Cork-Born Soprano Kim Sheehan Wins Inaugural Jane Anne Rothwell Award
Cork Midsummer Festival is delighted to announce that the soprano Kim Sheehan is the recipient of the inaugural Jane Anne Rothwell Award. The Jane Anne Rothwell Award is a prize of €5,000 awarded annually to an emerging artist – either from Cork, or based in Cork – working in any discipline, who identifies as female.
The award supports bold and innovative projects that respond to the city of Cork – whether that involves traditional arts venues, surprising site-specific locations, diverse communities, the city’s history, geography, politics, or its people – and reflects the places in which we live in an engaging and dynamic way. The winner of the award was selected by a panel consisting of, Kris Nelson, Artistic Director, LIFT and Olga Barry, Festival Director, Kilkenny Arts Festival, and Lorraine Maye, Director, Cork Midsummer Festival.
Through her application, Kim demonstrated her brilliant talent, creativity and vision for her work and proposed an ambitious project that would allow her to further develop and platform her interdisciplinary practice.
Kim’s project All That Is Sound, an audio-visual installation, will take place in a unique site-specific location as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2020. She will utilize her experience and knowledge of the voice as an opera singer and combine it with her passion for Indian chant, yoga and mindfulness to create an immersive sensory experience for audiences. Further details about the project will follow with programme announcements in 2020.
Kim Sheehan said “I’m delighted, honoured and so full of gratitude to be the recipient of the inaugural Jane Anne Rothwell Award. When I learned of the award, I read up as much as I could about Jane Anne and what an amazing woman she was. A fearless warrior, energetic, fun, loved the arts and her family. I couldn’t help but feel very connected to her. I also read that she was very good at putting people at ease in stressful situations and this is exactly what my project aims to do through the medium of voice.”
Commenting on the announcement, Lorraine Maye said “We had such an inspiring group of applicants for the award this year, across all art forms. We are so excited to give the inaugural award to Kim Sheehan, a visionary and incredibly talented artist, whose project proposal captured the spirit of both the award and the Festival perfectly.”
More about Kim Sheehan
Cork-born soprano Kim Sheehan, “sporting a super voice” (Opera Now) has sung many of the roles in the coloratura repertoire in Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland working with such established companies as the Royal Opera House, Zürich Opera House and Wexford Festival Opera to name but a few.
Kim made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing Diana in the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Diana and Acteon, a part of Metamorphosis: Titian, a grand collaboration between the Royal Opera, Royal Ballet and the National Gallery, in which she was described by the New York Times as “excellent”.
She graduated with distinction and the Gold Medal from DIT Conservatory of Music, Dublin before taking up a scholarship at the Royal College of Music & Benjamin Britten International Opera School, London. From there Kim continued on onto the prestigious International Opera Studio at Zürich Opera House.
She has received a host of excellent reviews from around Europe including her “outstanding” (Der Landbote) interpretation of Zerbinetta, an “utterly brilliant” (Arts Desk) and “truly star-blazing” (Osterländer Volkszeitung) Königin with a voice that “sets the pulse racing” (Financial Times) and which shone “like the many fires of a diamond.” (Forum Opera).
Outside of opera, Kim has explored her connection to movement and dance with Company Philip Connaughton’s Extra Terrestrial Events performed at Dublin Dance Festival with music by Michael Gallen. Kim’s debut album with her experimental project Second Moon of Winter is out on respected German experimental label, Denovali records. Her voice and vocal improvisations have featured on the Tom Hodge/Franz Kirmann’s score for primetime BBC drama, McMafia.
She believes deeply in an holistic approach to singing and at the moment is focused on her new audio-visual project, All That Is Sound, which aims to use the voice not just as a performance tool but a meditative one also. In 2020 Kim is delighted to premiere this composition under the Jane Anne Rothwell Award with Cork Midsummer Festival.