Anthony Kearns has performed in Irish castles before, but never one in Colorado. Until now.
Kearns, one of the original Irish Tenors, will perform a solo show complete with brunch and dessert at Cherokee Ranch & Castle in Sedalia on Sunday. With an eye on the mercurial Colorado weather, the concert is set to be held in a large tent on the castle grounds.
“It’s a special kind of venue — a beautiful old castle. If the weather is fine, it will make for a wonderful concert. If there’s any glimpse of bad weather, we’ll go for cover,” Kearns said. “Hopefully we won’t be exposed to drifts of snow.”
Now recognized as one of the world’s finest tenors, Kearns’ professional career was set in motion when he won the 1993 competition “Ireland’s Search for a Tenor” in his native Ireland at age 22.
“It was a precursor to ‘America’s Got Talent’ or ‘Ireland’s Got Talent,’” Kearns said by phone from his Florida home. “I was working in an office in sales and marketing, and I could hear the competition on the radio. I called the number and somehow got through and sang down the phone. The program called back and wanted me to appear in the finals in Dublin. I was fortunate to win. The adjudicator saw the raw talent in me. It opened a lot of doors for me.”
In the five years that followed, Kearns studied voice and opera, and in 1998 he became one of the original Irish Tenors, along with Finbar Wright and Ronan Tynan. That group has been touring for two decades, has released 12 best-selling albums and made five PBS specials. The group tours twice a year, with the next round starting in the U.S. in December and then on to Ireland in January.
Kearns, 47, also has made a name for himself as an opera singer and solo artist. He performed with the U.S. Air Force Band in the 2012 PBS special “America’s Veterans: A Musical Tribute” and the televised 2013 National Memorial Day Parade. In 2013, he released his first solo CD, “With a Song in My Heart.” He has performed for three U.S. presidents (George H.W. Bush, Obama, Clinton and Trump), at Ronald Reagan’s funeral and for Pope Francis I at the 2015 pre-Mass concert in Philadelphia.
“Singing for the pope was a real bonus,” he said. “It was in front of a million-and-a-half people.”
His performance at Cherokee Ranch will be “a nice concert out in the open,” full of evergreen songs and MGM classics. “There’ll be a ‘Danny Boy,’ maybe. It’s a loved song across the world. You can’t get out of town without a ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling.’”
Attendees will enjoy a 1 p.m. brunch, after which Kearns, accompanied on piano by longtime cohort David George of Louisville, Ky., will perform for about two hours with an intermission. Afterward, he will be available for a Meet & Greet, where coffee and dessert will be served.
“It’ll be a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I’d like to go to an event like this myself ... and be in the audience. It’s very inviting. There will be views of Pikes Peak and other mountains, and there will be wonderful music,” he said.
MICHELLE KARAS, THE GAZETTE, MICHELLE.KARAS@GAZETTE.COM