Announcing the 2021 Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Bursary Award Winners

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is delighted to announce flutist Amy Gillen and bass-baritone Rory Dunne as the co-recipients of the 2021 BVOF Bursary Award of €10,000.

The BVOF Bursary Award supports exceptionally talented artists and is a vital part of our commitment to nurture and develop the careers of the best emerging Irish performers. 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.

Announcing the award, Dieter Kaegi commented, ‘Amy and Rory are most deserving recipients of our 2021 bursary award, and we are looking forward to welcoming them back to perform at the Festival later this year. The bursary demonstrates our and passion for providing funding and performance opportunities for wonderful young artists and I have no doubt that Amy and Rory will be terrific ambassadors for BVOF over the coming years. This award would not be possible without generous philanthropic funding from one of our Festival donors and our wider community of support’.

Both candidates were thrilled and surprised to receive such a significant award.

Winner of the 2021 Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Bursary Award

Amy Gillen, Flutist


Donegal born Amy Gillen commented “I am delighted to be the 2021 recipient of the BVOF Bursary Award. The BVOF is exceptional in how it champions and showcases international and emerging artists to highly appreciative audiences. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the BVOF sponsors and the BVOF team. I appreciate your generosity, particularly at this crucial juncture in my career.”


Winner of the 2021 Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Bursary Award

Rory Dunne, Bass-baritone


Rory Dunne, from Kildare explained “I am equally honoured and humbled to be the recipient of this hugely generous bursary.  In what has been a very difficult year, this money will help me to continue growing as an artist. For the future it opens up opportunities for me to travel to audition in opera houses abroad and to gain every advantage available to me. This expansion and development of my career is made possible by generosities such as these. It is so very appreciated.