About Us

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival was established in 2010 by a small group of opera professionals and is Ireland’s only summer opera festival. It started out as Lismore Opera Festival, but as our programme expanded throughout the area, the name was changed to the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

The opera itself is held in the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings of Lismore Castle and Gardens on the shores of the scenic Blackwater River. Lismore Castle, the privately-owned residence of the Duke of Devonshire and his family, plays host to intimate, close-up opera in the transformed upper stables in the grounds of the castle by kind permission of Lord and Lady Burlington.

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival has converted the former stables into a beautiful setting for its productions, adding a roof, and tiered seating to maximise comfort for the festival’s patrons. A much-anticipated annual event on the European music festival calendar, the festival attracts local and international music lovers and visitors to the region. As a festival for lovers of music and the good things in life, it incorporates beautiful locations, unique historic venues, landscape, architecture, gardens, music, food and wine.

The Blackwater Opera Festival believes in nurturing young talent, providing opportunities for up and coming artistes, and also in introducing the next generation to the beauty of classic music and opera.For detailed information see our education page

As well as opera, The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival features musical events and recitals in St. Carthage’s Cathedral and in some of the wonderful historic great houses and gardens along the Blackwater valley, as well as at Villierstown and Dromore Yard, a romantic converted 18th century farm yard. A key element of the Blackwater Valley is our engagement with schools and schoolchildren, helping to inspire the musicians and singers – and the audiences – of the future.

“To bring beautiful music to a stunning location and create the audience of the future for the most beautiful of all art forms – Opera!”

In the words of his Excellency, President Michael D. Higgins, “Music is such a powerful medium and the Lismore Opera Festival has been working tirelessly promoting the beauty and relevance of opera. It is wonderful to witness results of the drive and enthusiasm of such dedicated people making opera more accessible and connected to audiences in such an inclusive and authentic manner.”

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Michael Alen-Buckley (chairman)
Giancarla Alen-Buckley
Brian Kingham
Eamonn Carroll
Conor Doyle
Tom McCarthy
Pat Howett
Marianne van Pelt

Contact details

+353 (0)85 207 8944 boxoffice@blackwatervalleyoperafestival.com

The Lismore Opera Festival was established in 2010 by a small group of opera professionals and is Ireland’s only summer opera festival set in the stunning surroundings of Lismore Castle and Gardens. Situated in what is often referred to as the Irish Riviera, Lismore Castle, the privately-owned residence of the Duke of Devonshire and his family, plays host to intimate, close-up opera in the transformed upper stables on the grounds of the castle by kind permission of Lord and Lady Burlington.

The Lismore Opera Festival has transformed the former castle stables into a beautiful setting for its productions and every effort has been made to weatherproof the venue and maximise comfort for its patrons including a roof and tiered seating. The festival has become a much-anticipated annual event on the European Music Festivals calendar, attracting local and international music lovers and visitors to the region. As a festival for lovers of music and the good life it incorporates, beautiful locations, venues, landscape, architecture, gardens, music, food and wine.

Lismore Opera Festival believes in nurturing young talent, providing opportunities for young people and in introducing the next generation to the beauty of classic music and opera. For detailed information see our Education page. As well as opera, Lismore stages musical events and recitals in St. Carthage’s Cathedral and in some of the wonderful historic great houses and gardens along the Blackwater valley. A key element of Lismore is our engagement with schools and schoolchildren, helping to inspire the musicians and singers – and the audiences – of the future.such an inclusive and authentic manner.”

“To bring beautiful music to a stunning location and create the audience of the future for the most beautiful of all art forms – Opera!”

Our Mission Statement

In the words of his Excellency, President Michael D. Higgins, “Music is such a powerful medium and the Lismore Opera Festival has been working tirelessly promoting the beauty and relevance of opera. It is wonderful to witness results of the drive and enthusiasm of such dedicated people making opera more accessible and connected to audiences in such an inclusive and authentic manner.”

FOUNDERS

Dieter Kaegi – Artistic Director
Jennifer O’Connell

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Michael Alen-Buckley (chairman)
Giancarla Alen-Buckley
Brian Kingham
Eamonn Carroll
Conor Doyle
Tom McCarthy
Pat Howlett
Marianne van Pelt

FESTIVAL HONORARY PATRONS

Dr. Veronica Dunne
Cara O’Sullivan (Soprano)
Anthony Kearns (Tenor)

Contact details

+353 (0)85 207 8944 boxoffice@blackwatervalleyoperafestival.com