Experience the Beauty and Charm of Opera at Blackwater Valley Opera Festival - Only 7 Days to Go!

Over 5,000 Visitors Expected to Attend Blackwater Valley Opera Festival - Are You Ready for the Magic?

Just under a week until the enchanting sound of opera fills the summer air at Blackwater Valley Opera Festival. Over 5,000 visitors are expected to engage their senses at the 8-day festival which runs from 27 May to 3 June at Lismore,Cappoquin, Dungarvan, Stradbally, Youghal, and Castlemartyr. With world-class performances, bespoke dining experiences, and stunning historic venues opening their doors just for the festival, unique experiences are guaranteed. There will be more than 100 world-class Irish and International performers providing over 75 hours of live music, the festival promises some captivating performances in beautiful locations.

The 2024 festival lineup promises an exquisite blend of baroque opera and classical music, with performances staged in some of Ireland’s most historic and beautiful venues steeped in history and character, including the majestic Lismore Castle. Guests will experience the profound emotional impact of world-class opera, enhanced by the unique charm and ambiance of the Blackwater Valley.


Festival highlights include:

Opera at the Castle

The flagship opera Giulio Cesare by G.F. Handel, will be performed on 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 one of Handel's greatest Italian operas.

Weds 29 May & Sat 1 June (SOLD OUT) Fri 31 May & Sun 2 June (Limited tickets)

Tickets €75-€220 Lismore Castle Waterford


Concerts at Dromore Yard  

A romantic, semi-restored 19th-century farmyard on the banks of the River Blackwater is the setting for some incredible performances including a belcanto 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 Antonio Vivaldi Concert with the Irish Baroque Orchestra - conducted by Nicholas McGegan, and with Arianna Vendittelli, and Iestyn Morris. 


Unique Recital Locations

Throughout the week, a series of intimate classical recitals will be held in various historic locations and precious homes throughout the Blackwater Valley,  including the scenic Cappoquin House and Gardens, Tourin House, Salterbridge House, Woodhouse Estate, and the atmospheric St. Carthage’s Cathedral, Villierstown Church, and St Mary’s Collegiate Church. The Recitals will showcase a diverse repertoire from Handel and Haydn songbooks to Charles Villiers Stanford, with Irish melodies, Irish writers, and Irish salon operas. The festival also supports 10 artists and performers through four Bursary Awards for up-and-coming performers.

Witness the talent of tomorrow - see this year’s RDS Collins Memorial winner, BVOF Bursary Recital winners, RIAM John Pollard winners, and Irish Heritage award winners perform live at events during this year’s festival. Tickets for some recitals are still available. 


Free Open Air Recitals

Experience classical and operatic music in a welcoming and relaxed outdoor environment with Free Open-Air Lunchtime Recitals in Waterford and Cork (Lismore, Dungarvan, Youghal and Castlemartyr)  on 28 and 31 May, 1 and 2 June. Book a free ticket in advance online.   

Engage your Senses

For food enthusiasts, there are incredible pop-up dining experiences throughout the week highlighting the stunning produce of the Waterford and Cork region. Choose from celebrity TV chef Eunice Power's Giulio Cesare menu at Lismore Castle, indulge in Gourmet Table Picnics by award-winning culinary duo Eamo & Ró, savour a lunchtime recital packages available at local eateries, or bring your own picnic to dine on before each of the concerts at Dromore Yard. Pre-booking is essential for all dining or call the Box Office for prices and options. 

Opera for the Young

As part of the festival’s commitment to inspire creativity by sharing the joy and wonder of opera and classical music with children and young people in the region, hundreds of primary and post-primary students will take part in educational workshops, attend the Opera Dress Rehearsal, and perform at the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday 28th May (12pm Lismore).  


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. 


Tickets for all events are almost sold out with limited tickets available for a number of events- 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.