3 Weeks to Go! What’s on the Menu?

There are only three weeks to go until the much-anticipated Blackwater Valley Opera. Prepare to indulge your senses with top-class performances and bespoke dining set against the backdrop of breathtaking historical venues. Tickets are selling fast for Ireland’s Summer Opera Festival (27th May – 3rd June 2024) taking place throughout the Blackwater Valley in Waterford and Cork, with the iconic Lismore Castle at its heart. Featuring over 75 hours of live music with 22 events at 11 venues over 8 days, including many free and discounted ticket events, this celebration of classical music and opera is accessible to all.

Although the festival is renowned for its music, what many might not know is that there are also incredible pop-up dining experiences throughout the week highlighting the stunning produce of the Waterford and Cork region. You can enjoy a pre-opera Giulio Cesare menu by Eunice Power on Fri 31st May and Sun 2nd June (€85) or Gourmet Table Picnics by well-known Waterford duo Eamo & Ró at Lismore Castle and Dromore Yard (€55, choose from four picnics). With limited places available and a special-price menu exclusively crafted for festival bookers, this is an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in this year’s festival in a celebration that connects music, history, and dining in the heart of the Blackwater Valley.

There are also exclusive Lunchtime Recital Packages, a testament to the vibrant local food culture and future of the festival in the Blackwater Valley. A 2-course menu and recital ticket for €40 is available at The Saucy Hen Villierstown, Fullers Bistro Lismore, Barron’s Coffee House Cappoquin – coupled with events at Salterbridge House, Villierstown Church, or St Carthage’s Cathedral Lismore.
Or you can bring your own picnic to dine on before each of the concerts at Dromore Yard – pre-book a spot in one of the outhouses with seats and chairs so that you can picnic in comfort (€10 per person, limited seating).

Highlights of this year’s Blackwater Valley Opera Festival include the headline opera G.F. Handel Giulio Cesare, set in the grounds of Lismore Castle. It is conducted by Nicholas McGegan OBE, is directed by Tom Creed, and features the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

The BVOF 2024 Concert Series at Dromore Yard – a romantic, semi-restored 19th-century farmyard on the banks of the River Blackwater, will feature some incredible performances including a bel canto operatic concert – Of Emperors, Kings, and Queens -, starring Serenad Uyar, Leonardo Galeazzi, and Dearbhla Collins; the Clara Haskil Piano Competition Concert presented by Finghin Collins, featuring Magdalene Ho with Marc Coppey, and the festival finale Antonio Vivaldi Concert with the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

Over the week, there will also be festival recitals at beautiful heritage homes and venues throughout the Blackwater Valley, free open-air lunchtime recitals in Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Castlemartyr, Discover Singing and Discover Opera trails for school children, and more.

Tickets for events are selling fast with more than 90% of opera tickets already sold out – call the BVOF Box Office on 087 407 9250 or book opera and dining here.


The Big Tickets (Opera)
Weds 29 May (SOLD OUT) Fri 31 May (Ltd tickets) Sat 1 June (SOLD OUT) Sun 2 June (Ltd tickets)
G.F. Handel – Giulio Cesare
Tickets €75-€220 Lismore Castle Waterford

The Dromore Yard Concerts
Of Emperors, Kings, and Queens Thurs 30 May
Clara Haskil Piano Competition Concert Sun 2 June
Antonio Vivaldi Concert Mon 3 June (SOLD OUT)
Tickets €25-€60. Dromore Yard, Aglish, Co. Waterford

Recitals for The Classical Music Lovers
From 28 May – 2 June 2024
Venues in Youghal, Lismore, Cappoquin, Villierstown, Stradbally.
Tickets €25 / €10 Concessions / Limited Free Tickets

The 2024 Free Shows
BVOF Free Open-Air Lunchtime Recitals – Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Castlemartyr
28 and 31 May, 1 and 2 June Tickets FREE. Booking is essential to secure seating.

For The Foodie Lovers
Giulio Cesare menu by Eunice Power – Fri 31 May and Sun 2 June (Ltd availability)
Tickets €85 Lismore Castle Waterford

Gourmet Table Picnics by Eamo & Ró
Tickets €55 Lismore Castle and Dromore Yard Waterford
Lunchtime Recital Packages (2 Course Menu & Recital Ticket)
Tickets €40 – The Saucy Hen Villierstown, Fullers Bistro Lismore, Barron’s Coffee House Cappoquin.

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is supported by grants from the Arts Council, Waterford City & County Council, Waterford Leader, and Fáilte Ireland. The festival’s lead sponsors are Kildare Village, Marsh, AIB, and the John Pollard Foundation. Event sponsors include Castlemartyr Resort and Waterford Whisky, and Preferred Hotel Partner Castlemartyr Resort.


📷 Patrick Browne  📷 John Kelly  📷 Pearson Photography