MEDINA — An Irish tenor of world renown will return to Medina on Saturday to perform at 7:30 p.m. in the historic St. Mary’s Church.
In 2016, Orleans Renaissance Group reached out to famed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan to see if he would be interested in performing in Medina.
He was not only interested then, performing for a capacity crowd at St. Mary’s Church, but reached out to ORG about returning this year.
“He genuinely enjoyed his experience in Medina,” said Chris Busch, president of ORG. “Of course we said ‘yes’ to his return. Since we saw him last, he sang at the bedside and funeral of President George H.W. Bush.”
In a telephone interview last week, Tynan said he was impressed with Medina.
“It is a quaint town,” he said. “I am looking forward to my return.”
Although he has sung at funerals and inaugurations of presidents and for decorated veterans, performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, National Cathedral and across the National Mall, and for popes at the Vatican, Tynan still prides himself on singing music that appeals to audiences of all ages.
His previous appearance at St. Mary’s Church was one of the most incredible events Busch said he has ever witnessed, certainly in Medina.
“He has an amazing presence,” Busch said. “Never have I seen an audience so thrilled and so moved.”
Tynan credits his amazing life to having wonderful parents.
“They always supported and encouraged me in everything I did,” he said.
Raised on a farm in County Kilkenny, Ireland, Tynan was born with lower leg deformities. Despite this, his parents never let his disability stand in his way. He attended an all-boys school and vigorously competed in athletic activities. A motorcycle accident at the age of 21 resulted in both his legs being amputated below the knee. Out of this tragedy came triumph, as Tynan went on to compete as a double amputee and won 18 gold medals and set 14 world records in the Paralympics Games from 1981 to 1984.
Then, Tynan decided to study medicine and became a medical doctor, specializing in orthopedic sports medicine. By the time he pondered singing, his life was already one of incredible accomplishment. He was 30 years old and in his fifth year of medical school when he began to study voice in 1993.
By 1998, he had established himself as an award-winning tenor and joined Irish tenors Anthony Kearns and Finbar Wright. They went on to legendary fame across the globe. He left the group after six years and began his now legendary solo career.
In addition to thrilling sold-out audiences with his incredible voice, Tynan is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the United States.
“We have amassed a very credible track record with serious artists over the years, including some world-class artists, such as Anonymous 4 and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra,” Busch said. “We’ve also hosted the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, Genesee Chorale, Fredonia Trombone Choir, BPO Brass, Greycliffe String Quartet and Buffalo Tango Orkestra. We’re quite proud of the talent we’ve brought to Medina, and apparently, Dr. Tynan felt we were credible, as well.”
Tynan’s first appearance in Medina was due to local funeral director Timothy Cooper, whose Irish heritage is well-known in Medina. While he and his wife Catherine were visiting Ireland a few years ago, they saw Tynan being interviewed on television.
“Tim travels to Ireland often, and once wondered aloud to me if ORG thought Tynan might entertain at an event here,” Busch said. “So we reached out and he accepted. Tim was thrilled when he learned the great tenor had said yes, and generously helped sponsor the event.”
“I always remember my parents talking about Bill McGrath, a Medina native who became a great tenor,” Cooper said. “It left an impression. It’s not often you have talent like that in Medina. Ronan’s is an amazing story, how he became disabled yet went on to become a doctor.”
Busch said Tynan would be a hit anywhere he performs.
“But think about it — to have one of the world’s great tenors perform in the soaring beauty of St. Mary’s Church, an old Irish parish,” Busch said. “How could an event such as that be anything else but an epic, world-class event? To have our small town and parish host a voice, not once, but twice, which has performed for popes and presidents is quite remarkable and an endorsement to our little village. Not since the heyday of Bent’s Opera House has talent of such international renown come to Medina."
Tickets are available online at www.medinaalive.com, or at the door if not sold out.