Jane S. Kirwan

Date of Passing:

April 12, 2014

Kirwan, Jane, S., (Sweeney), 88, of Humphreys Road, died unexpectedly after onset last week of a terminal condition. She was the wife of the late John E. Kirwan.

She is survived by her beloved son, Charles S. Kirwan and a cherished grandson, Chace Daniel Kirwan. She was the daughter of the late Mary and Daniel J. Sweeney and sister of the late Joan Maloney, Ann Sweeney and Danelle Hand.

A graduate of Pembroke College, Brown University Class of 1946, Jane was an active member of the Pembroke Club of Providence and the Brown Club of Rhode Island and proudly served on the Brown Pops Concert Music Committee (1976-1987).

Jane began her voice studies at Brown guided by Professor Arlan Coolidge. She moved to New York to advance her singing career and then studied with Merle Alcock, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera.

In 1948 she went on tour with Charles Wagner Opera Co. singing the role of ‘Musetta’ in ‘La Boheme’ and ‘Annina’ in ‘La Traviata’ with her friend Beverly Sills as ‘Violetta.’

Jane was twice awarded the Metropolitan Opera’s ‘Kathryn Long Scholarship’ conducted by Maestro Kurt Adler in 1957 and 1959.

Jane received a contract from the Metropolitan Opera Co. in 1957. Membership in the ‘Met family’ was an experience she treasured.

Putting her family ahead of her career, she moved to Barrington in 1961. The rigorous ‘Met’ schedule required two months on tour every year. Jane continued her music career, singing the soprano role in ‘The Messiah’ with the R.I. Philharmonic, appearing as soloist with the ‘University Singers’, and singing in many churches throughout the area.

Jane began her teaching career at the Lincoln School in Providence and then taught in the Barrington School Department for 28 years. Jane often taught ‘An Introduction to Opera’ program open to all children and an advanced opera course for adults at the Barrington Community School. Jane often said her greatest joys were her wonderful family, her music, her teaching and the enduring friendships she had made throughout the years. One of her greatest joys was the precious time she spent with her grandson Chace Daniel in their eight years.

Her funeral will be held on Wednesday April 16, 2014 from the W. RAYMOND WATSON FUNERAL HOME, 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside at 8:15 am with a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Luke Church, Washington Road, Barrington at 9:30 am. Burial will follow in Forest Chapel Cemetery, Nayatt Road, Barrington. Calling hours are Tuesday 5-8 pm. Flowers are respectfully omitted. Contributions in Jane’s memory to The Ocean State Montessori School, 100 Grove Avenue, P.O. Box 14423, East Providence, RI, 02914 would be deeply appreciated.

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