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Blackwater Valley Opera Festival 


Ireland's Blackwater Valley Opera Festival has been likened to Glyndebourne. While this is an understandable comparison, it is unfair to both festivals. They are equally unique, and for many, the venue of Lismore Castle in the scenic Blackwater Valley is far superior, and what it lacks in scale, it more than makes up for in intimacy and variety.


Opera Voce Tours is offering you a two-night stay in a 5-star luxury hotel with the opportunity to attend two operas and an afternoon concert, a chance to dine in the castle grounds, and the possibility of meeting and talking to two of the principal singers.

All your travel while in Ireland will be taken care of, which includes return transport from Cork airport or Cork train station to the hotel and return transport between the hotel and the festival. All meals are included in the price, apart from the first evening, owing to the many dining options available. However, they can easily be ordered on arrival.   

Please note that places are restricted to ensure that we can offer you individual attention and that the meetings with the singers have a degree of personal contact.

opera singer
Photograph reproduced with kind permission from BVOF
Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of BVOF


Friday 31st May

Arrive Cork Airport/Train Station: shuttle service to hotel

17:00: Welcome drinks and light snacks

18:30: Meet Soprano Kelli-Ann Masterson

You can read more about Kelli-Ann on her website at:

Saturday 1st June

10:30: Transport to Lismore

11:15: Meet mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty 

13:00: La Zingarella at Lismore Cathedral

14:00: Lunch (venue to be confirmed)  

15:00: Meet Soprano Sharon Carty

16:00: Wilde in Music Recital at Lismore Cathedral

17:30: Pre-Opera Dining

20:00: Giulio Cesare 

23:00: Return Transport To Hotel

Sunday 2nd June

Morning shuttle service to Cork Airport/ train station

Photograph of Lismore Castle. Reproduced with the kind permission of BVOF
opera scene


Giulio Cesare (1724) by G.F. Handel (1685-1759)

Starring: Ingeborg Brocheler, Anna Devin, Nils Wanderer, Carolyn Holt, Sharon Carty, Dean Murphy, Iestyn Morris & Fionn O hAlmhain

Director: Tom Creed

Conductor: Nicholas McGegan

La ZIngarella (1879)  by J. O'Kelly (1828-85)
Starring: Kelli-Ann Masterson & Dean Power

Piano: Frasier Hickland, Flute: Amy Gillen, Spoken Word: Emma Power

Wilde in Music in collaboration with RIAM

Photograph of the festival's production of Macbeth. Reproduced with the kind permission of BVOF


Part of the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival experience that sets it apart from any other festival is the pre-opera drinks and formal dining options.

Drinks are available from 5 p.m., which can be enjoyed while exploring the beautiful castle gardens. 

Dining begins at 5:45 p.m. and offers guests a three course meal, followed by tea and coffee. Wine can be ordered in advance or at the table, but it is not included in the price. A vegan option is available. 


Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of BVOF

opera tour location

The 18th-century manor house of Castlemartyr was opened as a luxury 5-star hotel in 2008. Set on 220 acres of grounds and boasting its own 18-hole golf course, it is situated next to an 800-year-old castle and has everything on hand for the discerning guest, including a spa, tennis facilities and a variety of dining options.

Your accommodation is in the deluxe room category with breakfast naturally included.

On arrival, there will be a 'meet & greet' event at 6 p.m., in which you will be offered drinks and light snacks. If you think that you will require an evening meal, then we will be able to book it for you in advance, or you can order it on arrival.

A Message From Sharon Carty
               who will be playing Sesto in Giulio Cesare

I'm looking forward to meeting you all in the beautiful and historical Blackwater Valley for Ireland's summer opera festival for a weekend of stunning music.

'Giulio Cesare' is one of my favourite operas, and, for the second time, I shall be singing the role of Sesto. This will be my debut at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, and I am excited to share it with you!


It is an opera full of incredible arias, many of which will be known to you, such as "Va tacito e nascosto" and "Piangero la sorte mia."

Join me for this intense drama featuring the ravages of war, family drama, the triumph in the face of adversity and one of the greatest love stories the world has ever known!


                                                                      Sharon Carty    

You can find out more about Sharon and her forthcoming performances as well as her wonderful new CD release: C.V. Stanford. Cushendall Irish Song Cycles. on her website. Simply click the link below:

opera singer

Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Sharon Carty. Copyright Joe Duffy

The price for the entire package will be  £1,290
opera location

Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of BVOF

opera location

Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of BVOF

To make a booking simply click on the link below, where you will find all the necessary information about securing your place on this tour. 

But don't delay, places are limited.
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