Without fanfare, Glenn Murphy walked out onto the Theatre Royal stage on Friday evening last and ‘slowly, gently’ began to sing ‘Music Of The Night’.
The capacity audience was more nervous that he was as his voice soared. He held the silence, as he began to “live as you never lived before”.
The response was amazing, a young man coming home and the home crowd, his own people, welcoming and acclaiming him.
Not only did the audience take him to their hearts but the pure joy on his face showed that they were in his heart as well, and his heart sang out, loud and clear. You could feel the love as he continued with ‘Love Changes Everything’ and ‘No One Is Alone’.
Glenn Murphy confirmed that he had arrived and that this was just the beginning. There was a magical quality to ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, and ‘If I Loved You’.
Growing up in a musical theatre environment in stage school shows and De La Salle College productions underlined his interpretation of lyrics, in his wonderful, if a little introspective, way.
‘Send In The Clowns’ illustrated this interpretive ability and ‘Feed The Birds’ wasn’t such a strange choice as he radiated kindness and openness and the audience gently sang along.
This was indeed, as billed. ‘One Enchanted Evening’, staged by the David Hennessy Musical and Dramatic Society.
David Hayes on piano was Musical Director, and he was a supportive, class act. Special guests Vanessa Whelan (who shone and basked in hometown pride) and Derek Ryan from Tipperary, were a wonderful addition to the glorious enchantment.
A young choir from the David Hennessy Stage School and Dungarvan Junior Musical Stage School were so full of the joy of youth, and sense of occasion, for ‘Anthem’ from Chess and the audience wanted them to stay longer for ‘Endless Night’. Nobody wanted the show to end.
Vanessa Whelan sang ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ and joined Glenn and Derek for an exquisite ‘Merry Widow Waltz’.
Her ‘Somewhere’, was so beautiful and her duet with Glenn on ‘Tonight’ was so apt – tonight, this night, this moment onstage in Waterford.
Derek Ryan was a master singer with a rich Bass/Baritone voice, his ‘Stars’ was heavenly, and his duet with Glenn, ‘The Impossible Dream’, was memorable, highlighting a similar journey in musical theatre. I also loved his ‘Old Man River’.
Glenn Murphy sang ‘Bring Him Home’, to open the second act, and what a ‘Wow’ of a performance, as the lyrics took on new meaning.
He underlined his choral and contemporary musical style when composer/performer, Ronan Scolard joined him onstage (on piano and guitar) for ‘You Said’, and ‘Enough’, and a Kodaline song, ‘All I Want’.
The lyrics of songs were taking on a new meaning and you had to be there – live theatre – to experience and share the connections as he sang ‘Waiting For My Real Life To Begin’.
When he sang the line “I’m on your side” from ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ he was, and in your heart as well.
‘Climb Every Mountain’ paid tribute to Bryan Flynn, who directed Glenn in The Sound Of Music, and ‘To Where You Are’, resonated with poignant memory.
When he sang Denny Corcoran’s ‘My City Of Music’, you could feel how heartfelt this tribute was and this anthem for Waterford was like tradition being handed on, and you knew it was in safe hands. Glenn Murphy should record this song for Christmas and most definitely must return for another Enchanted Evening at the Royal.