Press Release

2/5/00 -- Press Release from the Producers and PBS regarding the Irish Tenors Live from Belfast Show



BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND (February 5, 2000) - In a surprise development, original Irish Tenor John McDermott joined fellow tenors Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan, and new trio member Finbar Wright onstage this evening at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and producers TV Matters and Radius Television, invited John to perform as a special guest, even though it was announced earlier this week that Mr. McDermott would have to be replaced as an Irish Tenor by Finbar Wright. The producers announced the original change on Sunday, January 30, citing Johnís inability to meet the production rehearsal schedule due to the recent death of his mother, Hope.

A million-selling solo artist in his own right, John McDermott is also known as one-third of the original Tenors lineup from the 1998 Dublin performance which spawned an album, video, and North American arena tour. Tonightís performance, titled The Irish Tenors Live From Belfast is slated for broadcast beginning on PBS in March of this year.

Though unable to participate in rehearsals, John decided to travel to Northern Ireland on Thursday February 3rd, not only to support the Tenors, but also to appear as a special guest of PBS, and visit his motherís family. John traveled to his motherís ancestral home in Ballymena, northwest of Belfast on Friday, February 4th.

Before the intermission, McDermott was called to the stage by fellow Tenor Anthony Kearns. The orchestra fell silent as conductor Frank McNamara accompanied McDermott on piano to "The Last Rose of Summer," a song he dedicated to his mother and father, Peter, who passed away in 1995. Said McDermott, "Hope and Peter McDermott, my mother and father, were married for 55 years -- this song was truly their song." McDermott was then joined onstage by Kearns and Tynan, as the trio performed "Red Is The Rose" to rapturous applause.

After the performance, McDermott stated, "It was a magical moment. From Glasgow to Donegal, Dublin to Ballymena, my Scottish and Irish roots are a constant source of pride for me. Like everyone else, I was thrilled by the performances of the new edition of The Irish Tenors - Anthony, Ronan, and Finbar. I was honored to join them and to have the opportunity to dedicate two of the most beautiful songs ever written to my parents. Iíd like to thank PBS, the Belfast audience, and the American audiences for their overwhelming support throughout this difficult time in my life."