Music

Tributes paid to ‘superstar’ Cork soprano Cara O’Sullivan

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TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to the Cork opera singer Cara O’Sullivan, who died yesterday aged 59, after being diagnosed with early-onset dementia in 2018.

Cara died at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice yesterday.

The Irish National Opera artistic director Fergus Sheil led tributes to the soprano.

“The untimely passing of soprano Cara O’Sullivan has robbed Ireland of one of its greatest operatic talents. Cara possessed a voice of pure beauty. She had virtuosic skills and when she unleashed her vocal fireworks, she made time stand still.

“Cara’s voice had a liquidity and flexibility that could tackle some of the most demanding and glistening soprano repertoire. But her voice was only part of the attraction.

“Cara had a warmth to her personality that never failed to draw in audiences. She knew how to command attention, she strode onto the stage as though it were her own kingdom and she fed off the audience’s rapt responses.”

Former rugby international Donncha O’Callaghan said: “So sad to hear of the passing of Cara O’Sullivan. A beautiful voice and the kindest person.

“We will never forget the emotional energy she created before our games ‘Until you hear that bell, that final bell, stand up and fight like hell!’”

RTÉ presenter John Creedon said:

“Such a terrible loss. A rare talent, a wonderfully funny woman and a heart of gold. What we wouldn’t give for one more encore… Rest peacefully Cara.”

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Former Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor Mick Finn said: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Cork’s own international superstar, Cara O’Sullivan.

“From the main opera house in Cork to the one in Sydney, she graced every stage with charm, wit and technical brilliance. Farewell to Cork’s diva…Vissi d’Arte [I lived for my art].”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin led the political tributes to the soprano last night.

“She had a beautiful voice and the warmest personality. Cork is very proud of her legacy and I will always value our friendship. Deepest sympathy to Christine and her wider family. RIP Cara.”

Minister Simon Coveney said that the news was sad: “Cara was such a talent and such a big, warm personality, loved by so many people in Cork and Ireland. RIP.”

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