Soprano Eimear Quinn returns for her annual festive Winter Concert at Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin on Friday 17th December.

It's twenty-five years (!) since Eimear won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1996 with The Voice.

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Last year, she made a return to triumphant return to recording with the her epic Celtic classical crossover album Ériu, recorded with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

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We asked Eimear for her choice cultural picks...

FILM

I recently rewatched all the Jane Austin adaptations that I could find, as my 12 year daughter has just discovered the books. I'd forgotten just how brilliant the Ang Lee version of Sense and Sensibility is. Emma Thompson's screenplay really deserved that Oscar.

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MUSIC

For the season that's in it, I have The Sixteen singing Poulenc's Four Motets for Christmas time (Quatre Motets Pour le Temps de Noël) on repeat on Spotify. It's the only thing that's keeping me semi-sane in this world of shifting sands.

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BOOK

In the middle of Petite by Sarah Gysler, it's tough & honest, but ultimately uplifting.

THEATRE

During this time, I've thought back so often of plays that I've enjoyed. The most amazing piece of theatre that I ever experienced was Vanessa Redgrave in Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, first at the Gaiety, and then I followed it to the National Theatre in London. It's one of those things that just stayed with me on a cellular level.

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TV

I guess I'm looking forward to the reprise of SATC (And Just Like That), but part of me is nervous that I'll hate it!

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GIG

I took my girls to a cello concert in our local church a couple of weeks ago here in Geneva (Gerard Le Clerc playing Bach's Cello Suites) and it was the first live concert that I'd been to in ages. It felt good! I also felt the urgent need to make music myself - I'm missing it so much. I feel lucky to have a couple of live concerts before Christmas. I know that it's been a while, but my feeling is that we're going to have to navigate our way through this, and it's better to get back to things carefully if we can. I'm hoping to see as many people as possible at my upcoming concerts.

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ART

I had the pleasure of meeting the artist Skye Jefferys during her time in Switzerland, and I'm now enjoying seeing her new work online since she returned to Australia. I am so inspired by the work of my contemporaries during this time. Each new creation I see by the artists & musicians around me lifts me up and inspires me to keep going.

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RADIO

I've a bit of a daily radio routine at the moment. Early in the morning, I switch on Morning Ireland to get up to speed. Then I turn over to Marty on Lyric, who is better than any vitamin or tonic. Later in the day, I'll tune in to Classic FM to hear their Hall of Fame works, sometimes I'm lucky enough to hear my own composition In Paradisum, as it was voted in by the listeners earlier this year.

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TECH

My music software (Logic PRO & Sibelius) is a bigger lifeline than ever right now!

THE NEXT BIG THING...

I'm finding the new work by composer Sarah Class really meaningful and exciting. As a longtime friend and collaborator, I have always admired her work, but she has taken a new direction, and is about to release her second album (Resonate) of the pandemic - what an inspiration! She is composer-ambassador for The World Land Trust, and her activism is both gentle and impactful, creating space to consider the problems we collectively face. I love how art and activism can be fused sympathetically.

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Eimear Quinn performs her annual festive Winter concert at the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin on Friday 17th December - find out more here.