When John McDermott left the Tenors, Finbar was approached once again, accepted, and the rest is history. He fit is perfectly with Ronan Tynan and Anthony Kearns.
On a more personal level, love of music brought Finbar and Angela Desmond together. She was in the class behind his when they were both studying with Robert Beare in Cork. Later, they met again accidentally. They married in 1990 and live with their two children, Fergus and Ileana, in County Cork. And while Finbar enjoys touring with the Tenors, he loves to get home and back to his own projects. He loves trees, birds and animals, loved to cook and write poetry and doesn’t smoke!
The Unflappable Edward Finbar Wright
He's lauded as one of Ireland's, and for that matter Europe's, great romantic singers and once you've seen and heard him, it's easy to understand why. There is strength...yet amazing gentleness in his voice. He is equally at home whether he chooses classical or popular selections. This, combined with extraordinary good looks and an engaging personality make him a memorable figure in the world of music.
Born in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland on September 26, 1957,and raised on a farm in Ballinspittle, Finbar is the youngest of eight children born to Julia and Robert Wright.
His musical education started at the age of 6 and in the early years a local teacher, Ms. Maura Hourihane, who instructed him in piano and musical theory, was a major influence in his life. Her love of music made a permanent impression on the young Finbar.
At age 11, he became a boarding student at Farranferris College, Cork, a preparatory school for the priesthood. By the age of 16, he had decided to follow that path. He left Ireland to study in Spain and was ordained in Ireland in 1980. During this period, he performed for Pope John Paul II in Dublin and taught Spanish and Latin at Farranferris College. But as the years passed, he found himself becoming more and more disillusioned with the priesthood. He likes to say that while he was on one hand an ordinary priest teaching in school, he also thought of music as another expression of himself. He had won a series of competitions such as the Feis Matiu in Cork and the Feis Chaeoil in Dublin. He felt almost as if he was living in two worlds. He finally left the priesthood in 1987 when the death of his father and brother Hugh brought home the realization that life can be short.
Believing that a career in music was his true calling, he began studying at the Cork School of Music in 1984. In October of 1988, he appeared as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Wexford Opera Festival. In the following year, he was nominated as Ireland’s representative in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. And that was the true beginning of his professional career.
Starting in 1991 with “Because”, his recordings combined oratorio and opera as well as contemporary music and Irish ballads. “Whatever You Believe” in 1992 made it to the top of the Irish charts. “A Tribute to John McCormick” followed. Then “Lift the Wings” in 1997, “I Give My Heart” and in 1999, “Another Season”. All were successful. His albums have sold more than 300,000 copies in Ireland alone.
Finbar won the award as Ireland’s Best Male Artist at the IRMA awards in 1994. He won all the major singing awards at Feis Ceol, Dublin in1996 and went on to study with Ernst Haefligger in Munich and with internationally known soprano lleana Cotrubas in Aldeburgh, England. But he feels that Dr. Veronica Dunne, in Dublin, had the greatest influence on his vocal technique.
He was approached when the Irish Tenors was first being formed, but had other obligations at the time. Nevertheless, he recorded “Live in Belfast” with them, co- hosted the highly rated TV series for RTE, “Music of the Night,” appeared with Kiri TeKanawa and Jerry Lee Lewis and in 1996 was invited by the Irish government to sing for President Clinton at Dublin Castle.