The first thing you need to know about Ronan Tynan is that the man can sing. No less than Pavarotti himself called his voice beautiful and pure. But that’s not all he can do. He’s a trained orthopedist, a recording artist, a winner of 18 Paralympic gold medals (he holds nine Paralympic world records), a motivational speaker, a memoirist and a teacher at the University of Kentucky. And he’s coming to Patchogue on Saturday, April 1. Recently he took time out from his whirlwind schedule to talk to us about his upcoming show.
You’ve performed at many different events including sporting events, benefits concerts and even Presidents Reagan’s state funeral. Does one event stand out as the most memorable?
Around 9/11, I sung at 67 funerals and at Madison Square Garden for the FDNY memorial. That was a big event, as was the memorial at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately those were sad events, so that’s a tough question because looking back, the biggest events were the saddest ones.
What about an event that wasn’t so sad?
When I first performed at Madison Square Garden in 2000, walking out to 20,000 people and the people in first two rows throwing their jackets—that was a memorable event and was really unbelievable.
Where haven’t you performed that you would like to?
I’ve performed all over the world. But I’d love to sing at the Oscars. I’d love to have a song that was up for an Oscar or a Grammy—that would be neat.
Can you talk about your experience working with Pavarotti?
I was in a competition back in 1995. It was an amazing experience and [Pavarotti] actually said to me, “You have a beautiful, pure voice. You are a big man so you need to harness that beautiful sound.” I sung in Modena with him. That was a big deal. He was amazing. And I’ve had experiences with a lot of other, I suppose you could say, Masters: James King, a couple of Italians, Ugo Benelli.
How have your disabilities informed or affected your various career paths?
I was born with an abnormality of my feet plus I was a passionate motorbike man. In the process of being a passionate motorbike man I had a bad motorbike accident and, as a result of that, had to have both limbs amputated. So, I was always going to do medicine. That was always in the cards. And I was always going to sing. It was a matter of which was going to come first, the medicine or the singing. It was like the horse and the cart, which one was I going to jump on first. I ended up jumping on medicine first.
Are you currently working on any projects?
Oh yes. I have three solo projects to try to get going in June so I’m under real pressure to get material and recordings, so in June I’m going to be fairly swamped.
Do you have a favorite song to perform?
No. I try not to pick a favorite song because if you give one song more favor than the others, it always means that you don’t give the others the same kind of treatment.
Have you ever made it out to the East End before?
I certainly have, yes. It’s beautiful there, just beautiful.
Will you be spending some time out here after your performance?
No, after my performance I have to come straight back [to New York] and I head to Ireland very soon after that.
Spend an evening with Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan Saturday, April 1 at Patchogue Theater. Tickets are $48 plus fees and can be purchased at patchoguetheater.org