Objects of Desire: Cara O'Sullivan
The internationally successful soprano from Cork tells Andrea Smith about her favourite purchases.
One of my most precious possessions is a string of Mikimoto pearls that my late dad Donal gave to my mum Ann for their 25th anniversary (Mikimoto pearl strand, €10,260, WeirandSon.ie) over 40 years ago. It took him nearly a year to pay for them and I inherited them. Also my partner Peter bought me a beautiful cross and chain from Victoria's Antiques for my significant birthday and I love it.
I'm always on the move so I need good luggage. Cheap luggage has fallen apart, so I don't skimp now. I love my four-wheeled Samsonite luggage (Samsonite Spinner, €115-€569, BagstoGo.ie) as it has a hard shell but is also ultra light.
When I'm not on stage, I wear Dermologica tinted moisturiser (from €41, Millies.ie) rather than heavy foundation as it's kinder to my skin. I use Estée Lauder Doublewear foundation (€36.50-€38, Debenhams.ie) on stage, because no matter how much I sweat - and I can sweat buckets under the lights - it's like Polyfilla and doesn't move.
I adore a beautiful pair of black patent platform Jimmy Choos (Rogue 110 black nappa leather and velvet shoe booties, €775, Brown Thomas) that I got recently. They're my car-to-bar shoes as they're very high but very beautiful. They were expensive, but luckily I had a milestone birthday and got some BT vouchers that I put towards them. When I'm on stage, I tend to wear kitten heels that I buy in a shop in Playa de las Américas in Tenerife, which come in every colour.
Scores can often be expensive but are a vital part of the job. I bought a Richard Strauss score of Four Last Songs in 1989, but only sang it for the first time this year with the Hibernian Orchestra. I swear the book was older than 98 per cent of the players. I usually get mine from Pro Musica in Cork, such as this score for the NCH concert of O Holy Night (€7, ProMusica.ie).
The Harvest Morn Light Benefit cereal bars from Aldi (€1.59) are really nice and are less than 70 calories each. They're made on sweeteners so are better for me than a bar of chocolate on the move, and come in lovely flavours like strawberry, apple and chocolate.
I adore spending time at my little caravan in Ardmore, Waterford, which originally belonged to my late mum. I get important down-time there when I'm physically and spiritually wrecked and it's my little oasis. I pay an annual stipend to the mobile home park, and love going for walks along the beautiful beach. The Lobster Thermidor at the White Horses restaurant (mains €25-€35, apart from lobster at €50 when available) is definitely an object of my desire.
How to get Cara's favourite things on a smaller budget
Like her almost namesake Carrie Bradshaw, Cara is mad for the Jimmy Choos. For a pair of heels with star quality and a name that's most appropriate, the Amy Huberman 'Sound of Music' peep-toe shoe in black patent leather (€100, Shoeshop.ie) will help our 5 foot 8 divine diva scale dizzying new heights.
Well every girl loves a pearl necklace, doesn't she? Cara's Mikimoto pearls are stunning, but may be out of reach for some of us. This fab triple strand pearl necklace from Newbridge Silverware's Princess Grace collection is way more affordable at €180, (NewbridgeSilverware.com).
We agree with Cara that wonky wheels and burst seams are a pain when you're travelling, especially if your underwear ends up zipping around the carousel all by itself. To save blushes, we're definitely dotty about this sturdy Constellation 'Oil Cloth' luggage set (three-piece set, €142, LittlewoodsIreland.com).
While we love a natural look, a girl has gotta have some coverage! We're fans of this skin-perfecting No7 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser (€16.50), particularly as its UVA protection helps keep pesky wrinkles at bay.
The Cara O'Sullivan Christmas Gala with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Thursday 17 December, 3.30pm and 8pm at the National Concert Hall. Tickets from €15.