Ronan Tynan is a burly tenor with a big, silvery voice and a warm, winning personality. In his turn at Feinstein’s at the Regency last week, the Irish singer reached out to all. His varied program included peppery and plaintive Irish folk songs, romantic Neapolitan serenades and lustrous evergreens from the world of operetta and Broadway, with a dash of folksy pop thrown in for good measure.
Sentimental Irish songs included “Red Headed Mary,” with “her cheeks as red as a rose,” and “The Old Man,” an homage to his father with memories of the ol’ fishing pond. Tynan co-wrote the sad story song “Ellie,” about a girl and a boy from families of different religious backgrounds.
Tynan fondly remembered his friend Rosemary Clooney, dedicating “And I Love You So” to her memory. He toasted the late Richard Tauber with Franz Lehar’s romantic “My Heart and I,” a fervent reminder of the too-long dormant repertoire of operetta classics.
Tynan’s assured and knowing accompanist is Bill Evans, who takes his own solo vocal turn with Stephen Schwartz’s haunting “Meadowlark,” from “The Baker’s Wife.” With apologies to Lorenz Hart, Evans wrote his own, rather cunning verse for “My Funny Valentine” as a gift for his sister on the occasion of her wedding. The ardent love letter loses none of its embracing romanticism.
From “Mattinata” (once Anglicized and popularized by crooner Vic Damone as “You’re Breaking My Heart”) to Rodgers and Hart’s “With a Song in My Heart” and Irving Berlin’s “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” Tynan’s diverse program managed to please all. The storybook finale was “Angel,” a Sarah McLachan folk tale featured on Tynan’s new CD, “The Impossible Dream — Live From Dublin.”