As life has changed dramatically for us all over the past few weeks and inspired by a recent production of Madame Butterfly at the ENO (now sadly closed), we thought we’d touch on some things close to Deirdre’s heart, namely opera and the charity Deirdre supports with her annual productions.
The arts and culture has taken a body blow during this crisis and we look forward to a time soon when theatre’s and galleries open their doors again.
Wowed by the beauty of the music, performances and sublime staging by the late film director Anthony Minghella, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore opera, something close to Deirdre’s heart and the hugely important charity which benefits from Deirdre’s annual opera at her home.
Deirdre has always been a talented singer, beginning to sing solos in church at the age of 7. She was also in a junior choir, becoming leader at 17. It was at this time Deirdre began voice training.
For the most part Deirdre has sung choral music in semi-professional choirs but during the last 10 years she has studied opera with a coach and hosts an annual charity opera event at her home where she sings one piece with the professional performers.
She still sings solos occasionally at other charity functions and loves many different operas but has particular favourite arias.
A favourite opera director is Canadian Robert Carsen whose modern concepts and modern sets really appeal.
The charity Deirdre and her husband James support with their opera evening is CURE EB of which she is a patron. The charity raises vital funds to aid research into Epidermolysis Bullosa, a little known, genetic skin blistering condition that affects over 500,000 people around the world.
The charity was established by Sharmila and James Collins for their daughter Sohana who was born with this dreadful condition where the skin blisters internally as well as externally and who has not been out of pain since the day she was born 19 years ago.
The care involved is hard to imagine and children with this condition rarely live beyond 20 however this charity is steaming ahead with major breakthroughs in cell research and we are all praying hard for Sohana and all other children who suffer.
Click here to donate to this hugely worthwhile research.
Finally we can’t mention Madame Butterfly without linking to Deirdre’s Butterfly rug collection – these vibrant hand knotted carpets feature designs inspired by the patterns on Butterfly and moth wings and includes designs such as BORBOLETA, FARFALLA, PALOMA, PSYCHE and LEPKE