Talk and Recitals

The Recitals Series bring music to the Great Houses of the Blackwater Valley. Enjoy the wonderful gardens, and experience these elegant and historic homes while listening to beautiful music. Concerts in St Carthage’s Cathedral, Villierstown Church and Dromore Yard, a restored romantic eighteenth century farmhouse, are also part of this year’s programme, and we are delighted to announce a new element to the programme: a talk by Peter Murray at Lismore’s Red Hall.

Check the website for discounts and dining offers too.

Thursday May 31st

Red Hall, Lismore

Talk: To Bend a Knotted Oak

The Blackwater Valley has always been a fertile ground for creativity. Art historian and writer, Peter Murray takes a look at some of the brilliant, and occasionally eccentric creative talents nurtured in the sylvan setting of West Waterford. Discover the stories behind many of the famous people and places in this beautiful part of the world. Start your Festival here, to set the scene for the wonderful and musical days to come.

12.00 noon, 50 minutes
Unallocated Seats
Price €10.00

Villierstown Church

Blackwater Valley Opera Chorus

Members of the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Chorus present arias, duets and ensembles from favourite operas from around the world. Whether you’re attending L’Italiana in Algeri or not, you can get into the operatic spirit with this lively, engaging and hugely enjoyable concert in the gorgeous Queen Ann-style space, which was built in 1750, by John Villiers, the 1st Earl Grandison.

3.00 pm, 60 minutes
Front Row €30.00 | Other rows €20.00

Dromore Yard
Nadège Rochat with Dearbhla Collins

Internationally renowned, Swiss cellist, Nadège Rochat, plays music by Ina Boyle, and traces similarities with the work of Gabriel Fauré, through Boyle and Fauré’s Elegies. The concert continues with Franck’s beautiful Sonata for violoncello and piano, concluding with a flourish, with Paganini’s Variations on a theme from ‘Mosè in Egitto’ by Rossini. Accompanied by Dearbhla Collins on piano, this promises to be a very special concert in the Blackwater Valley’s beautiful and romantic new venue.
To whet your appetite, look at the preview of Nadège playing Ina Boyle’s Psalm with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

8.15 pm, 60 minutes
Front Row €30.00 | Other rows €20.00

Due to popular demand we have now extended the number of seats for this event.  Bookings by phone only.
Unallocated seating  €20.00




Our friends of Blackwater Eco Tours organise a special boat tour running in conjunction with the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival. For those attending the recital on Thursday May 31st at 8:15pm at Dromore Yard, why not arrive in style? Departing at 6:15pm from Villierstown Quay, we’ll take you on magical evening river trip before delivering you to Dromore Quay at 7:45pm.

You can make your booking for the boat tour here.

Friday June 1st

Dromore Yard

Masterpiece Series: Winners of the Irish Heritage Bursary Awards

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Masterpiece series gives you a first look at future famous names, by showcasing the best in new musical voices. Historically a Masterpiece was the piece of work produced by an apprentice in order to become a Master Craftsman, now it has come to mean an artist’s greatest work. We think we have a little of both with this concert featuring winners of the Irish Heritage Bursary Awards. Pianist Adam Heron will play pieces by Chopin and Scriabin. Maria McNamee’s harp programme includes Marcel Grandjany’s Fantasy on a theme of Haydn, which is haunting and joyful by turns. Soprano Rebecca Murphy’s wonderful programme features pieces by Mendelssohn, Duparc and Samuel Barber, linked by texts that have been set by Irish poets.

12.00 noon, 60 minutes
Front Row €30.00 | Other rows €20.00

Treat yourself to lunch on the riverbanks with pizza by Volcano, Middle Eastern salads by Mezze of Waterford and ice-cream by Yum Gelato. Price lunch €25.00 p.p.

OFFER: Book both recitals and lunch on Friday and get 10% off. Just book the separate items and we will automatically calculate the discount.

Dromore Yard

Guests from the Garsington and Nevill Holt Operas

Opera Festivals have created excitement, energy, and brought opera to new audiences in some truly gorgeous settings. We’re delighted to partner with two of our favourites, the Garsington and Nevill Holt Operas, to introduce some of their soloists to the Blackwater Valley with this very special concert at Dromore Yard. Featuring Soprano Alison Rose from Garsington, and Baritone Tristan Hambleton from Nevill Holt, accompanied by acclaimed pianist, Simon Lepper, it promises to be a wonderful event. Please check the website for the full programme.

3.00 pm, 60 minutes
Front Row €30.00 | Other rows €20.00

Saturday June 2nd

St Carthage’s Cathedral

Masterpiece Series:  Máire Carroll

We are delighted to welcome the RDS Collins Memorial Award winning Pianist, Máire Carroll to play a very special concert at St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore. This concert is being given in support of the community at Lismore, with all proceeds going to The Cathedral Fund and its chosen charities. Fresh from the success of her debut album, ROADS, Máire’s concerts are hugely engaging affairs. For Lismore, she has put together a programme that includes Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor, two pieces written especially for her by Sebastian Adams and inspired by the events of 1916, works by French composer Cécile Chaminade, together with some sunny moments from Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

12.00 noon, 60 minutes
Front Row €20.00 | Other rows €10.00
Tickets in other rows are free, but ticketed, for under 18s, students and OAPs.

Salterbridge House

Gavan Ring

Baritone Gavan Ring makes a welcome return to Lismore to perform at the beautiful and historic Salterbridge House. Hailing from Co Kerry, and an award winning singer, Gavan has a string of operatic credits to his name, including most recently the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni for Welsh National Opera, and Olivier in Strauss’ Capriccio for Garsington Festival Opera. Accompanied by pianist Denise Crowley, Gavan will sing Beethoven’s An die ferne geliebte, and Schumann’s beautiful Dichterliebe.

Ticket holders for this recital can also enjoy the gorgeous Salterbridge Gardens, and a special art exhibition featuring the work of Mary Lincoln, Cormac Boydell and Poppy Hunt.
3.00 pm, 60 minutes
Front Row €30.00 | Other rows €20.00

Sunday June 3rd

Cappoquin House

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Orchestra

Built on the site of an old Fitzgerald castle, Cappoquin House is an 18th century Georgian Mansion. Enjoy some delicious chamber music played in the ideal setting by members of the Blackwater Valley Festival Orchestra, and find yourself transported back in time to an age of concert salons and soirees. It’s a perfect Sunday wind-down as your Festival draws to a close.

Ticket holders for this recital also gain entry to the gardens, which were laid out in the 19th century, and brought to their present state by Lady Olivia Keane in the 1950s.
12.00 noon, 60 minutes
Front Row €30.00 | Other rows €20.00

Tourin House

Cork School of Music

Enjoy a perfect finale to your Festival with the best new talent from the Cork School of Music in the very special environs of Tourin House. An Italianate-style villa, Tourin is built on the site of a 1560 tower house, though the current classically-proportioned villa was built in 1840. Tourin is home to the Jameson family (of Irish whiskey fame), and their shared love of music makes them ideal hosts for our concluding concert this year. The programme includes favourite arias and duets by the stars of the future. Full details to be announced, check back for updates.

Ticket holders for this recital also gain entry to the famous Tourin gardens and woodland, created by countless generations since the 1500s, and extending 15 acres to the banks of the Blackwater river.

3.00pm, 60 minutes
Front Row €30.00 | Other rows €20.00