The distinct and dulcet tones of Matthew Gilsenan will echo the sounds of Count John McCormack, in the setting of the Dean Crowe Theatre on Saturday, September 21, as the Celtic Tenor evokes the memory of Athlone's most famous son for one night only.
A long time admirer of the Athlone tenor, Matthew has been eager to portray the work of the famous Count for a number of years with the Dean Crowe Theatre an apt location for this live performance.
"Count John McCormack was a tenor of extraordinary vocal depth and ability and during his singing career enjoyed notable success in both Europe and the United States, regularly selling out auditoriums of vast size," Matthew emphasised.
Akin to Matthew, Count John McCormack was the winner of a Feis Ceoil gold medal in his formative years and it was this initial success which was the basis upon which a rewarding singing career was to commence.
"Having recorded in excess of 800 songs professionally, Count John McCormack then had the ability to sonically fill venues such as the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden without the use of a microphone - it was an incredible vocal talent which he possessed," Matthew remarked.
Similarities abound with regard to both tenors' careers. As mentioned, both Matthew and Count John McCormack annexed a Feis Ceoil gold medal, while one of the Celtic Tenor's earliest solo performances took place at Headfort House in his hometown of Kells, a venue in which the Athlone native also performed.
"My grandmother, who worked in Headfort House, at the time recalls listening to McCormack's vocals and being moved by his music," Matthew continued.
So what can the audience expect from the Celtic Tenor's one man ode to Count John McCormack?
"I will be taking a human approach to this live performance, with brief anecdotes alluding to the life of Count John McCormack. It will be an evening filled with humour and the songs from the Athlone tenor's repertoire which made him so famous across the world.
"Songs such as 'Macushla', 'I Hear You Calling Me', 'Panus Angelicus' and 'The Snowy Breasted Pearl' will all get an airing during the show, as I evoke the memory of McCormack in his native town," Matthew commented.
Noting that it would be a "shame" not to keep Count John McCormack's name in the "social conscience", Matthew, who is also touring with his Celtic Tenor colleagues presently, is encouraging all enthusiasts of this musical genre to descend upon the atmospheric theatre for an even of tenor song, chat and humour.
Tickets for this live performance, to take place on Saturday, September 21 at 8pm, are available from the Dean Crowe Theatre box office. Call 0906492129 or visit www.deancrowetheatre.com for more information.