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Music Review: "Ronan"
by Bridget Haggerty

“When Ronan sings the clouds cry but the sun turns up sooner than it would have,” Bono writes in a liner note for "Ronan", the tenor’s new recording for Decca. “He sang for my father, Bob, as we put him in the ground, and it felt like shelter. The wind died down, the rain stopped for the loudest, softest voice we have … a great Irish tenor.”

But, on the way to becoming one of the greatest Irish tenors of all time, Ronan Tynan has had to overcome huge obstacles in his life. Born with focamelia, a bilateral congenital deformity, he nonetheless trained as a competitive rider and jumper as a boy. Then at age 20 he had his legs amputated below the knee. However, he went on to win 19 gold medals and set 14 world records in the Paralympic Games. He was also the first disabled person ever admitted to Ireland's National College of Physical Education.

After earning his medical degree, Ronan began studying voice; in less than a year, he won both the John McCormick Cup for Tenor Voice and the BBC talent show Go for It. He went on to win the prestigious International Operatic Singing Competition in France, and in 1998 his debut Sony album, "My Life Belongs to You", became a top-five hit in England within just two weeks and eventually went platinum. Later that year, he was invited to join The Irish Tenors, furthering a journey that started as a child milking cows on a farm in Co. Kilkenny and has brought him to the world's grandest stages.

Now, Dr. Ronan Tynan is poised to begin an exciting new chapter in his career with an album of classical crossover and inspirational songs - his first solo album for Decca/Universal Records. And, he has chosen his selections well.

Included are the emotionally stirring "Going Home/ Amazing Grace" as performed at President Ronald Reagan's funeral, the powerful hymn "How Great Thou Art", and the wistful theme from the film "When We were Soldiers" - "Mansions of The Lord." Also featured at President Reagan's funeral as his casket was carried from the cathedral, in this hauntingly Irish arrangement, Ronan's passionate voice is incredibly moving. We would have purchased the entire CD just to have this cut. But there are other pieces equally as poignant: the tribute to a father, "The Old Man" "and Passing Through" - the latter written by Ronan (with the assistance of his friend Margaret Byrne) to honor his mother whose vibrant spirit has been decimated by Alzheimers.

Rounding out the CD are: the bristling title song from the musical Man of La Mancha; the pop classic “From a Distance”; and the prayerful aria (“La roca fria del calvario”); as well as several new songs created especially for the recording. Some of the assorted and well known writers of the original tracks include Richard Marx, Desmond Child, Aldo Nova, Gary Burr and Jeff Cohen.

“I want to reach everyone with this album,” Tynan says.
In this reviewer's opinion, he will. And his life until now most certainly reflects a lesson his mother taught him at a very early age:
"Put courage in your dreams, Ronan, and leave the rest to the Man Above, and then you will carve your footprints in the sand.”

A thank You From Ronan
Firstly, I really want to thank so many people who have helped me succeed in the wonderful making of this CD. I cannot possibly name every individual because there are so many, but to all, thank you, thank you, thank you.
I think this CD, for really the first time, shows a greater versatility than any other album I have recorded previously. I am singing material that has tremendous depth and meaning which I hope will be felt by all who listen to the songs.
At this stage of my singing career, I wanted to share with everybody my innermost feelings through these wonderful songs and hopefully show the tender side of my voice.
God bless you all,
Ronan


 

Thu, Dec 7, 2017

Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*

Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.



Click for More Culture Corner.




In this beautifully written memoir, Ronan Tynan, a member of the enormously popular Irish Tenors, shares his remarkable story of overcoming adversity and attaining worldwide success in several different areas.
Click here for Halfway Home



Ronan
Ronan Tynan

“When Ronan sings the clouds cry but the sun turns up sooner than it would have,” Bono writes in a liner note for "Ronan", the tenor’s new recording for Decca. “He sang for my father, Bob, as we put him in the ground, and it felt like shelter. The wind died down, the rain stopped for the loudest, softest voice we have … a great Irish tenor.”
Click here for Ronan.

 

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