Best Irish FactsFacts on Ireland and the Irish

John Count McCormack


John McCormackJohn Francis McCormack was born on 14 June, 1884 in Athlone.

His parents were working class.

He had no formal training.

He won the gold medal for tenor at the 1903 Feis Ceoil.

In 1905 he trained in Italy under Vincenzo Sabatini.

He made his operatic debut on 13 January, 1906 in the Teatro Chiabrera in Savona, Italy.

He performed in Pietro Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz.

He performed under the name Giovanni Foli.

The name Foli came from his fiancée, Lily Foley.

He married Lily Foley on 2 July, 1906.

On 15 October, 1907, he made his debut in Covent Gardens, London.

He was just 23 years old.

He performed in Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.

He was the youngest principal tenor ever to sing there.

In 1909 his career in the United States began when he performed in La Traviata in Manhattan.

He became an American citizen in 1917.

In 1928 he was made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Pius XI.

During the Eucharistic Congress of 1932 in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, he sang Panis Angelicus.

His farewell concert took place at the Albert Hall London on 27 November, 1938.

John McCormack died on 16 September, 1945 in Booterstown, Dublin. He was 61.

He is buried in Dean’s Grange Cemetery, Dublin.

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