Anthony Kearns Featured in Concert Event at Perry Belmont House to Kick off Irish Season in Washington, D.C.
On Sunday, March 3rd, a spectacular concert and champagne reception took place at the resplendent Perry Belmont House, featuring famed tenor Anthony Kearns of the PBS sensation, The Irish Tenors, to kick off the Irish season.
The all-star line-up included renowned interior designer Barry Dixon and Emmy-award-winning storyteller and former Fox5 anchor Will Thomas as co-emcees.
The soiree was co-hosted by the ambassadors of Czech Republic, Malta, and Slovenia and their spouses, with a special appearance by Brian Cahalane, senior counselor to the Embassy of Ireland who introduced Kearns. Mrs. Indira Gumarova, spouse of the Czech ambassador, also spoke briefly about the upcoming International Fashion Show taking place later this month.
Prior to the event, Kearns said he was excited to perform at the Perry Belmont House. "This is an incredible setting for a concert. The house will come to life again," he said.
Mr. Kearns performed for over an hour for the guest list which included high-ranking representatives from diplomatic, government, business and charity circles - some coming from as far away as California, New York, and Washington State.
Kearns' wide-ranging program went from dramatic works such as Chopin's "How Deep is the Night," to comedic Irish ditties, to tenor classics such as "Vienna City of Dreams," and "Mattinata," to the pathos of American folk song, "Shenandoah" and the haunting, "She Moved Through the Fair."
A special feature was the participation of an interpreter using signing for the hearing-impaired. Her graceful gestures provided not only understanding for all guests but added a singular beauty to the language of the singer, a first for a Kearns concert and for a Perry Belmont House event.
Despite the size of the house, which occupies an entire city block, the acoustics allowed Kearns to sing without any special sound equipment.
"This house has a legacy of entertainment. It was constructed in the early 1900s for world-class performances to be enjoyed in the home," said Larry von Weigel, headquarters administrator of the Perry Belmont House.
"This concert transported our guests back in time to the Gilded Age, when Perry Belmont and his wife hosted the city's most lavish parties featuring one of history's most famous tenors, Enrico Caruso. Now, another renowned tenor -- the great Anthony Kearns -- has performed at the Perry Belmont House for what was a sensational affair," he said.
"The architecture and furnishings of this house are incredible, illustrating why historic preservation is so important in our communities. The unbelievable performance by Anthony Kearns helped us bring that history to life," said Will Thomas, a former WTTG anchor, now with TRR Sotheby's International Realty.
Said Barry Dixon, who interpreted the house's history and design for guests during the program: "There were several songs such as 'Shenandoah,' 'Over the Rainbow,' 'You Raise Me Up' -- and of course 'Danny Boy'-- that struck a chord, and touched my heart due to their special significance to me at different times in my life. I felt he was singing just for me."
Mr. Dixon is one of the world's most sought-after interior designers. His work has been on the covers of Veranda, House Beautiful, Luxe and Traditional Home Magazines, and he has appeared multiple times on ABC's "Good Morning America" and HGTV.
Mr. Kearns is an original member of The Irish Tenors with whom he has 10 CDs and five PBS specials. He has a robust international singing career, performing with the world's most prestigious symphony orchestras, in operas, television specials, at major sporting events, and at high-profile charity benefits for military veterans and others.
He previously sang at the 2018 DC's Dancing Stars Gala with Will Thomas as emcee, and at several of Barry Dixon's charity events in Warrenton VA.
He has performed at many major DC area theaters including Wolf Trap, Strathmore, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as at several embassies, on Capitol Hill, and at the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS.
Mr. Kearns has performed for four U.S. Presidents, Pope Francis I, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Medal of Honor Recipients.
Proceeds from the event will help to maintain, and even restore, parts of the Perry Belmont House.
Mr. Kearns' appearance was arranged by Kirsten Fedewa and Associates, L.L.C.