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01 Jul 2022

Exhibition of operatic memorabilia opens at Limerick museum

Exhibition of operatic memorabilia opens at Limerick museum

Ger Reidy, Limerick Opera Festival; Mayor Daniel Butler,; Tom Hackett, Limerick Opera Festival and Dr Matthew Potter at the launch of the museum I PICTURE: Keith Wiseman

02-06-2022 The Limerick Operatic Meborabilia Exhibition part of the Limerick Opera Festival curated by Dr Matthew Potter and Ger Reidy, Director of the Limerick Opera Festival on show at the Limerick Museum, Ger Reidy, Director of the Limerick Opera Festival, Mayor of Limerick City and County Council, Daniel Butler, Tom Hackett, Limerick Opera Festival and Dr Matthew Potter, Limerick City Museum. Picture: Keith Wiseman

THE Limerick Operatic Memorabilia Exhibition has opened in Limerick Museum as part of the Limerick Opera Festival.

The exhibition, which features objects from the permanent collection of Limerick Museum and items on loan from private collectors, demonstrate the high quality of Limerick’s musical life over the past 250 years and are a reminder of the great venues that the city boasted such as the Theatre Royal on Henry Street and the Savoy Theatre on Bedford Row. 

Members of the public will get to see a variety of objects that were loaned by two of the top five opera houses in the world, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and La Scala Opera House, Milan. This shows how Limerick punched above its weight in the world’s musical culture on many occasions in the past 200 years.

Established in 2019 by Ger Reidy, the Limerick Opera Festival was created to bring opera to the entire community, through a wide variety of live performances, operatic renditions, exhibitions and community events. Through this initiative, Ger Reidy and his colleagues seek to foster a community that celebrates its past.

Limerick’s first operatic production was the Beggar’s Opera by John Gay in 1767.

Over the past quarter of a century, Limerick has produced many iconic figures of the operatic genre, from European idol Catherine Hayes to Joseph O’Mara and, in more recent times, Suzanne Murphy.

Limerick also inspired The Lily of Killarney, a famous opera based on the tragic story of the Colleen Bawn, Ellen Hanley from Ballycahane, near Bruree.  The Lily of Killarney was performed all over the world and is mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

The Limerick Operatic Memorabilia Exhibition has been curated by Dr Matthew Potter, Curator of Limerick Museum and Ger Reidy, Director of the Limerick Opera Festival. #

It is one of a series that have been held at Limerick Museum since it reopened in the old Franciscan Friary five years ago and which have resulted in the Museum becoming one of the principal exhibition venues in Limerick.

The Exhibition continues until the end of June.

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