EDMOND—Concertgoers packed Armstrong Auditorium on February 22 to hear “Voices of Ireland” by The Five Irish Tenors. The quintet, accompanied by its two pianists, sang and occasionally danced for 718 guests through a two-hour program featuring Irish folk songs as well as modern classics.
Notable Irish tunes included “Danny Boy,” “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” and “Wild Irish Rose.” The performers peppered American songs like “The Piano Man” by Billy Joel and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel throughout the show. The ballad “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears” connected the two countries. When pianists Feargal Murray and Danny Forde played solos on the auditorium’s two Steinway grand pianos, the singers occasionally broke into comical imitations of Irish, ballroom or flamenco dancing.
The tenors ventured beyond American and Irish ballads with “Hey, Jude” by The Beatles and “Your Song” by Elton John and closed the first half of the program with a Spanish Mariachi-esque tune.
Tenor Morgan Crowley struck the audience’s emotions with “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables, and the other men joined in the effort shortly afterward with their rendition of “You Raise Me Up.” The audience sang with the performers in the final number, “God Bless America.”
One patron praised the performers during intermission, saying, “I loved how in-sync they all were with each other. It was wonderful.” Another guest complimented the auditorium, saying, “This would be a great place to have a wedding!”
Other guests later left reviews on TripAdvisor.com. One wrote, “Our first time to Armstrong Auditorium, and we were very impressed with everyone we came in contact with. From the parking attendants to the greeters and ushers, everyone was friendly. This is a beautiful auditorium and the concert was outstanding.” Another reviewer said, “fine voices, well-rounded program, excellent rapport with audience, very good acoustics, comfortable seating, attentive ushers, beautiful decor and furnishings.” Another wrote, “Excellent entertainment in a marvelous venue. We have attended the Armstrong many times and always marvel that such a beautiful venue is in the middle of what was a pasture. The entertainment is always first-class.”
The Five Irish Tenors includes classically trained tenors David Martin, George Hutton, Alan Leech, Morgan Crowley and Ciaran Kelly. All have extensive experience in classical and Celtic singing. Martin, Leech, Crowley and Kelly have played roles in operas such as Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, The Magic Flute and Carmen. Kelly has toured with Celtic Women, and Crowley toured with the original production of Riverdance. The tenors are on their first North American tour together, which will cover 30 states. This concert was the second Celtic performance of the 2016-2017 Armstrong Auditorium concert series; The StepCrew opened the season in September.