I recently chatted to Dieter Kaegi, Artistic Director & Festival Founder of Lismore Opera Festival a few weeks ago. He shared his plans for this year’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore and his vision for the future of the LOF.

  1. How do you choose each year’s opera?

The operas that we choose have to be accessible, entertaining, emotional and unique. They have to fit in with our location and they have to be appropriate for our possibilities, both financially and structurally.

  1. Why did you choose L’Elisir d’Amore?

The opera is set in rural Italy and the courtyard of the Lismore Castle is a perfect setting. Both title and composer are known to a wider audience.

  1. What would you say is so special about this opera?

Great, accessible music, memorable tunes, Italian flair.

  1. What is the theme for the production, costume, setting etc.?


  1. How will you transform the stables this year?

Into an Italian village square.

  1. Could you hint on a surprise for this year’s production (i.e. last year we had the horses)

No, otherwise it’s no surprise anymore 😀

  1. What makes Lismore setting and festival so special?

The castle, the nature, the swallows and the sunset, the light, the gardens, Blackwater River and much more!

  1. What’s your artistic vision as a part of a five-year plan?

We aim to make great opera even better! We will develop the ultimate Opera experience for our audience, protect this wonderful art form and enhance the town of Lismore by its association with the Festival.

The venue of Lismore Castle has given this Festival a unique selling point and has made it possible for the town of Lismore to stage Ireland’s only Summer Opera Festival and as part of the plan we will continue to create programmes that will show our gratitude for the generosity of Lord and Lady Burlington and the hosts of our concert series held in the wonderful houses along the Blackwater River.
We want to enlarge our repertoire, we want to incorporate contemporary Irish classical composers and we want to give other forms of classical music a platform. We want to discover more young Irish talent and we want to offer them an opportunity to perform in a professional environment. We also want to increase the interest for classical music among young audiences.  We want to offer our audience a precious present:  An exciting, relevant and emotional, unforgettable night at the opera!