What to say when the best gets better. It's not an easy task. At his last concert of Fall 2003, Anthony Kearns surpassed himself. It was a fitting close to a short, but wonderful tour. Our Lady of Mercy Academy is situated on a picturesque campus that was filled with sunshine, and bursting with color, on this day.
Anthony gave a spectacular performance. He's been in great voice for the entire tour, but at this concert, his voice seemed stronger, richer, and more beautiful. The song list has remained basically the same, but certain pieces stood out, for their beauty, their polish, and the fact that they will remain in one's mind (and heart), for quite some time.
At the top of my list has to be the absolutely perfect "My Heart and I", by Richard Tauber. Anthony's ringing high notes, and the depth of emotion he injected into the song made it one of the most glorious memories of the past few months. "E Lucevan le Stelle", from Tosca was superb-world class-and it made me long for the day when Anthony conquers the opera. His third aria-"Dein is mein ganzes Herz", from The Land of Smiles, was heartfelt, and magnificently sung. "Mattinata" was again a great success, due to the expansive accompaniment that Patrick provided, and to the lush tones that came from the Kearns throat. We also heard "Off to Philadelphia" (an audience favorite), "The Palatine's Daughter", "Phil the Fluther", "Because" (a Mario Lanza speciality), and of course..."Danny Boy."
One of the priests I spoke with after the concert, agreed with me, that we didn't want
to hear anyone else except Anthony sing this song! There was a very lovely song by
Eric Coates, that I'd never heard before, called "Birdsong at Eventide."
Anthony and Patrick's duets were highlights of the program.
"Friendship", written by Patrick, was a huge hit, and "Bould
Gendarmes" was uproariously funny, and got much applause. But it was the
haunting performance of "We'll Gather Lilacs in the Spring", by Ivor Novello,
As an unexpected bonus, Anthony sang "one for the road"-"Granada". It brought down the house, as it always does. It's always a pleasure to hear the scope of Anthony's repertoire. From "Gentle Maiden", which began the program, to "Granada", through Opera, Operetta, Irish songs, and in 4 languages, the program was an ambitious one, but it was a tour de force for Anthony Kearns!
It's almost as difficult to find more wonderful things to say about Patrick Healy, that haven't already been said. His accomplished accompaniments, his delightful stories, and his sweet singing of "Castle of Dramore", proved again what a consummate musician he is. The concert promoters were anxious to meet those of us who had travelled some distance to hear Anthony. They were properly impressed with the list of states which included Connecticut, Michigan, and Massachusetts, as well as New York itself. I don't think it's such a big deal. A concert like this one, is worth the trip from anywhere.