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Opera Workshop Partnership with Hands in Harmony Deaf Community Choir

Opera Workshop Partnership with Hands in Harmony Deaf Community Choir

Opera Workshop has been busy these last few months with new partners Hands in Harmony Deaf Community Choir on a performance and film project that combines Irish Sign Language and music. Opera Workshop Partnership

The two organisations have been working together with Limerick-based film-maker Lucy Dawson, in a series of workshops that explore through music and performance the big issues and the daily obstacles for members of Limerick’s deaf community and showcase the humour, the resilience and great warmth of this convivial choir.

This project was made possible through funding from the Limerick City & Council Arts Department, Creative Ireland – Made in Limerick Grant.


Through a series of workshops captured on film, Hands in Harmony and Opera Workshop are exploring song performance and narrative, leading to a sharing of the work at a live performance in November 2019.

The project highlights the positive impact music has on the deaf community and how deaf and hearing alike can be united through music.


The choir comprises a mixture of hearing and deaf participants who see the choir as a way of positively promoting ability in the deaf community and highlighting the importance of ISL, the third national language since December 2017.

It draws awareness to the deaf community and the language barriers that deaf people experience in wider society due to a lack of understanding of their language, culture, and history.

Opera Workshop was set up in 2017 by Shirley Keane. Based in Limerick the company aims to provide the focus for a collective of like-minded artists interested in testing their skills, developing new productions, seeking opportunities to experiment, develop and share innovative ideas in opera performance.

Opera Workshop is Limerick’s first resident opera company.   Limerick has had a love affair with opera over many years and now Opera Workshop is hoping to reinvigorate old favourites and break new ground in opera performance for Limerick city and county and across the Mid-west. 

For more information on Opera Workshop click here. 

For more stories on Opera Workshop click here. 


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 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.