by Rose Rushe
‘VOLARE’, ‘Torna A Surriento’, ‘O Sole Mio’, ‘Mamma’, ‘Catari’, ‘Ave Maria’, ‘Mattinata’, ‘Santa Lucia’, ‘Parlami D’Amore’ and of course, ’Nessun Dorma’ sung by the superlative Finbar Wright in the concert hall on Friday February 14.
Be still, thy beating heart but not to the point of fainting. One has to join the queue for tickets at box office or online www.uch.ie
Throughout the decades of his professional career (Wright started training in earnest in Palencia, Spain, a seminarian ages 16), he has sung with stars such as Dame Te Kanawa and Montserrat Caballé. Comfortingly, he returns to the concert hall for the umpteenth, faithful to an appreciative Limerick audience.
Even his first album was produced by Phil Coulter; the second by the legendary Mike Batt of Wombles fame, and much more, in 1993. It was Finbar Wright who gave the inaugural concert at UCH that same hear yet he retains the good-humoured, calm character of early days. Laughs a lot in conversation too.
Pavarotti’s Italian canon is the theme for 2014.
“I first met him in Dublin backstage at The Gaeity in 1979. He was not a huge name then on the streets but was very well known in operatic circles. It was just himself, Pavarotti and his pianist and that’s when he recommended that when training my voice to sing the Italian songs. [Think bel canto, belissimo]
“Years later he sang in the RDS and was by now a pop star”. Of course, they met again, Wright tremendously successful as international soloist by then and with The Irish Tenors. He is the man who sang for Bill Clinton in Dublin Castle and again on the occasion of Pope John Paul 11’s visit, at the Phoenix Park mass.
Reminding Pavarotti of his advice 10 years previously, the great man reminded him, “Now when you sing the Italian songs you will always think of Luciano”.
“This tour followed on from that, a celebration of who he was, what he did. We take people through his life briefly with multi-media screens. All the songs are connected to him and he had a broad repertoire, recording ‘My Way’ and ‘Moon River’”, as well as the expected.
‘The Life and Passionate Italian Love Songs of Pavarotti’ at the concert hall, next Friday 14, 8pm.