The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF), Ireland’s summer opera festival, has launched its programme of events which will run over five days from the new dates of Wednesday 1st until Sunday, 5th September 2021.

The Festival, which is hosted on the magical grounds of Lismore Castle, County Waterford will feature a series of performances, including Puccini’s wonderful opera Gianni Schicchi and an exciting concert and recital programme.

This year’s festival has been reimagined in light of Covid-19 and was moved to September to allow for maximum numbers to attend while ensuring all Covid-19 measures are adhered to.

As part of this year’s festival, a number of free Open Air lunchtime recitals will be held in association with Cork County Council, bringing the magic of opera to Lismore, Youghal and Waterford. The festival will also feature a number of education initiatives reaching over 20 schools across the region, including a Schools Programme and Opera Trail in collaboration with Music Generation Waterford.

The popular ‘Covid Care Concerts’ will also make a return to many residential care settings in towns and villages across Waterford and East Cork. The Covid Care Concerts have been a great success since launching in 2019, and have made an incredible impact in over 50 care homes in the Waterford area.


Speaking about the festival launch, Eamonn Carroll, Festival Director, said, “Having cancelled last year’s Festival as a result of the restrictions in place due to Covid-19, we are delighted to welcome live audiences back to enjoy the magic of opera on the beautiful grounds of Lismore Castle once again. Our feature will be Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi, a light-hearted, comedic opera, which will help lift spirits after the past year we have all gone through. 

“As part of this year’s festival we will also host a series of free outdoor performances across West Waterford and East Cork throughout the week, bringing opera to those we may not have experienced it before. We also have a number of new initiatives in our schools programme all of which builds on our strategy to promote the art of opera across the region.”


Some highlights from the festival programme include the following.

Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi running Wednesday 1st –  Sunday, 5th September – A production of Puccini’s comedic opera, a tale  of deceit, greed and young love. Featuring a star studded cast of Irish and International artists;

A new and exciting series of free outdoor lunchtime recitals in Lismore, Dungarvan and Youghal from Thursday 2nd –  Saturday, 4th September, featuring artists from the 2021 Festival;

The BVOF Bursary award which will support exceptional emerging Irish artists, and this recital showcases the talents of 2020 and 2021 Bursary winners (Wednesday, 1st September);

and renowned Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns performs a special tribute concert to Count John McCormack on Thursday, 2nd September.

The Festival have partnered with chef Eunice Power and Food The Waterford Way, to provide Gourmet Table Picnic options to those attending the festival. The picnics include locally sourced produce with vegetarian and vegan options to suit all dietary needs. The Corkscrew also offer a range of wines and champagnes to compliment the sumptuous meal. Gourmet picnics are priced at €55 and full menu options are available on the festival website.

Tickets on sale from today, starting from €20 for recitals and from €60 for the main opera production. They are available from the box office at

As the festival is held subject to national public health restrictions, more tickets may become available as Government guidelines are announced. Up-to-date information is available on the Festival website and across social media channels.