Weekend Q&A: Laura Salt, Horn Player and General Manager of NI Opera

How to relax on the weekend?

People might find it strange, but I really like running and I’m training for the Belfast Marathon. I made one in 2019 before confinement. This is one they went too long, adding half a mile, which is a long way to go after 26 of them. When I run, it’s my headspace, and I love it. I’m in east Belfast and train by going to Shaw’s Bridge and past Titanic. I also play music.

What do you remember most from your childhood?

Every Saturday was custard roll day and my mum used to buy them from a bakery called The Brown Leaf on Cregagh Road, which no longer exists. My older brother, Neil, and I played our favorite game, eating the custard bun without licking our lips. My grandmother spent the weekends with us. We would have gone to the Saint-Bernard church and we would have had lunch on Sunday at one o’clock. On a beautiful day, we went for a walk in the Ards peninsula. As a teenager, I didn’t revolt, but I was a bit of a good two-shoe.

Is there a must-watch radio show or podcast on the weekends?

I like podcasts while running and RunPod has interviews with famous runners and tips. As well Table manners, featuring a mother and daughter asking people what they ate growing up. James Nesbitt was on and mentioned the Northern Irish specialties – for me the champ sums it up here.

Is there a must-watch TV program or Netflix?

Like many people, I love Derry Girls. We just finished Peaky Blinders which was left quite open.

Is Sunday still special?

Yes. Easter is more special in the Christian calendar although people focus on Christmas. I will be playing for a church band in Helen’s Bay on Easter Sunday and attending a 6:15am church service in Belvoir Park where you can watch the sun rise, weather permitting.

Do you have a favorite restaurant or is it takeout?

I’m not a big foodie. A Margherita pizza from one of our local pizzerias is good.

How do you feel on Sunday evening compared to Monday morning?

In the past, Monday morning would have been teaching. Now I organize the daily operation of NI Opera and honestly found happiness at work. I support our inspirational artistic director, Cameron Menzies, who is so good at representing Northern Ireland’s only opera company. We have the 12th Glenarm Festival of Voice at the end of August and we are organizing La Traviata at the Grand Opera House in September.


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