The Lismore Opera Festival (LOF) is Ireland’s only summer opera festival set in the stunning surroundings of Lismore Castle and Gardens and in the beautiful and historic great homes along the Blackwater River.

Established in 2010 by a small group of opera professionals the festival is fast becoming a much anticipated annual event on the European Music Festivals calendar attracting music lovers and visitors to the region. A festival for lovers of music and the good life it incorporates, beautiful locations, venues, landscape, architecture, gardens, music, food and wine. LOF festival that believes in nurturing young talent, providing opportunities for young people and in introducing the next generation to the beauty of classic music and opera.

As well as opera, Lismore stages musical events and recitals in St. Carthage’s Cathedral and in some of the wonderful historic great houses and gardens along the Blackwater valley.

A key element of Lismore is our engagement with schools and schoolchildren, helping to inspire the musicians and singers – and the audiences – of the future.

Situated in what is often referred to as the Irish Riviera, Lismore Castle, the privately owned residence of the Duke of Devonshire and his family plays host to intimate, close up opera in the transformed upper stables on the grounds of the castle by kind permission of Lord and Lady Burlington.  The LOF has transformed the former castle stables into a beautiful setting for its productions and every effort has been made to weatherproof the venue and maximise comfort for its patrons including a roof and tiered seating.

The Lismore Festival was founded by two former Opera Ireland staff, Jennifer O’Connell (Former Marketing Director, Opera Ireland) and Dieter Kaegi (Former Artistic Director, Opera Ireland). Jennifer and Dieter invited friends and colleagues to join them in establishing a board to help build a world class festival in the Munster Region who’s raison d’etre is to bring the highest possible standards and quality of opera and classical music to an audience outside of the Capital city,  to create beautiful music in beautiful surroundings, to create employment opportunities, stimulate the local economy, build the audiences of the future, attract visitors to the region, create performance opportunities for young talent and present opera in a totally inclusive and authentic manner.

In the words of his Excellency, President Michael D. Higgins, “Music is such a powerful medium and the Lismore Opera Festival has been working tirelessly promoting the beauty and relevance of opera. It is wonderful to witness results of the drive and enthusiasm of such dedicated people making opera more accessible and connected to audiences in such an inclusive and authentic manner.”


“To bring beautiful music to a stunning location and create the audience of the future for the most beautiful of all art forms – Opera!”


  • Build the festival to become a week long annual event
  • Broaden events out to include unique venues along the Blackwater River
  • To tour LOF productions around Ireland and abroad
  • To encourage innovation and collaboration accross artforms through our ‘New Works’ programme
  • To provide professional experience for students through our ‘Mentor Programme’
  • Create employment direct, indirect & seasonal
  • Provide access and education to local community and schools


  • Two to three nights of opera at Lismore Castle stables.
  • Recitals and concerts in eight of the finest houses in the Blackwater Valley.
  • A fantastic culinary experience with a delicious summer menu and specially selected wines to enjoy under canvas in the romantic castle gardens.
  • 500 school children will attend our dress rehearsal performance as part of our ‘Schools Education and Audience Development Programme’


The LOF is a not for profit organisation which is applying for charity status and is dependent on box office income, funding, sponsorship and subscription as its only means of financial support. In order for us to continue and to build this festival so that it can bring the best of Irish and International music talent to West Waterford and Munster, we need your support and have designed a ‘LOF Friends Scheme’ which we hope you will be interested in joining.

Due to the success and popularity of the festival events we anticipate a huge demand for tickets(only 450 per performance). The friends scheme has been developed to encourage active participation and support, which will guarantee access to tickets, friends’ events and more. We would ask you to consider participation. We provide priority booking until the end of February for all fully paid up friends.

You may consider this an ideal gift to give to someone or may wish to join in your own right. Please feel free to copy the link and send it to others you think may be interested in lending their support and becoming a part of something very special in Lismore. For more information on the LOF Friends Scheme click here.

The Lismore Opera Festival is on a journey. We’d love you to come with us.