August 8, 2022

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Folks Have Cash however Really feel Glum—What Does That Imply for the Financial system?

The award-winning mezzo soprano Sarah Richmond is originally from Belfast and now lives in Carrickfergus....

The award-winning mezzo soprano Sarah Richmond is originally from Belfast and now lives in Carrickfergus. Last month, she won the National Concert Hall’s Bernadette Greevy Bursary for Singers for 2021. Her operatic roles include Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Dritte Dame in The Magic Flute and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. She has won a number of international awards for her performances, including in the 2021 Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition. Richmond has a number of shows coming up, including as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah in Castletown House, Kildare, on April 23 next year. For more details, visit www.sarah-richmond.com.
What’s the most important lesson about money that your career as a mezzo soprano has taught you?
Money does not equate to happiness. I’d rather be crying in a Ferrari than a Nissan Micra but achieving your financial goal doesn’t guarantee happiness. Some of my fondest memories are from gigs that didn’t pay very well. 
What has coronavirus crisis taught you about money?
Health is more important than money.
What’s the best advice you ever got about money?
Have separate bank accounts for personal and business expenses.
What’s the best thing financially about coming from Antrim?
The cost of living. It’s close to two major airports plus it has decent bus and rail systems — so it makes financial sense to be based here while travelling to perform.
Your favourite song about money?
Eminem’s If I Had. It’s a hard-hitting track about his struggles trying to make it as a performer starting from nothing. Eminem feels every word he says and that’s a skill I aim for. 
Do you still carry cash?
Not as much as I used to. I keep euro coins in case my tag doesn’t work while driving around Ireland, and sterling coins in case I need to park somewhere for a gig where you can’t pay by card.
If you could design your own note, who would you put on it?
Michael D Higgins. He is passionate about his beliefs, and has a great sense of humour. Last year, he gave a beautiful speech to open the Wexford Opera Festival.
What’s the most expensive country you have ever visited?
Denmark. I took my son on holiday in July 2019 and pulled out all the stops. We did Givskud Zoo safari tour, and we visited Randers Regnskov Tropical Zoo, Tivoli Gardens, Legoland, Aarhus, Aros art museum and a viking museum. We both needed a special time. It’s not necessarily that Denmark was expensive — it was the sheer amount of activities that made it my most expensive purchase to date.
Your biggest financial mistake?
Believing that hard work and commitment would be enough to provide a financially stable life as a performer.
Are you a spender or a saver?
Saver. I’ve never had enough money to be frivolous with spending.
Would you buy property now?
I believe winter is generally a bad time to buy as there are fewer properties on the market. Covid has certainly changed the property scene. I wouldn’t buy with so much economic uncertainty.
If you won the Lotto, what would you do with the money?
Travel the world performing and coaching at top opera houses; buy my parents a new-build house; hire a dietician, personal trainer and language tutor, and invest in renewable energy.
What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?
I enjoy luxuries like watching online performances and travelling to Dublin for coaching with fantastic pianists — and to Berlin for inspirational singing lessons. If push came to shove, I’d have to give those up, but I couldn’t do without food, electricity and heating.

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