The establishment and development of a bursary programme is in keeping with the BVOF mission to discover and support exceptional talents, helping to define a new future for Irish artists that have the potential to develop successful solo careers.
BVOF Bursary Award
In 2020, we established the new Blackwater Festival Opera Bursary Award. This annual €10,000 award was founded with the support of a private donor. The bursary winners are selected by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Dieter Kaegi, and are encouraged to use the funding to further their musical education and performing ability.
2020 BVOF Bursary Award Recipients
Naho Koizumi (soprano) Darren Hargan (pianist/conductor)
2021 BVOF Bursary Award Recipients
Amy Gillen (flute) Rory Dunne (bass baritone)
Irish Heritage Award
In 2017, Irish Heritage and BVOF established a collaboration to enhance the benefits of the former’s annual Music Bursary with the inauguration of the Irish Heritage Award. The recipients of this Award are the winner and two runners-up of the Irish Heritage Bursary auditions that take place in the Wigmore Hall each year. The three young musicians share a special debut recital at Dromore Yard during the Festival, giving them a vital opportunity to showcase their individual talents. The three students receive performance fees and travel expenses as part of their award.
RDS Collins Memorial Award
This award is a performance award exclusively for past RDS Music Bursary winners. Created in 2017 thanks to the support of Michael and Loret O’Brien, the RDS Collins Memorial Performance Award is in association with the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival. The winner is selected by BVOF Artistic Director Dieter Kaegi and given an important performance opportunity at the Festival at St. Carthage’s Cathedral.