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Me and my health: Singer Doreen Curran discusses her lifestyle


By Helen Carson

Northern Ireland Opera mezzo soprano Doreen Curran lives in Londonderry with her two sons Cillian (8) and Sean (9).

Q: Do you take regular exercise - and if so what?

A: I work out at least three times a week which is a mix of cardio and resistance work. I use kettlebells for strength and conditioning but don't lift too many weights, certainly never above my head which was advice I was given by an opera colleague in London. I have also just discovered yogalates (a combination of yoga and Pilates) - it's wonderful and I feel so relaxed at the end of the class.

Q: What's the worst illness you've had?

A: When I was pregnant with my two boys I was very ill and was hospitalised for three months and put on a drip with my first son as I couldn't keep anything down. The sickness continued throughout both my pregnancies - I was so ill, it was horrendous. I was working too because I had to. Lucozade was the only thing I could take.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Breakfast is porridge which I also make for the boys followed by fruit - whatever is around, oranges, apples, grapes. Since I started working at the Grand Opera House in Belfast I have been eating lunch at Boojum everyday - it's so good and fills me up until dinnertime. I always get a burrito bowl with Mexian rice, chicken, roast vegetables and sweetcorn which is pretty healthy.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Chocolate and coffee. There are still 15 chocolate Easter eggs at my house... and we ate two yesterday. I also need a skinny latte to start the day. I will have another one later today so that's not too bad.

Q: Do you drink and/or smoke - if so, how much?

A: I don't smoke but we had a company night out on Friday and I had gin which I hadn't had in ages and it was lovely. I don't drink a great deal but I do enjoy the odd glass of white wine at home.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: Zinc and vitamin C to bolster my immune as I'm commuting to Belfast from Derry everyday now for work. I take the boys to school in the morning then mostly take the bus.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: Going to Donegal and spending time on the beach with my boys or going to the cinema. Cillian and I went to see Sing (left) this week. He chose that movie as he said 'that's what you do mummy'.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Usually well, but my youngest boy is coming into my bed at the minute. He brings all his teddies in with him so by the time he does that I'm awake and he's nodded off. The boys are in bed by 8.30pm and I will read a book or watch TV until about 10pm. I'm up at 6.45am to do the school run and get ready for work.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: I think more about my children should anything happen to me, but I don't worry about getting old - it's going to happen whatever my attitude to it is.

Q: What it your go-to product or habit that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: Exercise and singing - my husband and I split up just over two years ago and it was a difficult time. I don't think I would've coped so well through those years without singing because it transports you to another world. It is an escape.

  • Doreen plays one of the lead roles in the Opera Northern Ireland, with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, production of Handel's Radamisto at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, on Sunday, May 14, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £11.75-£31.75 from

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