Saturday 23 September 2017

Boylan's boy sets the baritone for operatic future

Patrick O Shea, David Conway, Tommy Farrell and Daire Maher all from St Canice's National School in Kilkenny
Patrick O Shea, David Conway, Tommy Farrell and Daire Maher all from St Canice's National School in Kilkenny
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

THE name Sean Boylan has been synonymous with GAA for the past 30 years, known the length and breadth of Ireland for his supreme managerial skills with Meath.

Now his son Sean seems destined for success in the arena of opera.

Baritone Sean Boylan (20) has revealed that his dreams and ambitions lie in the Royal Opera House.

Singing in the Mahler competition of the Electric Ireland Feis Ceoil at the RDS in Dublin, Sean wowed the judges, who picked him out for special mention.

British director Eric Von Ibler said of his voice: "It is a lovely instrument with so much potential", adding that he is "well on the way to becoming a consummate performer".

Sean told the Irish Independent that he has been singing classically for just four years and is studying for his third year of his music degree at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

He had been studying piano under renowned pianist John O'Conor but switched to voice after teachers realised he had potential.

He added that he had never gone for competitions such as 'X Factor', laughing that he would "probably make more money" if he did.

His true love is opera but he said, as his voice as a baritone was still very much developing, he would have to see what the future held.

Well remembered by fans and sports reporters as a child when he used to follow his father (inset) out on to the pitch after Meath games, Sean says his dad was very supportive of him in his chosen career. And – just like his father's former charges – Sean Jnr is also a fan of his dad's herbal medicines and preparations. "They're great – they keep the voice fresh," he revealed.

Winner of the Mahler prize in the Feis Ceoil was baritone Rory Musgrave (29) from Cleggan, Co Galway, who wore his wedding suit to bring him luck.

He told how there was nothing comparable with the Feis Ceoil throughout Europe.

Meanwhile, a group of little saxophonists stopped off at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on their way to the Feis to pick up some sunglasses to lend that vital 'jazz' look. Patrick O'Shea, Daire Meagher, Tommy Farrell and David Conway from Kilkenny are pupils at St Canice's NS.

Over 5,000 young musicians are competing in the Feis Ceoil, which finishes up on Friday.

Irish Independent

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