Opera fans won’t have far to go to hear one of the biggest names in opera perform this weekend – and horse enthusiasts will find a kindred spirit too.
Renowned tenor Anthony Kearns, founding member of the popular Irish Tenors, will entertain at a charity event in Lexington Sunday, July 10 – celebrating two passions, his music and his love of horses.
“A Night at the Pavilion: A Tribute to Kentucky’s Horses” is 6 to 9 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton’s Sales Pavilion on Newtown Pike. All proceeds will benefit the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving quality of life for horses.
Tickets for the event are $150 per person, $250 per couple and can be purchased by calling EHWA at 859.227.0879. (Online tickets may be purchased at www.equinehealthandwelfare.org).
“I’m delighted to perform at this fantastic event which combines two of my greatest passions, music and horses,” said Kearns. Kearns, noting that Ireland shares a rich history with the Kentucky horse industry.
Mr. Kearns is coming off of a recent performance at the Centennial Celebration of the late President Ronald Reagan in New Orleans. He recently performed at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock and at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In June, he starred as the lead tenor, “Don Ottavio,” in the opera Don Giovanni, at the Lismore Opera Festival. On August 18, Mr. Kearns will perform his first comic opera with the Emerald City Opera in Steamboat Springs, CO as “Alfred” in Die Fledermaus. Kearns, who has an international solo career in addition to his work with The Irish Tenors, has 11 CDs to his credit and is a member of The Recording Academy (“The GRAMMYs”).
Kearns said that the event is “a great idea, it’s a really good cause.” His passion for horses begins with his Irish roots.
“The County Wexford where I come from is famous for its horse trainers, its jockeys. It’s renowned in the horse business,” Kearns said. “We were surrounded by horses, and I just like horse racing…I love it”
Kearns is not only the founding member, but the youngest member of the Irish Tenors and has had a successful solo career as well.
“He has performed on the world’s finest stages, concert halls, opera houses, from all around the world,” said Kirsten Fedewa, Kearns’ representative.
Kearns made his professional opera debut in 2009 as Romeo in Naples Opera Company’s production of “Romeo and Juliet: Then and Now” in Florida.
Though Kearns’ career is focused on his love and devotion to music, it isn’t his only passion.
“He lives and sleeps music…but he is passionate about horses as well, so it’s a real treat for him to come to Kentucky,” Fedewa said.
Kearns has performed in Kentucky before, as a soloist with the Irish Tenors. He said he is excited perform in Lexington to support the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance – and horses.
“I think it’s a wonderful cause and if we can give them something back for the pleasure and enjoyment we’ve got out of them,” he said.
Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear will attend the event.
“As a horse enthusiast, I’m very pleased to participate in this wonderful event to benefit the EHWA,” said Mrs. Beshear. “I’m looking forward to attending this spectacular musical evening – and I encourage others to join us in support of equine health research and education.”