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My Cultural Life: Paula Murrihy, mezzo-soprano

 

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Paula Murrihy

Paula Murrihy

Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel

Santa Fe opera House

Santa Fe opera House

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Paula Murrihy

Internationally acclaimed Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy performs in opera houses and concert halls across Europe and America. Paula was a member of Oper Frankfurt's acclaimed ensemble, where her numerous appearances have included Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, and Lazuli in L'Etoile. She made her role debut as Carmen to critical acclaim and is now bringing her portrayal to Dublin audiences in Carmen at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, March 22-28. bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

Movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel

 

It seems the only time I get to watch a film these days is when I'm 'trapped' on a long-haul flight. So it was a real treat last December when I discovered on a flight to Philadelphia that Aer Lingus was showing The Grand Budapest Hotel. I love comedy - not necessarily laugh-out-loud comedy, but witty, quirky comic writing. The cast is incredible, with Ralph Fiennes in particular giving a masterclass in how to play deadpan comic seriousness.

Design: Santa Fe Opera House

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Santa Fe opera House

Santa Fe opera House

Santa Fe opera House

 

This theatre is spectacular - it is state-of-the-art, looks out onto a magical mountain view and is open to the elements on three sides. Curtain up is timed with sunset. I remember one performance of The Magic Flute where the dramatic entrance of the Queen of the Night was accompanied by a perfectly timed electrical storm in the mountains behind.

Song: Galileo

Galileo, written and sung by Declan O'Rourke, is perfection.

TV: Frasier

There is nothing better than curling up with a cuppa and an episode of Frasier - it doesn't seem to date. More recently, I also adored Schitt's Creek. If you haven't seen it, watch it now on Netflix.

Book: The Alchemist

I feel very grateful to be singing for a living, to be doing what I love. I was 17 when I decided to do music full time and I remember being very scared after I had posted the CAO change-of-mind form (on the last possible day) placing music performance in the DIT as my number one choice. I had been performing from a young age with Siamsa Tire and the Kerry School of Music in Tralee, but this felt very different. The recurring theme in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is to follow your dream, to embrace the challenges. This resonates strongly with me.

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