Thursday, September 15, 2022

Pictured at the cheque presentation at Lismore Castle were Eamonn Carroll (BVOF Festival Director), BVOF Board members Michael and Giancarla Alen-Buckley and Áine McKeown (Business Development Officer, UNICEF Ireland).

Photo: Patrick Browne

UNICEF Ireland has been presented with a cheque for €7,312.85 by board members of the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF) at Lismore Castle.

The proceeds were generated from ticket sales for the BVOF ‘Voices of Ukraine’ recital in Dromore Yard, which took place on Sunday, June 5.

‘Voices of Ukraine’, which was held at Dromore Yard, overlooking the River Blackwater, featured internationally acclaimed Ukrainian artists, soprano Ruslana Koval, baritone Stanislav Kuflyuk and pianist Iryna Krasnovska.

It was among the last of the 19 events which ran during the week-long festival which drew 4,000 people to Lismore from home and abroad, providing a welcoming economic boost for the West Waterford economy.

Healthy crowds also took in the free open air lunchtime recitals in Dungarvan, Lismore, Youghal and Fermoy.

As had become the custom, a free, full scale dress rehearsal of the festival’s main production, Gluck’s ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’ in this instance, was held in the grounds of Lismore Castle for local school students prior to its full run.

BVOF has established itself as the country’s summer opera festival, much to the delight of Festival Director Eamonn Carroll, who also hailed the effort of local volunteers in driving its success.

“We have about 70 volunteers – our ‘Local Heroes’ – directly involved in this year’s festival across all areas, be it in terms of welcoming patrons, helping to manage venues, including Lismore Castle, and driving the cars provided to us by MSL Mercedes Benz to ferry performers and patrons to the various venues. Then you have those who assist in terms of hospitality and a wonderful team of parking volunteers led by Mike Russell. Without all of that support, we just wouldn’t have a festival. If you build good foundations, you can create something that’s sustainable. That’s our goal.”

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