Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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 Freeman’s journal 5th December 1907

A special interest attaches this to tonight’s performance by the Carl Rosa Company of Balfe’s evergreen opera “The Bohemian Girl”, in as much as an old favourite Irish tenor, Mr. Patrick O’Shea will be heard in the part of Thaddeus.  Mr. O’ Shea, who is a native of Lismore, Co. Waterford, had formerly been a useful member of the Carl Rosa Company in the ‘eighties’, but in 1900 he threw himself into the Irish Ireland Movement, and devoted his energies to the rendition of traditional Irish songs, appearing with conspicuous success at all the big concerts in England, Scotland, Ireland and America from 1901 to 1906. 

Now that he has again joined the Carl Rosa Company, it goes without saying that he will be accorded a heady ovation in an opera composed by a Irishman, Michael William Balfe.  It may be of interest to mention that ‘The Bohemian Girl’ was first produced in Drury Land London, on No 27th 1843, when Harrison sang the part of Thaddeus.

Patrick O’ Shea was born in Lismore in 1872 and educated at Mount Melleray.

In 1898 he won the men’s singing prise at the Oireachtas, in 1903 he was described as ‘Irelands own tenor’. In May 1919 a memorial concert was held in Dublin in his honour. The Carl Rosa Company was founded in 1873 by Carl Rosa, a German musical impresario.

The Freeman’s Journal 8th April 1919 published his obituary:

“Numerous friends and admires will regret to hear of the death of Mr. Patrick O’Shea, the well known Irish tenor, which took place at his residence, 52 South Richmond Street, yesterday.  Mr. O’Shea’s early success was with the Ludwig concert party (Dublin born William Ledwidge (1847-1923) had his own touring company: Ludwig concert party in the 1890’s), with whom he toured Ireland, England and Scotland.

“Pat” as he was familiarly known to his friends, enjoyed great popularly at home and aboard.  His voice was of a pure and sympathetic quality…he was the first professional singer who sang songs in Irish on leading concert platforms, and his appearances at the Queen’s Hall and Albert Hall… were always popular musical events”


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