Arts Q&A: Soprano Cara on The Sting, Munster rugby & Schubert

Brian Campbell puts artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week: Cork coloratura soprano Cara O'Sullivan

Cork soprano Cara O'Sullivan is heading to Belfast and Derry

1. When did you think about singing as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I was brought to St Francis Church, Liberty Street, Cork at a very young age. My parents sang in the choir and I learned how to sight-read music from the conductor Mrs Maura O'Shea. She encouraged us all to sing along with the parents. I started technical training at 17 but didn't think about a career in music until my late 20s when I won the RTE Musician of the Future. It was a great platform and helped to establish my career.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Dame Janet Baker singing Mahler. And the Dublin Choral Scholars performing Handel's Messiah.

3. The record you’d take to a desert island?

Santana and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Schubert.

4. And the book?

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange.

5. Top three films?

The Shawshank Redemption, Trading Places, The Sting.

6. Favourite author?

Philippa Gregory.

7. Sports you most enjoy and top teams?

Rugby – Munster; hurling – Cork; and golf, especially The Ryder Cup

8. Ideal holiday destination?

Ardmore, Co Waterford.

9. Pet hate?

Trying to drive at night with badly focused headlights blinding me.

10. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Chicken and pasta bake.

Dessert? Cashel Blue Cheese.

Drink? Guinness.

11. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

Peter Walsh, my partner of five years.

12. Is there a God?

Yes, I believe there is.

:: Cara O’Sullivan performs in Your Favourite New Year Viennese Classics with the Ulster Orchestra at the Ulster Hall in Belfast tomorrow and Saturday at 7.45pm and at the Millennium Forum in Derry on Sunday at 7.30pm (


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