Ahead of our performances of Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem this December and February with The Choir of Kings College, Cambridge, Ailish Tynan took some time out from her busy schedule to tell us a bit about herself.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I’ve been so lucky in my career that it really is difficult to say, if I really had to choose one I would say it was singing Gretel at Covent Garden.
When are you happiest?
When I’m out walking in the park with my husband Keith, baby Daisy and dog Jack although I have to say the stop off for coffee and cake is very enjoyable too!
What is your greatest fear?
Having no access to a Champagne bottle…
What is your earliest musical memory?
Gilbert and Sullivan: HMS Pinafore. My mother brought me to see it in our local County Hall.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Not any one person but all the people who do charitable works in their own quiet way. I see them every day out helping people with special needs or visiting a house bound neighbour, these are the people I truly admire the most. Finding the time day in day out to look after other people for no self-gain.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
My dress burst open on stage in the Stockholm Royal Opera when I was singing Sophie in Rosenkavalier revealing all! My “Nanny” in the opera had to rush on stage with a shawl!
What is your most treasured possession?
My lip balm.
What would your super power be?
At the moment with a new baby it would be the ability to stay awake 24/7, that really would be super!
If you were an animal what would you be?
Definitely my dog Jack, he is spoilt rotten, he even has a memory foam mattress!
What is your most unappealing habit?
Well I’m practically perfect in every way…. maybe that is my most unappealing habit.
What is your favourite book?
At the moment it’s the River Cafe Toddler Cookbook as without it I wouldn’t know what to be feeding baby Daisy.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Wonderful friends and family; the thought of inviting geniuses for example like Mozart, that I don’t know sounds strange to me! I’d much rather invite people I know I’m definitely going to have fun with!
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I’d go back to 1993 and I wouldn’t buy that bottle of red wine for £1 in that first year of college and drink it all myself! I haven’t been able to touch red wine since and I feel like I’m missing out on one of life’s great pleasures.
How do you relax away from the concert platform?
I spend time with my family.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Well, as I have a six month old baby that occupies every second of my life at the moment I have to say that it is her. Since her arrival I have to say that everything else pales by comparison.
In a nutshell, what is your philosophy?
Live and let live and enjoy the simple things in life.
Ailish Tynan appears with Britten Sinfonia and The Choir of King’s College Cambridge at the Barbican on Saturday 2 December 2017 and at Saffron Hall on Friday 16 February 2018 in Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem. The concert also features Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. For more info and to book tickets click here.
A recording of both Vaughan Wiliams’ Dona nobis pacem and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms is released by The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge on Friday 2 December. More details here