The Irish Tenors
Daniel Harte and Bill Hughes formed the idea of a trio of Irish tenors during a Cannes festival at which the famous Three Tenors, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Plácido Domingo were performing. Harte & Hughes wanted to produce a television special and first approached Ireland's Finbar Wright in 1998 to join the group, but Wright's recording contract with Sony BMG prohibited such a venture. They then invited Canadian balladeer John McDermott to head up the group and he accepted. After conferring with Ireland's leading vocal coach, Dr. Veronica Dunne, classically-trained singers Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan were asked to join. In 1999, "The Irish Tenors: Live in Dublin" debuted on PBS television in the United States.
PBS signed up for another special by the increasingly popular new group, but early in 2000 McDermott's mother died and John decided he could not fully commit himself to the group. Days before PBS was to film The Irish Tenors - Live in Belfast Daniel Harte & Hughes again contacted Finbar Wright and asked him to step in. Wright agreed to help and was asked to stay on for upcoming tour dates. Having left Sony, Wright was able to join the trio on a permanent basis.
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