NAPLES, Fla. – World renowned tenor Anthony Kearns will make his official full-scale U.S. operatic debut this weekend as the powerful tenor voice of “Edgardo” in Lucia di Lammermoor – considered to be Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti’s masterpiece.
Lucia, one of the most challenging grand operas and a love story of epic proportions, will be premiering at the Opera Naples [FL] at the International Design Center-Estero on Sat. Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m., with an encore performance Sun., Jan. 16 at 4:30 p.m. (For details, http://operanaples.com/2010_2011ticket_info/at_2010_11tickets2.html)
“Voices like his don’t come along very often,” said Steffanie Pearce, general/ artistic director of Opera Naples in a recent interview in Florida Weekly. “It’s a voice-of-the-century voice.”
Mr. Kearns will debut in a role previously reprised by world renowned tenors such as Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti. Carreras took on the role of Edgardo at the Metropolitan Opera on September 1, 1978. Pavarotti played Edgardo alongside quintessential Lucia, Joan Sutherland, many times at The Met during the early 1970s.
“Lucia is a tough sing for the tenor voice,” said Kearns. “The role of Edgardo is considered an iconic hurdle for operatic tenors, and it is a privilege to be able to give my interpretation of this classic role.”
Mr. Kearns’ other operatic credits include singing as “Fenton” in Falstaff, “Rinuccio” in Gianni Schicci, lead tenor in Faust, and most recently, as Carmen’s “Don Jose.” Later this year, on June 3, 4 and 5, he will perform at the Lismore Music Festival in Ireland as the lead tenor in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Mr. Kearns will sing with coloratura soprano Audrey Elizabeth Luna, who stars in the female lead role of “Lucia.” Last year, he performed for the first time as Shakespeare’s most famous lover in the Opera Naples’ interpretation of Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. Kearns sang as “Romeo” in the first half of the performance and as “Tony” from a more modern era in the second.
Acknowledged as Ireland’s Finest (Living) Tenor at the Dublin National Concert Hall’s Silver Jubilee in 2006, Mr. Kearns was named “Best Irish Tenor” by the Irish Music Association. He has long been critically praised for his vocal abilities and effortless range.
Mr. Kearns is coming off a sold-out, multi-city December holiday tour with the popular singing group, The Irish Tenors, of which he is a founding member. He also performed at the USO/ThanksUSA benefit on December 5 at the Embassy of New Zealand in Washington, D.C., where proceeds went towards “Operation Enduring Care” and ThanksUSA’s scholarship program for military families. Kearns and The Irish Tenors also performed at a peace award ceremony for former Prime Minister Tony Blair and former President Bill Clinton in September 2010. Other special projects include a new PBS special, taped in Prague, called “Halleluiah Broadway,” which began airing in select markets last year.