My Weekend: I couldn't believe that such a big and exciting international choral festival was happening in the same city I just  moved to

Michela de Tin is administrator of Cork International Choral Festival, which gets underway on April 28.
My Weekend: I couldn't believe that such a big and exciting international choral festival was happening in the same city I just  moved to

Michela de Tin is Administrator of Cork International Choral Festival, which gets underway on April 28.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I was born in Udine, a lovely city in the North-East of Italy, home to the Udinese football team, great wine, and some spectacular natural sites. The area is still an underrated tourist destination in the country, and I recommend a trip there as soon as travel is allowed again!

I grew up immersed in choral music. My father, a choral conductor and organist, used to drag me to all sorts of choral concerts as a child.

Although the first years I slept through most of the performances (as I said, I was very young), I soon began to spontaneously offer to go with him.

It was the beginning of what I would now define as my ‘choral addiction’ (other choral singers probably know what I’m talking about!) Since then, anywhere I have lived, I joined one or more local choirs.

I moved to Cork at the end of April 2017. Happening on the May bank holiday weekend, the Cork International Choral Festival was the first festival I attended in Cork.

I still remember that I couldn’t believe that such a big and exciting international choral festival was happening in the same city that I had just moved to — and I certainly wouldn’t have believed my ears if someone had told me that a year later I would have joined the CICF team as Festi val Administrator.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

I’ll never say no to a night out on the town, but Fridays are a great time to catch up on reading some of those books that are still sitting on my shelf untouched, or movies that I’ve always wanted to see but couldn’t find the time to watch.

Lie-ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

I’m great at lie-ins and I’m great at napping — sadly I just don’t often get the chance for either anymore.

Michela Del Tin with her choral group Euphonics
Michela Del Tin with her choral group Euphonics

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

It depends on the time of the year. When you work for a festival that takes place on the May bank holiday weekend, then it’s easy to let work creep into your March and April weekends — only a broken laptop charger can grant the unusual luxury of a full weekend off at this time of the year (true story).

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break, and who would you bring with you?

After our last trip to Iceland in January 2020, with some friends, we decided that our next destination would be Cuba (to compensate for the freezing Icelandic temperatures...)

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I love getting out and walking — woods, coastline, hills or countryside, the beauty of Cork is that it takes a matter of minutes to escape the city centre.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

I cannot but endorse the Italian cliché — weekends are a great time to catch up with friends sitting around a home-cooked meal and sipping on some red wine!

Do you get to indulge any hobbies; even as a spectator?

I’m getting repetitive here, but choral singing is no doubt my main hobby.

Despite the pandemic, I still rehearse online weekly with two choirs, and I try to attend as many vocal/singing workshops as possible.

Michela de Tin, from Italy, who is living in Cork since 2017.
Michela de Tin, from Italy, who is living in Cork since 2017.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

I like having friends over for dinner and my signature dish is a traditional north-eastern Italian dish called ‘frico’.

It is a cake of heated cheese and potatoes (Fun fact: the winner of the fourth season of Masterchef US prepared it at the semi-finals of the show!)

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

In normal times, our festival team would be regular patrons of Perry Street Market Cafe. It’s just a short stroll from the Civic Trust House where the Cork International Choral Festival is based.

It’d be our regular place for coffee meetings, or simply enjoy a delicious breakfast!

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

(When I say this to people, I often get looks of disbelief, understandably). Before the pandemic, my Sunday nights used to be on the bus from Dublin to Cork, as on Sundays I would usually have my choir practice with Euphonics, a great Dublin-based a cappella group that I’ve been singing with since their start in 2018.

Michela with her choral group Euphonics.
Michela with her choral group Euphonics.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

I’m happy to delegate the decision to my partner and not ask what time that’ll be — in this case, ignorance is bliss.

More about the Cork International Choral Festival

The festival takes place online this year from April 28 to May 2 and will feature 82 choirs from all over the world.

For the full programme of competitions, workshops, and events and tickets to the festival’s four specially curated gala concerts see corkchoral.ie.

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