\"Michael

Michael Flatley paid over the odds for the bronze medal awarded to James Joyce in the Feis Ceoil on May 16, 1904 Photo by: Sothebys

Michael Flatley confirms he is the owner of James Joyce’s singing medal

\"Michael

Michael Flatley paid over the odds for the bronze medal awarded to James Joyce in the Feis Ceoil on May 16, 1904 Photo by: Sothebys

Dancer Michael Flatley has confirmed that he is the owner of a singing medal won by James Joyce in Dublin in 1904.

As Ireland celebrates Bloomsday, Flatley has emerged as the owner of the celebrated bronze medal.

The multi-millionaire paid almost $20,000 for the medal at an auction in London a decade ago.

He paid almost five times its pre-auction estimate at Sotheby’s auction house.

The Irish Times reports that the medal was made by Dublin jeweler Edmond Johnson. It is engraved on the reverse with the lettering ‘Tenor Solo James A. Joyce 1904.’

The report says Joyce was one of 22 singers who entered the singing competition at the Feis Ceoil on May 16, 1904.

He had taken preparatory lessons from Benedetto Palmieri, professor for the voice in the Dublin Academy of Music.

Joyce sang two set-pieces – "No Chastening," from Arthur Sullivan’s oratorio "The Prodigal Son", and "A Long Farewell," an Irish air arranged by Scottish composer Alfred Edward Moffat.

The paper adds that when he was asked to sing a third piece at sight, he left the stage in disgust as he was unable to read the piece.

Judge Luigi Denza, a professor at the London Academy of Music, had intended to give Joyce the gold medal according to the Irish Times.

However after Joyce’s refusal to sing the piece at sight, he awarded him the bronze.

The report adds that urban myth suggests Joyce later threw the medal into the river Liffey in a fit of pique.

But his biographer Richard Ellman claimed: “Since he could not pawn it he brought it home and disgustedly tossed it on his aunt Ms Murray’s lap, saying, ‘you can have it, Aunt Josephine. I have no use for it.’”

The medal was part of a collection of mementoes owned by his brother Stanislaus which turned up at Sotheby’s in 2004, the centenary year of Bloomsday.

"Lord of the Dance" star Flatley is a known collector of art and antiques and owns a first edition copy of Joyce’s "Ulysses."

Listen to a composition by the famous author:

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly): http://bit.ly/1zew9ox

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: