I got to speak with one of Kerry’s leading ladies this month about all things singing! This lady has been an inspiration to many vocalists in Kerry through performing and teaching and her determination and positivity in these strange times for all those in the arts is proving she is a force to be reckoned with.
How has lockdown been? What changes have you had to adjust to performance wise?
What did you do during lockdown?
Lockdown has been really positive for me performance wise! I have been performing on line throughout the whole summer. Performing has always been my passion but Live-streaming was something I never did as I Love performing Live.
My U.K. Tour started in February and I did two dates .. St Alphege Church, Solihull , Birmingham, and Unitarian Church, Brighton. Of course when Covid came along in March everything changed…my performance dates in Leeds, Glastonbury, Oxford,London and Dublin were all postponed. However, I was invited to do a Lunchtime Recital by Brighton Unitarian Church and it went so well I decided to ‘ go for it’ and spread my wings with my Live-streams. I ended up performing in New York, Boston, Arizona, Seattle, London and Birmingham… my “ Virtual World Tour” .. all from my kitchen! I did two nights for Charity also…. one for Recovery Haven, Tralee and the other was for the Air Ambulance.
The reaction was amazing… I have been invited to go to the USA and U.K. and do Live performances when everything returns to normal!
Describe to those who might not have seen you yet what your sound is, what songs can they expect in a performance?
I am a Soprano…it’s a Voice which can hit the high notes! I am Classically Trained but I love to mix up genres! I love to sing anything from John Denver to Mozart , Musicals to the timeless Danny Boy!
How did you start off is music? Who have been your biggest influences?
I started singing with Ceoltas Ceolteori Eireann… traditional, Sean nos… totally unaccompanied..you either sink or swim ! I went to CSM and studied with Robert Beare, London with Margaret Stobartt, Aidan O’ Carroll KSM and the amazing Dr Veronica Dunne DIT , Dublin.
My influences are a mix of genres and singers… Lesley Garrett (Soprano), Robert Smith (The Cure), The High Kings (Trad), Renee Fleming (Soprano), Sumi Jo (Soprano), Dionne Warwick ( R and B/pop). and loads more!
What do you hope people will appreciate about the arts industry after all this?
The Arts Industry is one of the most important and vital industries in the World ! People can’t survive without Music, performance, orchestras, Plays, Poetry etc. The first thing people did when lock down came was Download Movies, listen to CDs , watch live-streams… I sincerely hope that everyone will appreciate the Arts even more and realise that we work so hard on our craft! The work, hours of practice , tears, and finally the joy of walking out on stage to perform in front of a Full House…. nothing is more special!
I would ask people to continue to appreciate all genres and realise life would be nothing without the Arts!
What events have you coming up going towards Xmas and 2021?
I am so excited for the next few months! I have a new Song coming out in November! It’s Ave Maria (Caccini).. with a modern twist! I wanted something different especially as 2020 has been such a strange year! I hope people like it! A video Of the Song will be online and people can download the song on Spotify or Bandcamp from mid November.
My Christmas performances are:
A Live Performance booked for Thursday 3rd December 8pm in St Johns Theatre, Listowel which I am really looking forward to fingers crossed!
The following dates are Live-streams Which can be found on my Facebook Page also.
Sunday December 6th Irish Network Seattle Facebook Page 10pm
Friday December 11th Buffalo Irish Center. Facebook Page. 9pm
Friday December 18th Brighton Unitarian Church Facebook Page 1pm
Sunday December 20th Kerry Association London Facebook Page. 8 pm
If everything has settled down regarding Covid and travel etc In 2021 I will be touring in the U.K. and USA . I have already been booked for two Gala Events ..one in Ireland and one in the UK . I will also be recording an EP which will be available March/April .
Overall, I am so blessed and grateful to have had a fantastic 2020 performance wise and am very excited to see what 2021 will bring!
To follow me online / or book me for an Event
Facebook: Mary Culloty O’ Sullivan Soprano