A festival like ours can’t exist without the help of many volunteers. The hours put in by our amazing volunteers are of key importance to making the opera the huge success that is is. The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival [BVOF] is proud to have such generous voluntary help from the local community, and we would like to encourage you to consider taking part.

The preparations for such an amibitious Festival begin months before the event. The BVOF offers you the unique experience of working closely with other volunteers and professionals, to ensure that everything runs smoothly. We need all kinds of expertise, from traffic controllers to bar staff to ushers, cashiers and runners: click on our Volunteers Form and see what you can offer us.

We will be mighty grateful.

What’s in it for you?

  • A lot of satisfaction, knowing that you are helping to ensure that this unique event happen for years to come.
  • The appreciation of more than 1,000 visitors to the opera and recitals.
  • A festival fleece for you to keep.
  • A volunteer’s event in the week after the festival with drinks and food, where we look back on what has been achieved.
  • Volunteers will also get a free ticket for the dress rehearsal of the opera.

To make everything run smoothly, the Festival needs to:

  • To look for certain qualities and skills in volunteers
  • To select only volunteers who are suitable for the role
  • To look for volunteers who are showing real commitment
  • To have tasks done in the particular way they have requested

To have policies and procedures implemented and adhered to

Areas where we need your help include:


A runner is involved in all activities before the opera is performed, A runners assists in the broadest sense of the word in building up the different sets. Loading and unloading equipment, assisting in set up marguees, set up bar and catering equipment.Non-technical work, no handling of equipment. The activities start on the Friday before the actual performances.


Assists in transportation of all kinds. Activities starts on the Friday before the performances and will end on the Monday afterwards.

Traffic Management

A Traffic Manager controls the traffic at the beginning of Castle Avenue and direct cars to public parking places. A Traffic Controller also directs the traffic at the end of the opera when guests leave the venue.


The stewards are active in the gardens of Lismore Castle during the days of the performances. They will check tickets at the entrance, clean up the garden before the opera starts, during and after the interval, provide assistance to people with a handicap, collecting items that can’t be brought in to the opera (glasses and plates) and perform other light tasks.


Ushers are setting up the seating area. They direct people to the proper side of the seating area and to their seats. Ushers monitor the seating area before, during and after the opera.


The cashiers are selling food & drink vouchers and programmmes. Adult volunteers only.

Bar Staff

Serving wine and drinks. Adult volunteers only.