The sounds of Ireland come to Beaver Creek |

The sounds of Ireland come to Beaver Creek

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

Finbar Wright grew up on a small farm in Ireland. Now he tours the world as

one of the most respected and well-known tenors in the world.

“I definitely have to pinch myself every now and then and there are times

when I feel enormously privileged,” said Wright, one third of The Irish

Tenors. “The wonderful thing about music and singing is that you become part

of important moments in people’s lives and it’s a great privilege. But I can

still smell the farm manure, I can assure you that.”

As part of the Irish Tenors, Wright knows the meaning of the word success “

the trio has played to crowds as large as 10,000 people, he said ” but he

remains “grounded” and true to his roots. When not on the road, he heads

back to his home in Ireland, which isn’t far from Blarney Castle, to spend

time with friends and family.

“Not that I’ve ever kissed the (Blarney) Stone or anything, but I’m only a

few miles from there,” Wright said jokingly.

The Irish Tenors formed in 1998 and have endured a few lineup changes “

Wright didn’t join the group until two years later, in 2000. The tenors

current roster is Wright, Anthony Kearns and Karl Scully. They are now on a

cross-country tour of America with a stop in Beaver Creek at the Vilar

Performing Arts Center Sunday night where they will sing Irish folk classics

and Christmas standards.

“The Christmas tour is always very popular and very busy and has been kind

of expanding every year, which is very good,” Wright said.

The Beaver Creek show is the only one scheduled in Colorado during this

tour, according to Kris Sabel, cultural programmer for the Vail Valley


“It’s classical, but it’s Christmas,” Sabel said of the tenors holiday show.

“It’s both the traditional Irish music as well as the carols.”

Sabel also noted that a full orchestra will back the Irish Tenors during

their performance, something people really enjoy about The Irish Tenor’s

live show, he said. Wright agreed.

“The quality of what we’re performing is very good and I think we’ve

maintained a standard of performance and entertainment,” Wright said.

Wright didn’t always know he was destined to become a full-time singer, he


“It kind of crept up on me I suppose,” Wright said.

Though he got involved with music at an early age ” his mother started him

at piano lessons at the age of five ” he said he didn’t appreciate it until

years later. He said he didn’t take serious voice lessons until he was in

his 20s.

“Anyone who has any hope as a singer (should have) kind of a natural sound

that’s pleasant for people to listen to at least and then they should go

through the entire technical training and all that and hopefully, when they

come out the other end, they still have the same voice but now they know how

to use it,” Wright said.

He compared a singer’s training to that of an athlete’s.

“It’s a very physical undertaking,” Wright said.

He and the other tenors still have to practice before every show, Wright

said, and vocal warm-ups are a must. Surprisingly though, Wright said he

sometimes listens to country music legend Willie Nelson before a show to

help calm his nerves.

“I think he’s a magnificent performer,” Wright said. “He’s a great natural

performer, which is always entertaining.”

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: The Irish Tenors.

When: Sunday night at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.

Cost: $95, $125, $145, depending on seating.

More information: Call 888-920-2787 or visit

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