Corona Serenades: Q&A with Anne Marie Sheridan, soprano (Ireland)

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Meet Anne Marie Sheridan, soprano (Ireland), singer for Corona Serenades

A graduate of  the Dublin Conservatory of Music and the Wales International Academy of Voice, Anne Marie has sung First Mother in Dead Man Walking​ and the Handmaiden in Turandot​ (Opera Ireland), Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte ​(Longborough Opera Festival on tour), Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito (Giornata Opera), Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Co-Opera Co.), Angelica in Suor Angelica (Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and Zezere Arts Festival), Madame Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi​ (St. Paul’s Summertime Opera), Mimi in La Bohème (Verdandi Camerata), Frau Fluth in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Lyric Opera Studio Weimar) and Violetta in La Traviata ​(Mediterranean Opera Festival). As a concert singer, Anne Marie has appeared in Dvorak’s Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Tippett’s Five Spirituals from A Child of our Time. Recital repertoire includes Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder, Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder and Mahler’s Rückert Lieder​. She was a prizewinner at the Ballymena Feisceoil and the Feis Ceoil and a semi-finalist in the Elizabeth Connell Prize for Dramatic Sopranos and the Concours International de Belcanto Vincenzo Bellini. CD credits include The Silver Hound: Songs by Betty Roe.

How has the crisis affected you?

All of my performances have been postponed and just like all other theatres, the theatre company I am a member of will not be able to operate until much later in the year. We have had to cancel the rest of our season and are unsure whether the venues in which we usually perform will survive. It is a very uncertain time for the arts community and quite difficult to plan ahead. Some people I know have gotten the virus, but despite having quite severe cases, they are recovering, albeit slowly. All of my family are back in Ireland and as my Dad is quite old it is a worry that he might get ill. I have tried to use this time as a sort of reset button. I found it quite difficult at the beginning, as I felt that I should be more productive. But this global pandemic has been frightening and like everyone, I have good and bad days. I have learned to be kinder to myself and accept that I can only do so much. I have more time to try some recipes I’ve always wanted to and I’m enjoying the simple things in life a little more.

What are your five favourite operas?

La Traviata. Every time I hear something by Verdi, I am astounded at his ability to create so many beautiful and evocative melodies. From the first note of La Traviata we are brought on a fantastic musical and emotional journey. Verdi’s ability to paint the characters’ inner turmoil while weaving such gorgeous line and harmony put this is in my top five. One of my favourite recordings is with Renata Scotto and Alfredo Kraus. Of course, Maria Callas as Violetta is one of those legendary performances.

Eugene Onegin. I adore Russian music and this opera really shows the harmonically rich Russian soul at its best. I have seen a few productions and I am in love from the very first chord. One of my favourite recordings has the late Dmitri Hvorostivsky in the title role.

Carmen. The concept of freedom is as important today as it was when Carmen was composed. Carmen’s ability to be free and be herself, despite any outside judgement, is something I admire hugely. We all only have one life, and she chooses to live it without being bound to anyone or to the stereotypical ideas of who she should be. The sensual melodies, which are brilliantly composed to tell the story of such a feisty, liberated feminist, have really drawn me to this role. One of my favourite productions is with Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna at the Metropolitan Opera. Garanča really carries the essence of the role and the chemistry between her and Don Jose is palpable! Definitely recommended!

Cavalleria Rusticana. I fell in love with Sicily a few years ago and this opera reminds me of the warmth and beauty of the island. The music is so dramatic and emotional that I find it impossible not to be moved, especially by the time we reach the Intermezzo.

Verdi’s Requiem. Not strictly an opera, but this is one of my favourite compositions. There is a wonderful recording on YouTube from La Scala with Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossotto, Luciano Pavarotti and Nicolai Ghiaurov with Herbert von Karajan conducting.

What movies, television shows, music and books do you recommend?

Television: Velvet, La Casa de Papel, Cable Girls, Zone Blanche, Frasier.

Music: Anything by Beethoven, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Buena Vista Social Club, Ella Fitzgerald.

Books: Flowers for Algernon, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Silk Road, 1984.

Why did you join CORONA Serenades?

To bring some happiness and music to people during this difficult and stressful time.





This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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