Following the resounding success of its 2023 programme, Music Generation Waterford is set to enchant classrooms across the county once again with the return of Discover Opera and Discover Singing. These innovative music education initiatives, in partnership with the esteemed Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, promise to bring the transformative power of music to primary school children.
Made possible through the generous support of the Tomar Trust and Waterford City & County Council, these musical education outreach projects immerse children and their teachers in the captivating world of opera and singing.
The workshops aim to go beyond traditional music education, fostering an environment that sparks dialogue, encourages critical thinking, and, most importantly, ensures a plethora of fun for all the students.
"A superb, formative, inspiring experience which may well open career pathways." - St Declan's National School
"It's fun, interactive, educational and inclusive for all the children." - Carriglea National School
The Discover Opera and Discover Singing education programmes serve as gateways to a world of artistic expression, providing a unique opportunity for young minds to explore the rich tapestry of musical storytelling. Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and Music Generation Waterford aims to ignite a passion for the performing arts, nurture creativity and instil a love for music that will resonate with children for years to come.
Discover Singing is an exciting singing initiative presented by Blackwater Valley Opera Festival in partnership with Music Generation Waterford. 
Discover Singing is an exciting singing project for primary schools where 3rd to 6th class children and their teachers take part in a series of inspirational singing in-person workshops during April – May 2024, to explore the voice, learn fun and engaging songs and work towards a singing experience during festival week.
This project is an active participatory project with singing, movement and musical exploration led by a professional team of musician educators including Anita Mahon and Conor Clancy, alongside BVOF Chorus members. 
Discover Opera is an exciting series of educational music workshops for 2nd to 6th class pupils during April – May 2024, presented by Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and Music Generation Waterford. The programme brings children and their teachers into the curious and creative world of opera, exploring the music, story and characters alongside visiting the set and meeting some of this year’s cast and crew.
Students will take part in singing, movement and musical exploration led by professional musician educators including Elizabeth Drwal and Danny Dunford.
After a sequence of in-school workshops, both initiatives will reach their pinnacle with an exceptional musical encounter in Lismore during the festival week. (27 May – 3 June 2024). The collaboration with Blackwater Valley Opera Festival adds an extra layer of expertise and depth to the programmes, ensuring an enriching experience for all involved.   
This year’s deadline for expression of interest by schools for Discover Opera and Discover Singing programmes is Friday 1st March. To register your school, please contact Ruah Pearson by email:   
Schools’ Night 2024 takes place on Monday 27th May and is a full scale, opera dress rehearsal available free of charge for local students and their teachers. Schools’ Night plays a crucial role in safeguarding the future of classical music in Ireland, which is a core ambition of Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.
“We have been so impressed that children are introduced to the highest calibre opera, in the most beautiful setting possible and on our own doorstep too... bringing the children to Lismore Castle for the Opera has been one of the annual highlights in our school calendar.” – Ardmore National School
This year’s opera, Giulio Cesare by G.F. Handel is suitable for students from 5th class to Leaving Cert level and lasts approximately four hours overall. Giulio Cesare is a thrilling and action-packed production, providing an exciting opportunity to introduce students to the enchanting world of opera and Baroque music.
One of Handel’s greatest Italian operas, it tells the story of ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, in an exciting story of politics and power, love and ambition – featuring two of history’s most well-known characters, Julius Caesar and Queen Cleopatra.
The application deadline for schools to express interest for this year’s Schools’ Night is Friday 1st March. Tickets are limited and schools should apply by emailing:   
Blackwater Valley Opera Festival takes place from 27 May -  3 June 2024, hosting 22 events at 11 venues across the Blackwater Valley during an 8-day extravaganza.
The flagship opera Giulio Cesare will grace the grounds of Lismore Castle, County Waterford. 
This year's opera features a host of Irish and international performers, and boast the award-winning Irish Baroque Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Nicolas McGegan, and directed by Tom Creed.