Articles From Ronan Tynan View Profile

Share this Article
  • Cape Cod Times: Irish Tenor returns for concert of memories

    Ronan Tynan, Cape Cod Times: Irish Tenor returns for concert of memories

    It's been a few years since Ronan Tynan has sung on the Cape, but he's no stranger to the area.
    By Kay Keough Contributing Writer

    The sound of scraping silverware echoes on the other side of the phone as Ronan Tynan says hello. He's eating an avocado as we start our interview, in an effort "to try to gain back the figure I had 30 years ago."

    "Aren't we all?" I ask.

    He laughs and chats in his warm Irish brogue for a few minutes, making a friendly connection before we get down to business. For someone who's had as much success as he has had, the 56-year-old famed Irish tenor sounds very down-to-earth and genuinely excited to perform Sunday at Cape Cod Community College's Tilden Arts Center.

    It's been a few years since he's sung on the Cape, Tynan says, but he's no stranger to the area. He enjoys visiting and readily shares some memories of celebrating his 15th birthday on Nantucket, trying and failing to save the life of a man who was likely having a heart attack while driving near the Cape, and singing for the Kennedy family on Martha's Vineyard.

    If you don't know much about his life, strap in. Tynan is much more than a singer. His is kind of like a superhero origin story, minus the radioactive material.

    Tynan was born in Dublin, Ireland, with a lower limb disability. As a child growing up on a farm, he overcame his limitations and enjoyed riding horses and racing motorcycles. But at the age of 20, he faced another major challenge: a car accident that caused such serious complications, he had to have his legs amputated below the knee.

    Nevertheless, he quickly got back to his daily life and, within a year, started winning gold medals in the Paralympics – 18 of them, plus 14 world records (nine of which still stand) between 1981 and 1984.

    After becoming the first disabled person admitted to the National College of Physical Education, he went on to be a medical doctor, specializing in orthopedic sports injuries, with a degree from Trinity College in Dublin. It wasn't until the age of 33 that he took his first voice lesson, although he and his father often sung together as he was growing up.

    It is the support of his late parents, and the moral standing they gave him, to which Tynan attributes much of his success.

    "I don't have adjectives to describe how great my mother was." he says. "The person I am today really is a tribute to the person she made me into."

    Tynan wrote a song honoring his mother, whom he lost to Alzheimer's disease, called "Passing Through." Though he declines to choose a "favorite" song of his – because that would mean putting more attention on some over others – the song clearly means a great deal to him, as he talks of the difficulty he had editing down something so deeply personal.

    He describes his father, meanwhile, as a "dote of a man" who loved him unconditionally. "Everything I did, he would laud," he says. While his mother thought of Tynan's singing as an avocation, his father was his cheerleader.

    "When I was a junior and an intern in hospital, he used to say, 'you have to do something with the voice, Ro.'"

    Tynan won the BBC equivalent of "American Idol," called "Go For It," less than a year after studying voice at 33, and then the coveted John McCormack Cup for Tenor Voice. After the show, he was recruited as the first member of The Irish Tenors, the acclaimed trio known for numerous TV specials and performances of classical numbers at venues from Radio City Music Hall to the Sydney Opera House.

    Although he took a multi-year break from the group to chase a solo career, he balances both pursuits now and plans to soon release two new albums. In addition to his own concerts, he has several lined up with the Tenors, including a performance in Russia in September. That's a gig that gives him some consternation in the current political climate, but not quite enough to steer the conversation in that direction.

    While reflecting on his background, Tynan draws parallels between his work as a doctor and as a singer, noting that some of the best conductors in the world were doctors before they turned to music.

    "One minute, you're ministering to people with a physical ailment, and then you make the decision to perform in front of thousands and hope you affect them," he says.

    Tynan has displayed his ability to touch people with his vocal performances on stage. He is perhaps most widely known in the U.S. for his stirring renditions of "God Bless America" before major sporting events, his moving performance at the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan, and his consoling presence at the memorial for Sept. 11. Since coming to the U.S. 19 years ago, Tynan has become a go-to figure for both moments of sad reflection and joyous celebration.

    At his concert in West Barnstable, he promises "sincerity and truth in the sound," and "the privilege of being nostalgic" as his songs bring memories of people loved and lost.

    His set list as a solo artist is broader than when he performs with the Tenors, and on Sunday will likely include a Broadway showtune and a religious song. (As a Catholic, he also gives much credit for his ongoing success to his faith.)

    As he performs alongside pianist Bill Lewis, with whom he's worked for 17 years, Tynan just wants to provide comfort and connection to his devoted fans.

    "I always like the audience to feel I'm singing to them in their own living room, just for them," he says.

Share this Article
X

FIND A SPEAKER

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials
  • Everything went really well and we really enjoyed having Jack Uldrich as our speaker!  He was entertaining and funny and provided great examples....
    Novo Nordisk
  • "Thanks to you and Jo for all your efforts.  Connie Podesta and Roger Dow were great!"   
    National Apartment Association
  • "Richard, Your ability to put me in front of just the right group again and again, is nothing short of amazing. You work your tail off, you sweat the ...
    Alan Hobson
  • You ladies really are the BEST!  After this event I am going to be on the hunt for keynote speakers in May.  I really want to work with you ...
    ICMI
  • We truly appreciate the excellent support and attention to detail we have received from Executive Speakers Bureau.  They have provided us with so...
    IBM
  • "I appreciate your recommendations.  In addition, you are always a pleasure to work with and understand the pains of an over worked meeting plann...
    Milliman
  • "I will be sure that all involved know what a wonderful resource you have been. The universe smiled on me when I discovered Executive Speakers and you...
    Ocala Eye
  • Thanks to you, Jo and the rest of your team.  You are the BEST.  Knowing you are behind a speaker allows us the luxury of concentrating on o...
    Ohio Hospital Association
  • The event was EASY Cake! and it went over very very well.  Thank you so much for the help and organization, it made my life very easy. 
    Boys & Girls Club
  • "My mind was very much at ease knowing that Jack Uldrich was so well prepped.  I will definitely use your agency again."  
    EAIE
  • "As I mentioned before, your engagement model was incredibly easy to work with, and I know we came to you on short notice!  I would highly recomm...
    Capitol One
  • Bridgeworks was awesome!!! Great feedback from all!! Thanks for all of your collaboration and positive we'll use you in the future.  
    Johnson & Johnson
  • Thank you to both of you for everything surrounding Mr. Will as our special guest. I suspect, soon, I will be in touch regarding our next event. 
    Oxford Financial
  • Our bank has held an annual business and economic conference for the past 9 years.  We have worked with Executive Speakers every year and I have ...
    First Midwest Bank
  • "WOW, is all I have to say and thank you!  Our event was a huge success and you never steer me wrong, both David Cottrell and Ryan Estis were exc...
    ICMI
  • As always, you deliver excellent service. Thanks!
    Camden National Bank
  • "I wanted to share with you feedback of my experience in working with Executive Speakers Bureau.. Very responsive and detail oriented.  When I wa...
    Amdocs
  • "Everyone loved Bob and he was so nice on site. Thank you for all you did. The process was so easy and we will definitely work with you again next yea...
    NBC
  • "You made my job so much easier! You are the only bureau I will use."     
    Sigma Systems
  • "Let me just say again, what a pleasure it is to work with you and ESB. You really make it harder for others to reach the bar."
    ASTD
  • I want to thank you for all of your assistance you and Jenny were wonderful. If it had not been for you sending me suggestions I would not have found ...
    West Virginia Tourism
  • The Nebraska Hospital Association along with numerous other state hospital associations have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Executive Speak...
    The Nebraska Hospital Association
  • We could not have done it without you.  Thank you for the outstanding suggestions.  The speakers were by far the best we have ever had.
    FedEx
  • Mr. Schelp you are a Rock Star! Thank you!!!  Deal #7 is done and more to come!
  • "I LOVE this list that you sent me! I emailed several different places on Tuesday an...
    CoreLogic
  • "My entire team has enjoyed the experience of working with you and ESB more than words can express. Everything was handled in a professional and timel...
    Cregger Company
  • "We not only went 3 for 3 but I'd say they were all home runs! Thanks for your help on the speakers. It was a key and very positive component of our c...
    Chem-Dry
  • "Your tenacity and persistence in staying in touch with us is a model example of good salesmanship and partnering.  I will be using you as an exa...
    Schneider Electric
  • Angela, you & your team have my endorsement for making Memphis events successful. People should use you to plan their next event.
  • "OMG Richard! As always you make me look like a rock star. Every single speaker we selected hit it out of the park. Thank you again. Can't even say wh...
    Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assn.
  • "I want to thank you for helping with our Principals Day event. Marshall Goldsmith was excellent. Not only is Marshall the consummate professional, be...
    Burns & McDonnell
  • I’ve used the services of a number of speakers bureaus in the past. However, my current experience working with the Executive Speakers Bureau ha...
    Intel
  • "Thank you so much for all your help in putting this together on such short notice. I will definitely use your services again in the future."
    Applied Materials
  • "We loved our speakers. Thanks to you and your team for your outstanding service and thank you for your patience!"

    National Association of the Blind
  • "The group that I work with to obtain all of my keynote speakers is Executive Speakers Bureau and I can tell you that I don’t like working with ...
    Indiana Youth Institute
  • Thanks to Richard and Jo for all the coordination. Another homerun from Executive Speakers Bureau!  
    Wisconsin Hospital Association
  • “Thank you guys it was a pleasure working with you.... You made the whole process easy. Thanks again”
    CableNation
Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call us to discuss how we can help find the right speaker for your organization.

Get Ideas in 2 Hours or Less

Please fill in information below

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in two hours or less.


Privacy by SafeSubscribeSM