My essentials: Nicola Said’s cultural picks

Nicola Said, 34, Opera Singer 

Soprano Nicola Said
Soprano Nicola Said


I am a Maltese soprano and I lived abroad for 15 years studying, training and working. I am the Malta Airport Foundation Ambassador and a BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation Scholar. I have recently started an organisation called Malta Opera as Founder and Artistic Director, to promote and provide opportunities and work for local talented classical and opera singers in Malta.


Kinesthetic Voice Pedagogy by Kenneth Bozeman and his first book, Practical Vocal Acoustics. I read these as part of my Doctoral research which I started last year - I’m currently on suspension due to my commitment and responsibilities with Malta Opera, and my own singing career. What I learned has contributed towards further understanding voice acoustics and vocal mechanics, in my own singing and in my students. Fascinating also was Dr Angelika Nair’s The Tongue as a Gateway to Voice, Resonance, Style and Intelligibility.


I am a sucker for period dramas… I recently watched Downton Abbey: A New Era. Their complaining about “thespians” roaming around the house was very amusing! Their attitude towards artists is also a reminder of what people thought of us back then. I find it fascinating to watch how back then, whether fictional characters or not, within a fictional story, they coped with change. Life must have been just as scary for them, if not scarier, since technology was just so new, as opposed to nowadays when we know technology is so advanced and we can expect the unimaginable to one day exist… having just said that, I now wonder whether THAT is more worrisome!

Internet and TV 

At the moment, I am basically obsessed with exploring food recipes with alternative flours and substitute ingredients in cooking and baking, to adjust to my new dietary requirements. I am also exploring some vegan recipes to eat more vegetables and completely omit lactose and dairy from my diet. I am not vegan however I understand the importance of reducing our meat intake. One of my favourite recipe websites is currently


This is always a hard one since my work is music…I’ll go with what a special someone and myself recently decided should be our song… “I got you babe” by Sonny and Cher.


There is still so much of the world I have yet to see! I love Malta, and I love London (which I consider my second home), but I’d love to travel around the world to somewhere I haven’t been. If I had to choose, I’d go somewhere completely remote, away from crowds of people, surrounded by nature. I doubt I’d last very long (let’s not kid ourselves), but at least long enough to get away from it all, get lost, and forget about the world for some weeks! South America (Peru, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Colombia etc.) and the Caribbean Islands all sound idyllic.