Now in its 8th year, the festival will feature two performances of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera, L’Elisir d’Amore in its 500 seater pop up opera house on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of June, situated in the stunning surroundings of Lismore Castle Stables and Gardens; this years’ festival has an Italian theme and features vocal and instrumental recitals in four of the most beautiful big houses along the Blackwater River, Salterbridge House, Cappoquin House, Tourin House and Fortwilliam Estate as well as violin recital by Patrick Rafter in the wonderfully atmospheric St. Carthage's Cathedral on Sunday 4th June at 6pm.
The festival has also recruited renowned local chef Eunice Power who has devised an Italian themed formal and informal dining option accompanied by specially selected wines and bubbles to be served in the stunning walled gardens of Lismore Castle over the festival weekend.
In conjunction with the RDS, the festival is thrilled to announce details of a new Performance Award. This award, to be named the RDS Collins Memorial Performance, will be given to a previous RDS Music Bursary Winner to be selected annually by the Artistic Director of Lismore Opera, Dieter Kaegi and will include a professional performance opportunity at the Lismore Opera Festival each year for the next three years. The first recipient is, violinist Patrick Rafter (2015 RDS Music Bursary winner) who will give a recital at the 2017 Lismore Opera Festival. This is the beginning of a wonderful musical collaboration between the two organisations and further strengthens the festivals commitment to providing performance and employment opportunities to young Irish artists.
Since its foundation in 2010, the festivals mission has been to grow in size and duration. Without the support of Lord and Lady Burlington and Giancarla and Michael Alen-Buckley the festival would not have reached its eighth year. The support of new sponsors Kildare Village & JLT Ireland and its patrons, a new Friends' Programme and an Ambassador of Lismore Opera Festival programme, The David Ross Foundation, local authority funding, and increased tickets sales will afford Lismore Opera Festival the opportunity to develop the festival and ensure its sustainability into the future. The festival has ambitions to expand its programme of events and number of performances, to attract even bigger numbers of visitors to the region as well as to create more employment and performance opportunities for emerging and established Irish artists.
The festival also presents audience development and access programmes, young audience education programmes, on the job training through the Lismore Opera Festival Mentor Programme, and provides performance opportunities for emerging Irish singers as part of its mission to bring the pleasure and sheer fun of opera to a wider audience.
This year the festival will present, a special audience development performance of L’Elisir d’Amore for local school children and youth groups, to date circa 3,000 children have attended opera for the first time thanks to the Lismore opera festival.
Lismore Opera Festival Mentor Programme
The festival provides professional mentorship opportunities to young people who wish to pursue a career in opera/theatre or performing arts. We offer hands on, on the job experience in the areas of costume; hair & makeup; lighting design; sound and stage management.
Each year the festival selects a small number of applicants who can shadow and learn first-hand from our professional team whilst working on one of our productions.
The Lismore Opera Festival is kindly supported by Lord and Lady Burlington of Lismore Castle; Giancarla and Michael Alen-Buckley; Kildare Village; JLT Ireland; Failte Ireland; Waterford Co. Co.; The David Ross Foundation & Friends of Lismore Opera Festival.