Opera For All in Limerick’s lanes over Christmas

Opera singer Rory Dunne outside Mother Mac's.

AMID the bustle of Christmas revellers, one of Limerick’s lost lanes was an unlikely venue for a series of unique cultural performances.

Limerick Opera Festival and Mother Mac’s public house joined forces to bring a memorable festive offering to the people of Limerick – the Al Fresco Seasonal Sessions, with operatic sensational seasonal aria performances.

The Limerick Opera Festival’s ethos of “Opera for All” was realised with these open air public performances.

The hugely successfully series of events transformed a space adjacent to Mother Mac’s from a narrow and under-utilised laneway to a people-centred cultural public space.

The series of events has had a positive contribution to Limerick’s nighttime economy, bringing hundreds of people into the temporary people-first area.

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The organisers are committed to growing opera for all through the use of this and similar underutilised spaces, which could be adapted for temporary people-focused projects.

The seasonal sessions invited esteemed opera stars Gina Oberoi Engela, Ami Hewitt, Eoin Foran, Naho Koizumi, and Rory Dunne, with Irina Dernova providing musical accompaniment, with performances happening on three evenings across the Christmas period.

“This event demonstrates the thirst and hunger for culture that exists in Limerick City,” said Mother Mac’s owner, Michael McMahon.

“The willingness of all groups to collaborate and support an untested approach demonstrates the ongoing commitment to support Limericks cultural needs and our nighttime economy,” he added.

Limerick Opera Festival was established in 2019 with the objective of bringing opera to all through a wide variety of live performances, operatic renditions, exhibitions and community events.

With a splendid operatic history, Limerick has produced many iconic figures of the operatic genre – from European idol Catherine Hayes and world-renowned Joseph O’Mara to, more recently, Suzanne Murphy.

Through this initiative, Limerick Opera Festival seeks to foster a community that celebrates the past and brings beautiful creations into the future.