Saturday 21 April 2018

My cultural life: Soprano Cara O'Sullivan

Soprano Cara O'Sullivan
Soprano Cara O'Sullivan
The Shawshank Redemption
Composer Richard Strauss
Allison Janney in The West Wing

Soprano Cara O'Sullivan is an instinctive performer with a remarkably full voice, exciting and dramatic, but she performs with great sensitivity. She was born and raised in Cork and although her career takes her all over the world, Cork is home. She also loves to spend time in Ardmore in Co Waterford and has one grown-up daughter. She will perform at the National Concert Hall with the Vanburgh String Quartet today; at the Messiah Curraheen Church, with the East Cork Choral Society on November 27; at the National Concert Hall with the Culwick Choral Society on December 5, and in Wicklow on December 11 with the Wicklow Male Voice Choir.

Film: The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

My favourite Movie is The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. I have seen the film many times but I will never forget hearing Mozart's Letter Duet from The Marriage of Figaro and the context of Tim Robbins playing the Duet, it was electrifying the first time and still has a big effect on me.

Design: Waterford Wood

I have a lovely table and four chairs designed and made by Waterford Wood in Ardmore Co. Waterford. I have them in my home for 12 years and they are functional yet lovely to look at in their simplicity. Despite the fact that the table only seats four people I can't move it, it weighs a ton!

TV: The West Wing

Allison Janney in The West Wing

I confess I get bored watching the telly at times! One of my all-time favourite series was The West Wing. The episode that stands out in my mind is called Isaac and Ishmael. It was created a few weeks after the 9/11 attack in America - and Allison Janney and Martin Sheen addressed issues facing us all as a result of terrorism. They were very uncertain times and the producers created a riveting episode that spoke volumes about the vulnerability of us all. My other favourite tv is anything with Billy Connolly. I just hope he decides to keep his clothes on when he is touring around on his motorbike. I catch a cold looking at him in the nip!!!

Composer: Richard Strauss

Composer Richard Strauss

My favourite piece of music is Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs. I thoroughly enjoyed singing them for the first time with The Hibernian Orchestra in 2015. Believe it or not, I have the score since 1989, but my voice wasn't ready for them at that time! I have also enjoyed collaborating with Michael Joyce on piano and he told me about a song, Malven, which is in fact a fifth Last Song but Strauss passed away and it was completed posthumously.

Book: Good Morning Mr Mandela

I purchased a book in O.R. Tambo International Airport on my way home from South Africa, it's called Good Morning, Mr Mandela, written by Zelda la Grange. It's a fascinating read and very insightful. Ms la Grange started out as a clerk typist and in time became the personal assistant and most trusted aide of Nelson Mandela. She devoted her life to him.

Cara will perform on Thursday January 26 in the National Concert Hall: An Evening with Cara O'Sullivan.

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