Blackwater Valley Opera Festival
The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (formerly the Lismore Opera Festival and Lismore Music Festival) is a classical music and opera festival held annually in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland. Founded in 2010 by Jennifer O'Connell and artistic director Dieter Kaegi, the festival was re-launched as the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival in February 2018.
Previous events have consisted of three opera nights performed in Lismore Castle's stable yard. Concerts and recitals have also been staged in Lismore and in historic homes located along the banks of the Blackwater River downstream to the parish of Cappoquin. These venues have included Salterbridge House, Cappoquin House, Tourin House, Dromore Yard and Lismore Cathedral.
Marco Zambelli was the conductor of the festival for several years, except in 2016, when Killian Farrell conducted Così fan tutte, and in 2019 when Darren Hargan conducted Don Pasquale. The 2019 festival presented two operas for the first time, with 15 performances in total, including a solo recital by Giovanni Bellucci.
The 2020 event was cancelled as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020, however, the festival's organisers coordinated with a classical music education company to run outdoor concerts for residential care home residents. By March 2021, the concert series was reportedly "the largest arts and health intervention supported in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland" and had included 350 live classical music concerts in 13 counties involving artists like Anthony Kearns, Des Keogh, Celine Byrne, and Iarla Ó Lionáird.
- 2010 Carmen by Georges Bizet
- 2011 Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- 2012 The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini
- 2013 The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- 2014 The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- 2015 La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini
- 2016 Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- 2017 L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti (with tenor Anthony Kearns)
- 2018 L'italiana in Algeri by Gioachino Rossini
- 2019 Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti and The Sleeping Queen by Michael William Balfe
- 2021 Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini
- Neil Fisher (9 June 2017). "L'elisir d'amore at Lismore Castle, Co Waterford". The Times.
- "Festival homepage". blackwatervalleyoperafestival.com. Blackwater Valley Opera Festival. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
Building on the legacy of the Lismore Opera Festival, [the] Box office opens on March 1st 2018 [for] the Blackwater Valley [Festival] May 29th to June 3rd 2018
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- Mannion, Eleanor (18 September 2020). "'Covid Care Concerts' tour delights care home residents". rte.ie. RTÉ News.
- "Opera brings festive cheer to care home residents in Limerick". limerickleader.ie. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
- "350 Live Concerts With World-Class Artists Bring Joy To Residents Of Hospital Settings & Residental [sic] Care Homes". The Journal of Music. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
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- Kearns, Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, L. L. C. and Anthony. "Tenor Anthony Kearns Returns to Lismore Opera Festival to Perform in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore". prnewswire.com. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
- Dervan, Michael. "Opera in Waterford and an Irish debut: This week's classical music highlights". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
- "Images of the Day". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 September 2021.