New collaboration between Irish Heritage & The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival

Irish Heritage and The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival have announced a new collaboration that enhances the benefits of the former’s annual Music Bursary with the inauguration of the Blackwater Valley Festival Recital Award.

The first recipients of the Award will be the winner and two runners-up of the Irish Heritage Bursary auditions that took place in the Wigmore Hall in London in November last. The three young musicians will share a special debut recital in the 2018 Blackwater Valley Festival that will give them the opportunity to showcase their individual talents.  The three students concerned will be guests of the Festival and will receive performance fees and travel expenses as part of their award.

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival builds on the legacy of Lismore Opera Festival, which since 2010 has provided a celebration of classical music and opera that takes place in the County Waterford town each June.  The newly expanded Festival features three opera nights performed in the stable yard of Lismore Castle as well as concerts and recitals in venues such as the town’s Cathedral, Salterbridge House and Cappoquin House.  The festival is a keenly anticipated, annual event on the European festivals calendar attracting music lovers and visitors to the region. This year’s festival takes place from 29th May to 3rd June.

The first students to benefit from the collaboration will be pianist Adam Heron, recipient of the Irish Heritage Music Bursary for 2017 and the two runners-up, soprano Rebecca Murphy and harpist Maria McNamee.

Commenting on the new collaboration, Katie Rowan, joint artistic director of Irish Heritage said, “The Blackwater Valley Festival Award really enhances the work of our Bursary and increases the range of the support and opportunity we give to young, emerging Irish musicians studying in this country.  We are enormously grateful to Michael Alen-Buckley and the Board of Blackwater Valley Opera for their generous support in making this possible.”

Michael Alen-Buckley of Blackwater Valley Opera Festival said, The Blackwater Valley Festival and Irish Heritage share a common commitment to support and showcase the best of young Irish musical talent. We were impressed by the calibre of all those young musicians who took part in last year’s Bursary auditions.  We look forward to working with Irish Heritage over coming years.”

The Recital Award will be presented annually for the next three years.