teenage harpists

Teenage Harpists Herald Festival Countdown – Just one month to go until Ireland’s Summer Opera Festival


Teenage Harpists Herald Festival Countdown: There’s only one month to go until the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF) kicks off.  Ireland’s Summer Opera Festival runs from May 31 to June 6, June 2022, features world-class opera, award-winning musicians, international performers, and acclaimed dance troupes who perform in unique venues across the Blackwater Valley.  A number of events are already sold out.

This week’s launch saw Lismore Heritage Centre packed with local dignitaries including Cllr Seanie Power Deputy Mayor Waterford City & County Council, festival director Eamonn Carroll, community representatives, businesspeople and local people who are looking forward to this year’s festival. 

Shauna McCullough of Music Generation Waterford presented a trio of young teenage harpists and their tutor, who performed a set of enthralling classical and Irish.  The young harpists, Annamai Condon, Breeanna Beirne, Ruby Calvy, were accompanied by their musician educator, Jill Devlin. The talented young musicians performed to great applause from the festival gathering in Lismore, and recently played for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Waterford City Hall.

Highlights include the headline opera Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, CoisCéim Dance Theatre and the BVOF Chorus, a special BVOF Voices of Ukraine performance, a new ‘Discover Singing’ programme, concerts in the breath-taking Dromore Yard, a James Joyce spoken recital, dance and orchestral collaborations, free open air lunchtime performances in towns across Waterford and Cork, and unique outdoor dining experiences.

As a 2022 flagship festival for Waterford, BVOF is the only festival of its kind making opera and classical music accessible to everyone in the region and is also a key driver of regional tourism.

The opera Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is the headline event for four evening performances from June 1 – 5, in the grounds of Lismore Castle. Other highlights include concerts at Dromore Yard in Aglish, featuring Maurice Steger and Friends; the phenomenally talented pianist Giovanni Bellucci; the Irish Baroque Orchestra, under the artistic direction of Peter Whelan, with Nuria Rial and Juan Sancho; and BVOF Voices of Ukraine, with all ticket proceeds going to UNICEF. A series of four free Open Air Lunchtime Recitals will take place in Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Fermoy (advance booking required online).

There is a new ‘Discover Singing’ programme, with Music Generation Waterford for local primary schools, and ‘Discover Opera’ education programme for 2022. The Opera Dress Rehearsal production – free for second-level school groups, is on Tuesday 31st May at 8pm.

One of the many special things about the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is the uniqueness of its performance venues which include Lismore Castle & Gardens, Salterbridge House, St Carthage’s Cathedral, Villierstown Church, Tourin House and Dromore Yard.

Delicious dining and hospitality at the festival includes formal dinner options and gourmet picnics by Eunice Power; chef Colin Hennessy; and lunch at The Saucy Hen, Villierstown. Taste Waterford is the new hospital partner in 2022 for Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and the Royal Irish Academy of Music have also announced a new annual music prize to support the studies of two master’s students at Ireland’s National Music Conservatoire and is the largest bursary of its kind in Ireland. 

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is a living, breathing opera and classical music experience – made possible with the support grants from The Arts Council, Waterford City & County Council, Waterford Leader, and Faílte Ireland.  The festival’s lead sponsors are Kildare Village, Marsh, AIB and the John Pollard Foundation.  

Festival Tickets are now available for purchase through the online booking system at www.blackwatervalleyoperafestival.com

 📸 Sean Byrne

Teenage harpists herald Blackwater Valley Opera Festival countdown at Lismore Heritage Centre featuring Jill Devlin, Eamonn Carroll, BVOF Festival Director. Tara McKeown, BVOF Marketing Director, Mealla Fahey LIsmore Heritage Manager, Susie Wingfield BVOF Director, Annamai Condon, Cllr; Seanie Power, Deputy Mayor Waterford City & County Council. Ruby Calvy, Shauna McCullough, Music Generation Waterford, and Breeanna Bernie.