My name is Rachel Croash and I am an opera singer from Dublin. Growing up I always loved music and singing in choirs, but never would have imagined a career in opera! It wasn’t until my early 20s that I saw my first opera, Puccini’s— from that moment on I was hooked! I sobbed as poor Mimi said her final goodbyes to her beloved Rodolfo.
I was reminded of that moment as we rehearsed ourfor our inaugural performance for Cork Opera House’s Cara O’Sullivan associate artists programme.
After the last year and a half of lockdowns, a night out with friends for some beautiful food and drinks sounds like a dream.
I don’t naturally wake up at the crack of dawn, but I’m definitely more productive and alert in the morning time so I force myself to get up early and get the day off to a productive start. Thank God for coffee!
My schedule varies completely from week to week but, when I can, I try and pencil in a lie in on Sunday mornings.
It’s so important to take time to rest and recharge, especially now that things are reopening and our lives are getting busy again.
Definitely, often I have rehearsals, shows or practise and preparation to be done at weekends. This can be one of the downsides to the business as sometimes you have to miss important family occasions. Thankfully, my friends and family are extremely supportive and understanding.
My sister and her partner live in London with my gorgeous little two-and-a-half-year-old nephew, so that will definitely be my first post-lockdown trip. No other destination could possibly compare to the idea of giving my little nephew a hug in real life again.
Some of my favourites are the Glendalough Spinc trail, Bray to Greystones cliff walk and Howth Head. I think we’ve all grown to appreciate even more what our beautiful country has to offer.
I’ve gotten really into yoga and running this past while. It’s been nice having this time to explore new hobbies and I’ll definitely be keeping them up.
I definitely wouldn’t brag about my cooking skills. I’ll happily volunteer to do the washing up instead.
Whenever I tell someone from Cork that I’m vegetarian, they say I HAVE to go to Cafe Paradiso, so I’m really looking forward to checking it out while I’m here this month.
Once I get myself organised for the week ahead, I like to completely switch off and have a chill evening watching Netflix and early to bed —I’m clearly super boring!
This week it is set for 6.30am so I can get in a short work before getting to the Opera House to warm up for rehearsal. It’s going to be a busy month with three wonderful operas back to back, so keeping a healthy routine is key right now.
This summer, Cork Opera House launched its Cara O’Sullivan associate artist programme with a series of outdoor operas inspired by the much-missed soprano. The programme will celebrate and promote four opera singers, providing opportunities for them to perform for Cork audiences throughout 2021.
The newly appointed associate artists are sopranos Rachel Croash and Emma Nash, tenor Gavan Ring and baritone Rory Musgrave. During July they will perform Puccini’s, Verdi’s , and Mozart’s .
The project is the brainchild of Cork Opera House chief executive Eibhlín Gleeson, in collaboration with directors John O’ Brien and Conor Hanratty.
“This is a very special moment for Cork Opera House for two reasons,” says Ms Gleeson.
“Primarily, we are taking this moment to celebrate the enormous contribution made by Cara O’Sullivan to opera and to our region.
“In addition, this is an opportunity for Cork Opera House to provide the people of our beloved city with operatic repertoire at this very strange and unusual time for the arts,” she says.
“The programme has been created in Cara’s memory and is designed to provide a platform to singers in her name, creating employment and continuing the incredible tradition of supporting and encouraging operatic talent in our community,” Ms Gleeson explains.
“With this programme, we celebrate and remember Cara’s enormous generosity and the support and kindness she showed to other singers.
“Our four chosen associate artists are among Ireland’s brightest, established opera singers and we are privileged to welcome them to this programme and our outdoor series.”
The socially distanced live shows are set to take place at Emmet Place, St Anne’s Park, Cork City Gaol and St Mary’s Dominican Church. Private performances for the residents and staff of Marymount University Hospital & Hospice are also planned.
The performances will be free, but limited in capacity. Those scheduled at Marymount Hospice will be available only to residents of the services for older people and specialist palliative care service.
, Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 July (City Goal and Emmet Place)
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July (St Mary’s Dominican Church and Emmet Place)
- Visit www.corkoperahouse.ie