Opera is not “all horns, plaits and heaving bosoms”, says singer Sharon Carty, who will appear with the Irish Chamber Orchestra on December 13 at St Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick, and in Monkstown Parish Church, Dublin on December 14.
“We’re really lucky in Ireland to have an orchestra of the calibre of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. I’ve seen them in Freiburg and Heidelburg with the top people in the world and get standing ovations,” says the University of Limerick (UL) alumna.
“The fact they are based outside Dublin is an astonishing thing. If you are from Limerick and you’ve never heard been to see them, put that on the bucket list.”
“The concert on December 13th is a really beautiful programme of baroque opera arias. It also includes a modern piece Samuel Barber Adagio for strings. Everyone knows it. The programme is a nice mix, not heavy and easy accessible. It’s a good starting point for someone who wants to get more into Opera,” she added.
As an artistic partner with the Irish National Opera, Sharon is eager for us all to embrace opera.
“Saying that you don’t like opera is saying that you don’t like music. It’s been around for 500 hundred years and there’s a type of opera to suit everyone. Give it a go,” she explains.
Opera wasn’t Sharon’s first love, as the singer grew up happier “playing football with the boys”.
She praises Mount Sackville Secondary School in Chapelizod where one teacher saw the potential in her singing voice and nurtured her.
Her love of sport led her to UL in 1998 to study Physical Education and English: “Coming to Limerick and UL, I loved it, but I concentrated on getting my degree. I felt something was missing – it was music.”
Having graduated, Sharon decided to re-embrace music and studied music teaching and singing performance at Royal Irish Academy of Music. With a Degree in P.E. and English and a Diploma in music teaching, she landed a teaching role at her old school back in Chapelizod.
With school-level German, during holidays, Sharon went to summer school in Salzburg and Vienna to indulge her singing hobby.
“Two years into teaching, a little voice was whispering in my ear that this wasn’t what I wanted to do long term,” Sharon said.
She decided to audition for a two-year postgraduate course in singing in Vienna.
“In hindsight it may have been a stupid thing to do as I had to give up my job before the audition.”
After her studies she entered into a three-week intensive academy for young professional singers, where she came third in a competition. This led to the singers first big break as the director of the Frankfurt opera was in the audience.
“That course led to everything for the next five years” the singer explained.
In February 2019, she will reprise her acclaimed performance in the lead role in Orfeo ed Euridice by C.W. Gluck on nationwide tour that comes to Ennis Glór Theatre.
Sharon Carty can be found at www.sharononcarty.com
Tickets to see Sharon with the Irish Chamber Orchestra can be found here
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