Wicklow People
Wednesday, August 16, 2000

World famous tenor enthralled audience

THE 122nd Wicklow Regatta Festival came to a conclusion in memorable style on Sunday night.
Main attraction at the millennium gala concert was world-famous tenor Anthony Kearns, of The Irish Tenors group, who attracted a sell-out crowd to the Abbey Rooms in the Grand Hotel.
The multi-national attendance, with people present from America, Britain, Europe, and all over Ireland, were held in rapture by the talents of the County Wexford man who performed many old Irish favourites, as well as operatic numbers which went down equally well.
There was a local flavour to the concert as well as Bronagh Byrne joined Anthony for a number of songs and demonstrated her soprano talents. The Pachibel String Quartet also performed on the night.
Meanwhile, Anthony Kearns gave an additional concert last Thursday night, in response to the huge demand for tickets, and was joined by Bronagh Byrne again and by James Dunne.
There was plenty of varied musical entertainment over the closing days of this year's regatta festival. Those who still yearn for the '70s, and many who don't even remember that decade, turned up in droves at the Grand Hotel.
The reason - a dance spectacular featuring Abbaesque with all the old Abba favourites. This also was a night to remember as numbers such as `Super Trouper', `Dancing Queen', and `Gimme Gimme Gimme' were belted out by the tribute band.
Earlier that night, those who watched the raft race were treated to an exhibition of Morris dancing before the presentation of prizes.
This was the first time that this form of dance was showcased in Wicklow and groups came from various parts of England to take part, including Old Star Morris, Northwest Clog Morris Dancers, Daisy Roots Morris Dancers, and the Spinning Jenny Band.
Their unique brand of music and dancing was much appreciated by the crowds at Leitrim Place, while the traditional costumes (along with some fancy dress) drew plenty of admiration.