Opera as an artform is immensely popular with Irish audiences, but the producing sector in Ireland is small and opera events are concentrated mainly in the large cities. Indigenous opera production is concentrated in a small number of established companies, but since the early 2000s new producing entities and artists have emerged. Similarly, an increasing number of Irish opera singers and practitioners are developing careers in the international opera world.
The Arts Council seeks to ensure that audiences throughout the country can experience high-quality opera performances. Opera is presented in a range of scales and formats, from geographically accessible small-scale touring to main-scale productions aimed at international as well as national audiences. To secure this range of provision, Arts Council support in recent years has been directed primarily at maintaining and strengthening the main producing companies.
We also work to provide training and developmental opportunities for opera practitioners as well as a limited amount of other production support, especially for new work.