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All the best: Singer Carolyn Dobbins' favourite things

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Fine voice: Carolyn Dobbin is in Salome at Belfast’s Grand Opera House

Fine voice: Carolyn Dobbin is in Salome at Belfast’s Grand Opera House

Fine voice: Carolyn Dobbin is in Salome at Belfast’s Grand Opera House

The mezzo-soprano (38) is originally from Carrickfergus, and now lives in London with her husband Stephen. She will be appearing in NI Opera’s Salome at the Grand Opera House in Belfast this weekend.

My best moment

There was a moment in 2010 when I was singing with the Welsh National Opera and I realised it was the same production I had seen in the Grand Opera House 10 years before. That opera made me want to become a full-time singer and it was wonderful to find myself performing in it.

There is also the time I met my husband. It was 12 years ago when I was studying music at the Royal Scottish Academy and he was my neighbour. I literally bumped into him in the hallway.

My best song

I tend to love whatever opera or production I’m involved with at a particular time, but there’s also a Berlin band called Super700 and they have a song called Live Your Life With Grace, which my husband always plays when he’s cooking.

My best way to relax

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That has to be a Hendrick’s gin and tonic — with a slice of lime, of course.

My best job

I’ve had some wonderful opportunities in my career but I haven’t always been a singer. Before I went full-time I was an art teacher, which was something I really enjoyed.

My best advice

You’re only here on this planet once and you don’t know how long you’ve got so you had better make the most of it — after all what have you got to lose? A musician friend of mine gave that to me when I was trying to make the decision to follow singing as a career. He just told me to go and be a singer.

My best gift

It’s the simplest thing, but it’s a mobile phone charger that my husband bought me. I’m always running out of charge on my phone — I’m famous for it  — so it’s the handiest thing for someone like me.

My best achievement

Having the nerve to become a full-time singer. I’ve sung in fantastic venues like Buckingham Palace, the Albert Hall and the Barbican, and worked everywhere from Wales to Switzerland.

My best buy

Our flat in London. My husband and I bought it as property prices sank and we certainly wouldn’t be able to afford it now.

My best film

I loved the Hunger Games, but I think this is because I was surprised that I enjoyed it than anything else. I’ve seen the first two now so I’m just waiting for the chance to see the third.

My best book

It’s called The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, and it’s about the Devil visiting the Soviet Union. I read it years ago and couldn’t put it down. I do like to read but it’s usually things connected to whatever opera I’m taking part in, such as the associated play or composer’s biography.

  • Carolyn Dobbin will be appearing in the Northern Ireland Opera production of Salome at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, this Friday, at 8pm, and Sunday, at 2pm. For booking and ticket details, visit www.goh.co.uk

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