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Opera brings festive cheer to care home residents in Limerick

Opera brings festive cheer to care home residents in Limerick

Sandra Oman, soprano, at Athlunkard Nursing Home, Westbury | PICTURE: Keith Wiseman

FOLLOWING the success of almost 200 Covid Care Concerts across six counties nationwide, Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and Mobile Music Machine arrived in Limerick ahead of Christmas in a bid to lift the festive mood of care home residents.

The concerts, which took place in 10 residential care homes across the city and county were made possible through generous philanthropic support from the Lakeside Fund.

The Covid Care Concerts have become a vital resource for residents and staff, bringing classical music into the lives of the most vulnerable members of society and those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival partners with the renowned classical music ensemble Mobile Music Machine to deliver these one-hour concerts at a safe and appropriate social distance in the grounds and gardens of care homes.

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is a celebration of opera and classical music set in west Waterford.

Operas are staged in Lismore Castle and a programme of recitals and concerts are hosted in some of the great houses of the region. 

Care home residents across Limerick were in for a special treat as the concerts featured performances by a quartet of internationally acclaimed artists including tenor Anthony Kearns, soprano Sandra Oman, violinist Lynda O’Connor and cellist Gerald Peregrine. 

The Limerick care homes which hosted the concerts included Corbally House Nursing Home, The Park Nursing Home, Athlunkard Nursing Home, Maria Goretti Nursing Home, St Gobnait’s Nursing Home, Thorpe’s Nursing Home, St Catherine’s Nursing Home,  Adare District Nursing Home, Croagh; St Anthony’s Nursing Home, Pallasgreen; and St Michael’s Nursing Home, Caherconlish. 

“We have been overwhelmed by the reaction to the Covid Concerts since they began earlier in the summer and we are so grateful to Gerald Peregrine and Mobile Music Machine for delivering them in such a professional and empathetic way,” said Blackwater Valley Opera Festival director Eamonn Carroll.

“We have brought joy and hope and built long lasting relationships with the residents and staff of the care homes and it has been an incredible honour for us to be involved in such a project”. 

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