Meet Cork-born mezzo-soprano, Michelle O'Brien

Michelle O’Brien, mezzo-soprano, was born and raised under the magic of the Shandon bells in Cork (hence her nickname ‘Shellybelles’).

Meet Cork-born mezzo-soprano, Michelle O'Brien

She forms part of the bill for a fundraising concert at the Freemasons’ Hall in Cork on Saturday where proceeds will go to the Cork International Choral Festival, Advocates for Victims of Homicide and Edel House.

To see this post on Facebook, click here.

Best recent book you’ve read:

John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Best recent film:

La La Land. I absolutely loved this musical film — you are just drawn into the whole magic of the story through music and dance.

Best recent show you’ve seen:

You can’t beat a concert with our very own sopranos Cara O’Sullivan & Majella Cullagh, which was recently held in the Everyman Palace.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

Gregory Porter — Smile.

First ever piece of music that really moved you:

Every song from the Sound of Music and Wizard of  Oz, it still resonates with me today.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

I have to give it to the original JLo, aka Johnny Logan, in Vicar  Street,September just gone. He rocked.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

When I have the time and I am looking for a bit of chewing gum for the brain maybe a bit of Corrie. Even though a good bud of mine Catherine ‘High Hair’ has a theory soaps were only created for crowd control between 7- 9pm. I enjoy Brendan O’Connor’s programme The Cutting Edge and other current affairs


Radio and/or podcasts:

Current affairs radio programmes on RTÉ 1 and Newstalk. BBC Desert Island Discs podcast.

You’re curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

Maria Callas (pictured  below),Michael Jackson and Elvis.

Your best celebrity encounter:

Bumping into Danny from the Script by chance in the Clarion Hotel, Cork — totally star struck!

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when and why?

I am drawn to the roaring 20s in New York, having a fashionable flapper wardrobe, dancing the Charleston, going to all the prohibitions parties in hidden speakeasies.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

Too many to mention here but I come from a very long line of strong matriarchs.

Unsung hero — individual, organisation or group you think don’t get the profile/ praise they deserve:

My adored Nan who sadly passed away last Christmas. She was 93½ years old. She was definitely an unsung hero. She was extremely progressive for her years and the wisest woman I knew, and is on my shoulder every day.

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree?

Firstly I would legalise medicinal cannabis to support those who are suffering unnecessary pain.

Secondly, I would champion mental health awareness, and thirdly I would enhance resources to support people with dementia and their carers.

More in this section

Send a special message, and a
festive Irish Examiner eCard, to the people you love this Christmas. 

Send Here

In the Kitchen with

ieFoodLogo   Video Series

Join Darina Allen for Stir It Up Sunday and cook along with her as she makes her mother’s plum pudding recipe. She also makes Mrs Hanrahan’s sauce - a recipe that is so delicious that Darina says people ask for more plum pudding just so they can have more sauce!

Join Darina Allen as she makes her mother's plum pudding with Mrs Hanrahan's sauce.

Watch Here
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up