Covid Care Concerts in Lismore and Cappoquin

The ensemble set up outside St. Carthage's House, nursing home, Lismore. (Picture: Patrick Browne)

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival began their return across Waterford nursing homes on Monday last.

Creative Ireland awarded funding to the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival to deliver a new programme of Covid Care Concerts in residential care homes across Waterford in August and September.

Following a successful first series of concerts in June 2020, Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and Mobile Music Machine have begun their return to 10 care home settings in Cappoquin, Lismore, Waterford, and Dungarvan.

Monday saw the group visit St Carthage’s House, Lismore, followed by two stops in Dungarvan nursing homes for the hour long concert recitals.

Padre Pio Rest Home in Cappoquin welcomed the group on Tuesday for another recital at an appropriate social distance within the grounds of the care home.

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Director, Eamonn Carroll said that despite the weather, all scheduled concerts still went ahead. “The feedback has been really terrific again,” he told The Avondhu.

The Covid Care Concerts have already reached over 1,000 care home residents and staff in the country including a web broadcast in two venues.

Residents and staff of the care homes gather in outdoor areas or listen to the performance through open windows and doors.

“If there is one positive thing to emerge from the pandemic, it has shone a light on the desperate need to engage on a more regular basis with the most isolated members of society,” Director Carroll added.

Creative Waterford Coordinator Katherine Collins said: “the remit of Creative Waterford is to support creativity in communities, and what better way to do this than to provide music and joy to our older communities during difficult times. Creative Waterford is delighted to be working with world class musicians to bring high quality cultural activity to residents in care settings.”