OnMyRadar

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - DONALD CLARKE - SHILPAGANA­TRA

Opera singer Fin­bar Wright

Cur­rent­favourite­book

Lucinda Ri­ley, who was born in North­ern Ire­land, started a se­ries of books called Seven

Sis­ters, about seven dif­fer­ent girls adopted by a su­per-wealthy man. Now she’s writ­ing a book about each of the sis­ters. I’m read­ing the

Pearl Sis­ter at the mo­ment. It’s not like chick lit, it’s a very-well writ­ten book. It’s also his­tor­i­cal and, with­out giv­ing too much away, it gives you a flavour of dif­fer­ent places in the world. All the books are to­tally dif­fer­ent, and it’s the life story of each of the sis­ters af­ter the adop­tive fa­ther dies. I’d rec­om­mend read­ing it be­fore it be­comes a TV se­ries; she’s in con­ver­sa­tion with peo­ple in Hol­ly­wood about turn­ing it into a show.

Restau­rant

Last Satur­day night my wife and I de­cided to treat our­selves at the Lady He­len Restau­rant in Mount Juliet, Kilkenny, for our 28th wed­ding an­niver­sary. It not only feeds your hunger but it feeds your senses as well, be­cause it’s a beau­ti­ful pe­riod prop­erty that’s a plea­sure to visit. The restau­rant didn’t fall into the Miche­lin-star trap of not feed­ing you so that you head to the chip­per af­ter­wards. An­gela had veni­son as the main course, which was beau­ti­fully cooked, and I had tur­bot, which was a treat.

Co­me­dian

Be­ing a mu­si­cian, it’s an ob­vi­ous thing to like a mu­si­cal co­me­dian, but Bill Bai­ley is just so clever. A lot of co­me­di­ans tend to come across as smart alecs but he’s also unas­sum­ing. To use mu­sic as part of the com­edy act gives it ex­tra trac­tion; it’s much bet­ter than lis­ten­ing to a guy de­liver anec­dotes and he’s a re­ally good mu­si­cian. If peo­ple want to dip in to his work, one of the shows called Bewil­der­ness is a good place to start, and it’s on YouTube.

Artist/de­signer

I’ve long been a fan of Jim Car­rey. I know he got bad press when his Ir­ish girl­friend died, but around that time he took up paint­ing, and he’s in­cred­i­bly clever at it. He’s big news now in Amer­ica be­cause of his satir­i­cal car­toons. His tar­get at the mo­ment is Don­ald Trump and these su­per pic­tures are so valu­able; they say more with one draw­ing that you could with 10 pages of text.

City

One of the places that im­pressed me most was Vi­enna. It’s full of his­tory and mu­sic, es­pe­cially be­cause of Mozart. And you’ve the Span­ish Rid­ing School right in the mid­dle of the city, where you can go and see the horses in their sta­bles or do­ing rou­tines, which I en­joyed be­cause I love horses. Just out­side the city you have the Schön­brunn Palace. It’s a won­der­ful city for food, and it’s very well con­tained; there’s not an aw­ful lot of walk­ing around to sight­see.

Al­bum

At the mo­ment I’m en­joy­ing Live in Dublin by Leonard Co­hen. It’s not be­cause it was recorded in Ire­land though. He’s at his best on it – it’s his de­liv­ery, and his voice is re­laxed on it. It’s beau­ti­fully recorded and the au­di­ence are very much part of it; it feels like a con­cert rather than a live record­ing. He has lots of other live al­bums, but on this, the au­di­ence just clicked for him and it’s ob­vi­ous he’s en­joy­ing the in­ter­ac­tion. He fin­ishes with Save the Last Dance for Me, and the au­di­ence sing half of it. It’s an ex­cit­ing al­bum.

Gad­get

The Ap­ple Watch has be­come my gad­get of the cen­tury. Short of cook­ing your break­fast, it does ev­ery­thing. You can get your emails on it, you can watch the news on it, you can walk or jog to it and you can con­trol your phone from it. You al­ways know where it is and have it with you be­cause it’s on your wrist. And it ever so gently vi­brates when it alerts you. It’s a fab­u­lous piece of equip­ment.

So­cial me­dia pro­file

I’m into na­ture and the out­doors, and there’s a crowd called the Bur­ren­beo Trust, a group of con­ser­va­tion­ists for the Bur­ren. The group up­date their Twit­ter feed [@Bur­ren­beoTrust] with in­for­ma­tion about the area, and they have the most won­der­ful events. I was up there only a few weeks ago do­ing a thing called the win­ter­age, when they take the cat­tle from lower land and up to the high pas­tures for the win­ter time as it’s more shel­tered. They put on all sorts of walks and talks, so they’re use­ful to fol­low.

TV show

Be­cause I work in the evenings, I watch tele­vi­sion only in the morn­ings and I love Ire­land AM and the morn­ing re­peat of the To­day Show on RTÉ. They re­ally keep you in touch with what’s hap­pen­ing in the coun­try and what the cur­rent think­ing is, it’s re­laxed, and they have a med­ley of top­ics.

The Ir­ish Tenors’ 20th an­niver­sary con­certs take place at the Na­tional Con­cert Hall Dublin on Jan­uary 9th, 10th and 12th, and INEC Kil­lar­ney onJan­uary13th

Bill Bai­ley is just so clever. A lot of co­me­di­ans tend to come across as smart alecs but he’s also unas­sum­ing. To use mu­sic as part of the com­edy act gives it ex­tra trac­tion; it’s much bet­ter than lis­ten­ing to a guy de­liver anec­dotes and he’s a re­ally good mu­si­cian

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