John McCormack (Irish Tenor 1884 - 1945)
Considered by many the greatest Irish tenor, John Francis McCormack was born in June 1884 in Athlone Co Westmeath and he was the son of Andrew and Hannah (nee Watson) McCormack. McCormack’s parents worked at the Athlone Woolen Mills. He was educated in Athlone and ay Summerhill College in Sligo. He went to Italy in 1905 and received voice training from Vincenzo Sabatini. He made his operatic debut at Savona in 1906 and then went to Covent Garden where he became the theatres youngest principle singer. Around 1917 McCormack bought a home in Greystones called St Mary’s for his parents, which was located on St Vincent’s Road of which we was a regular visitor. Today the house is known as Adare. In 1917 he became a naturalized citizen of of the United States and returned to Ireland 1927. He became a papal Count in 1928. McCormack had luxurious establishments in Ireland, California, Connecticut, New York and London. At one time he owned twelve Rolls Royce’s and drank nothing but champagne. He died in Booterstown in 1945 and is buried in Deans Grange Cemetery.