France, Malta, and the USA. He gave many concerts all over the States including The Royal Academy, Brooklyn, and a full recital in famed Carnegie Hall, New York (where he sang 32 songs).