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Limerick Opera Festival. Mayor of Limerick Cllr Francis Foley with Limerick Opera Festival Director Ger Reidy and Liz Nolan, RTE Lyric Fm who will MC an opera gala evening in St Mary’s Cathedral on the 27th of April 2023.. Photography by: Kieran Ryan-Benson Limerick Opera Festival. Mayor of Limerick Cllr Francis Foley with Limerick Opera Festival Director Ger Reidy and Liz Nolan, RTE Lyric Fm who will MC an opera gala evening in St Mary’s Cathedral on the 27th of April 2023.. Photography by: Kieran Ryan-Benson

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Limerick Opera Festival will start and end on a high note

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Mayor of Limerick Cllr Francis Foley with Limerick Opera Festival Director Ger Reidy and Liz Nolan, RTE Lyric Fm who will MC an opera gala evening in St Mary’s Cathedral on the 27th of April 2023. Photography by: Kieran Ryan-Benson

Limerick Opera Festival will bring performances to delight opera lovers and newcomers kicking off this Thursday, April 20

Operatic arias will be performed across Limerick city as part of the second annual Limerick Opera Festival later this month.

The festival kicks off on Thursday April 20th @7.30pm in the fashionable Green Yard Café at Punches Cross. The stylish interior and leafy courtyard will combine to provide a unique setting for operatic performances. The audience can delight in the performances while enjoying food and drinks in the popular dining location.

On Saturday April 22nd, 11am to 4pm the Opera Festival will move to the streets of the city, with four free on-street performances taking place in locations throughout the city across the day;


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·         Lower Thomas Street

·         Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre – ground floor

·         Arthur’s Quay Park, adjacent to the old tourist office

·         The Fireplace on St. Nicholas Street 

Each performance will see three soloists and a supporting accompanist, giving the public a wide selection of some of the more popular operatic pieces.

On Thursday April 27th we present the Catherine Hayes Gala Concert in St. Mary’s Cathedral @ 7.30pm. With its 850-year history, it is perhaps one of Limerick’s most iconic venues. We celebrate the life of one of the world’s most famous sopranos. The gala evening of Operatic arias will see Liz Nolan of Lyric FM, in the company of two soloists, will take the audience through the life and works of the famed Limerick soprano. 

The festival will be supported with an exhibition that will run from April 20th to May 20th at the Limerick Museum, with the support of Museum Curator Dr Matthew Potter.

The exhibition will include pieces from The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, in relation to the great Joseph O’Mara and some wonderful pieces in relation to the amazing Catherine Hayes from the world famous La Scala, Milan, Italy.

These items have never been exhibited in Limerick before.

Organiser of the Limerick Opera Festival, Ger Reidy said: “Our events throughout the year are seeking to reignite Limerick’s historic connection with opera.

“With a splendid operatic history, Limerick has produced many iconic figures of the operatic genre. Catherine Hayes was born at No 4 Patrick Street in 1825. At the age of 15 she was an opera star and would soon become an idol of Europe. Having trained in Paris and Italy, at age 20 she sang in La Scala, Milan.

“The city has also given the world of opera Joseph O’Mara. Born in 1864, he trained in Milan and got his big break in London. His range was extensive and in all, his repertoire took in 67 tenor roles. He would go on to become a Freeman of Limerick in 1908 giving Limerick a wonderful story to tell.

“In more recent times the city can lay claim to Suzanne Murphy who was born in Limerick in 1941. She was a member of the Limerick Choral Union, going on to study in the College of Music in Dublin with the great Veronica Dunne. Following her studies, she joined the Welsh National Opera in 1976 as principal soprano making her debut as Konstanze in Mozart’s Il Seraglio. A version of this opera with Suzanne’s performance featured in the Academy Award-winning film Amadeus.”

The Limerick Opera Festival is seeking to foster a spirit that recognises and celebrates Limerick’s operatic past and brings those beautiful creations into our future, by bringing opera to all.

Limerick Opera Festival is supported by Limerick City and County Council and Limerick Twenty Thirty.

For more details on these events and events planned for later in the year, please visit www.limerickoperafestival.ie.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.