Lismore Opera Festival announces new sponsors – Kildare Village and JLT Ireland.

Pictured at the launch of the Lismore Opera Festival 2017 programme, in the Assembly Hall of the Irish Georgian Society, Dublin. L to R - Sandra Oman, who will perform the part of Giannetta in L'Elisir d'Amore and Rory Musgrave who will perform the part of Belcore.


Lismore Opera Festival (LOF), Ireland’s only summer opera festival has announced details of its new sponsors Kildare Village and JLT Ireland, the RDS Collins Memorial Performance Award, a new annual Performance Award in association with the RDS and a 30% increase in ticket sales compared to this time last year.

The festival box office is now open to the public following priority booking for “Friends of LOF” or 085 746 07 35. Tickets are selling fast and ahead of previous years. Early booking is highly recommended. The festival takes place in the stunning surroundings of Lismore Castel and Gardens and at various properties along the Blackwater River from 1st to 4th June – opera Fri 2nd and Sat 3rd June.

At a launch reception kindly sponsored by Crown Worldwide Group, in the Octagonal Room of the Irish Georgian Society, South William Street, the festival Chairman elect, Mr. Michael Alen-Buckley and the festival co-founder and Artistic Director Mr. Dieter Kaegi, outlined the exciting plans for the festival’s 2017 programme and the future with the help and support of its new sponsors Kildare Village and JLT Ireland. Those who attended the launch were treated to a performance by LOF L’Elisir d’Amore cast members Sandra Oman and Rory Musgrave who were both wearing amazing Italian designer Versace clothes provided by Kildare Village especially for the occasion. The singers were accompanied on piano by David Wray.

I am delighted to be joining the new Board of the Lismore Opera Festival as its chairman. We now have a strong framework for the future having established a Friends Programme, solid corporate sponsorship with particular thanks to Kildare Village and JLT Ireland and a renewed standing with the Arts’ funding bodies in Ireland.  The partnership of private and public funding coming together is always an exciting opportunity where one underpins the other giving all concerned extra value for their contributions. It shows that there is a market as well as a need for such joyful, artistic endeavours professionally delivered – without which our lives would be as dull as a January sky.” LOF Chairman elect, Michael Alen-Buckley

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 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.

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.

The LOF production of L’Elisir d’Amore features a predominantly Irish cast directed by Dieter Kaegi, and sees the return of some festival favourites:

Anthony Kearns Nemorino

Majella Cullagh Adina

Damon Nestor Ploumis  Dr. Dulcamara

Sandra Oman Giannetta

Rory Musgrave Belcore

The festival will also, for the first time, have a chorus of 12 students from DIT, RIAM and Cork School of Music, under chorus Mistress Mairead Hurley of DIT.

Festival favourite, Maestro Marco Zambelli, will return to Lismore to conduct the LOF Chamber Orchestra of Irish musicians.

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.

This year the festival is delighted to expand its recitals series to include two new houses, Tourin House and Fortwilliam Estate. These recitals are extremely popular as they combine beautiful music in beautiful private homes along the Blackwater river. This expansion represents a significant community involvement from those that live and love the Blackwater valley and that are prepared to open up their houses to support the festival.

LOF Recitals on the Blackwater:


Salterbridge House, 12.00 noon Saturday 3rd June

Kieran Moynihan, Flute, accompanied on piano by Marco Zambelli, featuring composers such as Donizetti, Rossini, Locatelli.

Fortwilliam Estate, 2.30pm Saturday 3rd June (NEW).

Members of the LOF Chorus will perform arias, duets and ensemble pieces from the world’s favourite operas.


Cappoquin Sunday, 12 noon, Sunday 4th June

Sandra Oman and Damon Nestor Ploumis perform arias and duets from popular Italian operas.

Tourin House, 2.30pm, Sunday 4th June (NEW)

Renowned Cellist, Gerald Peregrine, accompanied on piano by Marco Zambelli, featuring music by composers such as Boccherini, Albinoni, Rossini and Vivaldi.

St. Carthage’s Cathedral, 6pm, Sunday 4th June – RDS Collins Memorial Performance

Violin Recital – Patrick Rafter

Accompanied by Lance Coburn

Regarded as one of Ireland’s most promising musicians, international award winning violinist Patrick Rafter has toured Europe, Asia and America as Concert Violinist, Chamber and Orchestral musician, and currently studies under Maxim Vengerov and Oleg Kaskiv at the International Menuhin Music Academy Switzerland. Patrick most recently became the RDS Music Bursary Winner (2015).

“I’d like to congratulate the Lismore Opera Festival for putting together such a terrific programme. JLT is proud to be associated with a festival which will not only give vital support to Irish opera but which also brings a great cultural and economic boost to the South-East Region.” Patrick Howett, managing director of JLT Ireland

We are delighted to be associated with Lismore Opera festival for the second year running. We have really enjoyed being part of the evolution of this exciting festival and as keen sponsors we feel it’s the perfect showcase to support Irish talent’ – Julia Wilks, Marketing Manager, Kildare Village

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.

To find out more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Sandra at the box office on (085)746 0735 or