Skip to main content

Northern Ireland Opera returns to the historic North Coast village of Glenarm in Co. Antrim for the ninth Glenarm Festival of Voice from Friday 30th August to Sunday 1st September, in partnership with BBC Radio 3. 

Five bright young talents from across Ireland compete for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and the title of Northern Ireland Opera’s Voice of 2019 in a weekend-long programme of recitals and performances which culminates with the Competition Finale on Sunday 1 September at 7pm where the winner of this year’s competition is crowned.

For the first time this year there’s also the option of joining NI Opera and Glenarm Castle Tea Room on Sunday 1st September from 4.30pm -6.30pm between the last Radio 3 Recital and the Competition Finale for a special ‘Flavours of the Festival’ meal with access to the Competition Finale included in the ticket price.

This weekend will also have three free-to-attend recitals in partnership with BBC Radio 3, featuring some of the UK’s finest singers and musicians.  These are full length concerts with an interval. Registration will open from July 29th 2019 via the BBC website for these three free recitals and will close on August 4th 2019.

Friday 30th August 8 p.m. Ema Nikolovska (mezzo), accompanied by Joseph Middleton.
Saturday 31st August 8 p.m. Siobhan Stagg (soprano), accompanied by Joseph Middleton.
Sunday 1st September 1 p.m. Julien Van Mellaerts (baritone), accompanied by Joseph Middleton.

Saturday 31st August, 1pm: Glens of Antrim Singing Explorers Finale Concert
St Patrick’s Church of Ireland, Glenarm. Free Admission: The Glens of Antrim Singing Explorers Finale Concert will not be ticketed, but seating will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

After a week long summer scheme of fun, games and rehearsals, come along and watch the Glens of Antrim Singing Explorers – a choir made up of local primary schoolchildren – as they perform alongside Northern Ireland Opera’s Studio singers. Previous concerts have included traditional favourites like The Gypsy Rover, The Rattlin’ Bog, The Blue Hills of Antrim and much much more!

Saturday 31st August, 3pm: Jacques Offenbach, Tulipatan: An Island Just Like This
Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough
Ticket £10 through the link or from The Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough

Him or her, he or she: how can you tell, and does it matter when you are in love? Find out in a cheeky one-act musical farce by the father of operetta, Jacques Offenbach, and travel with us to Tulipatan, an island where nothing quite is as it seems. Brought to you by the NI Opera Studio in an informal production, sung in French, with English dialogues and translations.

Sunday 1st September, 4.30pm to 6.30 pm: Flavours of the Festival
Glenarm Castle Tea Room, Glenarm
£25 for 3 courses, or £27.50 for 2 courses of a French-themed menu with a choice of house wine. Both options include a ticket to the Glenarm Festival of Voice Competition Finale

Glenarm Castle Tea Room and NI Opera’s Festival of Voice invite you to dine in style between 4.30 and 6.30, then join us as a VIP guest at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenarm, as our Festival search to find the young opera voice of 2019 concludes in a thrilling concert at 7 p.m. featuring all five finalists. To book, please contact angela@glenarmcastle.com or call her on 028 288 41984 (payment will be taken by credit card over the phone so please include a daytime telephone number).

Sunday 1st September, 7pm: Festival of Voice 2019 Competition Finale
Church of the Immaculate Conception, Glenarm
Tickets £10/£5 (Student) through the link above or on the door at the event.

Join us on Sunday evening for the culmination of this year’s Festival of Voice – the Competition Finale. Hosted by renowned broadcaster Sean Rafferty, this competition features the brightest young singing talents from across Ireland, performing arias, duets and songs, for the chance to be awarded the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and be the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2019Our five finalists for 2019 are Conor Breen, Ava Dodd, Susie Gibbons, Brian McAlea and Dominica Williams.  The Peter Rankin Piano Intern for 2019 will be Frasier Hickland.

There will be open rehearsals in the venues in Glenarm across the weekend, so if the doors are open, feel free to wander in and listen.

Read about the background to the festival and the prizes for the finalists here: https://www.niopera.com/our-work/festival-of-voice/

Read an interview with Bruno Caproni in the Belfast Telegraph, talking about his summer school, Canto al Serchio, to which the winner is invited each year: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/news/bangorborn-baritone-seeks-budding-local-opera-singers-for-italian-job-38272082.html