Launching the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF) which takes place from 27 May - 3 June 2024 at The Apartment, Kildare Village. The festival week is packed with uplifting musical and classical performances; 22 events at 11 venues, including the headline opera Giulio Cesare performed on the grounds of Lismore Castle, Waterford for four glorious nights with dining available. Further information and tickets at blackwatervalleyopera.ie. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Engage Your Senses at the 2024 Blackwater Valley Opera Festival – World-Class Performers, Bespoke Dining and Stunning Venues

The 2024 festival at Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Castlemartyr features an inspiring creative team, 100 international and Irish performers, 22 events, 11 venues, 5,000 visitors, 2,000 students, and 95 volunteers and 75+ hours of live music.

Engage Your Senses: Ireland’s Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is inviting you to engage your senses at the 8-day festival which takes place from 27 May to 3 June at Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan, and Castlemartyr. With world-class performances, bespoke dining experiences and stunning historic venues opening their doors just for the festival, unique experiences are guaranteed. This year’s festival will feature an inspiring creative team, 100 international and Irish performers, 22 events, 11 venues, 5,000 visitors, and more than 75 hours of live music.

The flagship opera at BVOF 2024 is Giulio Cesare by G.F. Handel, to be performed in the breathtaking grounds of Lismore Castle, Waterford. With conductor Nicholas McGegan OBE leading the Irish Baroque Orchestra and a stellar cast directed by Tom Creed, this production promises to be a truly unmissable interpretation of Handel’s masterpiece. In addition, the BVOF 2024 Concert Series at Dromore Yard will feature 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 Vivaldi Concert with the Irish Baroque Orchestra. The BVOF 2024 Recital Programme returns to some incredible historic homes and venues throughout the Blackwater Valley, in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Additionally, BVOF will support 10 artists and performers through Bursary Award Programmes valued at €40,000.

Engage Your Senses: For food enthusiasts, there will be excellent dining options, including celebrity TV chef Eunice Power’s Giulio Cesare menu at Lismore Castle. Guests can also indulge in Gourmet Table Picnics by award-winning culinary duo Eamo & Ró as well as lunchtime recital packages at local eateries.
The ever-popular pop-up programme of free BVOF Open Air Lunchtime Recitals returns to Waterford and Cork (Lismore, Dungarvan, Youghal and Castlemartyr). These free musical events are the perfect opportunity to experience classical and operatic music in a welcoming and relaxed environment.

Making opera and classical accessible to all, 2,000 local school children and students will join educational outreach programmes in partnership with Music Generation Waterford, and a special Opera Dress Rehearsal for schools at Lismore Castle. Additionally, a special performance from the Discover Singing education programme will be showcased at the Festival Launch later in May, featuring over 150 local school children in a vibrant choir, alongside members of the BVOF Chorus.

Eamonn Carroll, Festival Director of Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, said, “We have a spectacular lineup of performances that showcase incredible talent from Ireland and abroad. We are really looking forward to welcoming new festival attendees and our supporters who return year after year. Our programme has something for everyone, whether you love opera and classical music or just want a unique live music experience. While opera and music is at the core, the festival is about creating unique experiences, through world-class performances in a host of stunning historic venues enhanced by beautiful dining and beverage experiences, showcasing the best of local produce. We look forward to bringing the South East to life with some outstanding performances over the 8-day festival.”

What to Wear to the Opera
Enjoy the opera in style, comfort, and playful elegance. Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, with its majestic setting in Lismore Castle, encourages consideration of comfort alongside style. As Official Fashion Retail Sponsor of BVOF 2024 and a long-standing supporter of Ireland’s Summer Opera Festival, Kildare Village is a must visit for fashionistas all year round. Home to unique edit of more than 120 fashion and lifestyle brands and set in the beating heart of horse-racing country, the Village is located just an hour south of Dublin. A bastion of Irish talent, Kildare Village strikes a balance between regional charm and an artful spread of homegrown and international brands.

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
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.

Engage Your Senses: Tickets for all events are selling fast with more than 90% of opera tickets already sold out – call the BVOF Box Office on 087 407 9250.
To discover more about BVOF’s eight days of opera, classical music recitals and concerts, schools programme, free events, dining experiences and more, visit blackwatervalleyopera.ie.


Launching the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF) which takes place from 27 May – 3 June 2024; mezzo-soprano and BVOF Bursary 2024 winner Anna-Helena Maclachlan and pianist Aoife Moran, performed at The Apartment, Kildare Village. Models courtesy of Andrea Roche Agency.  📷 Patrick Browne