Discover Singing! Discover Opera! Blackwater Valley Opera Festival

31st May-6th June


The new ‘Discover Singing’ programme in conjunction with Music Generation Waterford and Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is for local primary schools in County Waterford.

This is in addition to the existing ‘Discover Opera’ education programme trail for schools, which began in 2021, and a free Opera Dress Rehearsal production for second-level school groups, which takes place on Tuesday 31st May at 8pm.


The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF), Ireland’s unmissable summer opera, is returning on a high note for seven magical days from 31st of May to the 6th of June 2022.

The festival, which attracts more than 3,000 people to Waterford and the Blackwater Valley region each year, has embarked on an even bigger celebration of opera, classical music, and the arts than ever before.

Highlights at this year’s BVOF include the headline opera Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with rising stars from the award-winning Irish Baroque Orchestra and CoisCéim Dance Theatre, 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 dining experiences!

Selected as the flagship festival for Waterford in 2022, it 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.

Artistic Director Dieter Kaegi has developed a creative and imaginative programme for all to enjoy during its 13th season. BVOF will showcase emerging Irish talent alongside established international artists and rising stars, to bring opera to life in a variety of unique and stunning locations like Lismore Castle, Salterbridge House, St Carthage’s Cathedral, Villierstown Church and Tourin House along the beautiful Blackwater Valley.

The opera Orfeo ed Euridice is the headline event for four evening performances from June 1 – 5 at Lismore Castle, the heart of the festival.  It is one of the most popular works by renowned composer Gluck, first performed in Vienna in 1762.  This love story is based on the myth of Orpheus, a demigod with a talent for music.  When his bride Euridice dies, he seeks her soul in the underworld.  The opera featuring established and upcoming rising stars, will be directed by David Bolger and conducted by Peter Whelan – one of the most sought-after young directors in the world.  It also has a fantastic cast, including rising star Wexford soprano Kelli-Ann Masterson, Meili Li, the first Chinese countertenor to have an international career, and Irish lyric-coloratura soprano Aoife Gibney, who has performed leading roles on various stages in Europe.

The opera performance will feature new artistic collaborations with the acclaimed Irish Baroque Orchestra, and dancers from the award-winning and powerful CoisCéim Dance Theatre, alongside the BVOF Chorus.

Other 2022 programme highlights and rising stars include a series of unmissable concerts at the breath taking Dromore Yard in West Waterford, featuring Maurice Steger and Friends: with Daniele Caminiti and Mauro Valli; and the phenomenally talented pianist Giovanni Bellucci. The Irish Baroque Orchestra, conducted under the artistic direction of Peter Whelan, together with the acclaimed Nuria Rial and Juan Sancho, will draw audiences from all over the world.

A series of four free Open Air Lunchtime Recitals will be presented for the enjoyment of communities in Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Fermoy.  Advance booking is necessary on the festival website.

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. From gothic castle grounds, to vaulted ceilings in sacred spaces, and heritage farm buildings, you will be hard pressed to get an operatic or classical experience in a more diverse range of settings.


Blackwater Valley Opera Festival- Headline Opera

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF) Concerts

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF) Recitals:


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