Speaking today, Chair of the Arts Council Professor Kevin Rafter said: “Anyone who was fortunate enough to see Cara perform in opera, in concert or in more intimate recital knows that she was a remarkable and special talent. Her ability to hold audiences spellbound both at home and abroad was rooted in a rare marriage of unaffected, large-hearted personal warmth with a deep vocal artistry that made her one of our greatest operatic singers.
She was blessed with a great dramatic voice and natural musicality and developed both with impressive vocal technique and a consummate, trademark artistic professionalism. Allied to her warm, unaffected, joyful personality, she was a much-loved and greatly admired colleague for a great many singers and musicians. She will be sorely missed throughout Ireland and especially in her native Cork.
With her tragic loss, our thoughts and sympathies are with Cara’s daughter Christine, her wider family and her many friends”.
Born in 1962 Cara O’Sullivan first came to national prominence as the winner of the RTÉ Young Musician of the Future competition in 1990 and began to build a glittering professional career thereafter. Her first major operatic role was with Welsh National Opera in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1996 and she went on to grace operatic and concert stages in London, Paris , Barcelona, Sydney and other major international centres while always remaining based in Ireland, performing as much as possible to audiences throughout the country, with whom she had a special affinity.
In addition to her extensive performing career, she was a great role-model and inspirational mentor to many young singers, and an active supporter of a number of charities. She made a particular contribution to the artistic and civic life of her native Cork, and was honoured with the City’s first civic cultural award, shortly after her performing career was tragically cut short by illness in 2018.
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