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26 - 28 August 2022

12th Glenarm Festival of Voice

12th Glenarm Festival of Voice

Join Northern Ireland Opera and BBC Radio 3 in the beautiful coastal village of Glenarm this August for our annual celebration of song: The Glenarm Festival of Voice.

Now in its twelfth year, this much-loved event brings together BBC Radio 3 recitals, outreach events, performances by emerging artists and culminates in the Competition Finale, hosted by our Patron, BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Sean Rafferty, where five singers from across the island of Ireland compete in front of a live jury panel to win the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and become the NI Opera Voice of 2022.

The five finalists who will compete in the 12th Festival of Voice are Hannah O’Brien (soprano), Heather Sammon (mezzo-soprano), Michael Bell (tenor), Owen Lucas (tenor) and David Kennedy (baritone). The Peter Rankin Piano Intern for 2022 is Doireann O’Carroll.

The winner of the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize at the Finale on 28th August was Owen Lucas, who also won the Audience Prize.  Hannah O’Brien won the Song Prize.

  • The Competition Finale will take place live at 6.30pm on 28th August in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Glenarm.
  • We’ll also be back performing at The Londonderry Arms in Carnlough with last year’s winner of the Festival of Voice, soprano Ellen Mawhinney, on Saturday 27th August from 3-4pm.


BBC Radio 3 presents three concerts as part of the 12th Northern Ireland Opera Festival of Voice in Glenarm. Pianist Simon Lepper appears alongside 3 internationally-acclaimed singers in rich programmes of song.

This year’s BBC Radio 3 Recitals will be performed by soprano Soraya Mafi, tenor Alessandro Fisher and baritone James Newby, with pianist Simon Lepper.  We are delighted to be welcoming these artists to Glenarm this August, where they will perform recitals which will be recorded live and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in September. The theme this year is ‘Celebration’ which is appropriate as we return to Glenarm after two years away. Click on the headshots of the artists at the bottom of the page to find out more about each of them.

For the first time since 2019, live audiences will be able to attend these BBC Radio 3 recitals. Do join us at St Patrick’s Church, Glenarm and experience the live performance and recording of these recitals which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in September. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. We cannot guarantee that any tickets will be available at the door for these events.

  • BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, tenor Alessandro Fisher with music including Schumann, Wolf and Ina Boyle: Friday 26th August 8pm, St Patrick’s Church Glenarm
  • Baritone James Newby performs Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Bernadette Marmion and others: Saturday 27th August 8pm, St Patrick’s Church, Glenarm
  • Soprano Soraya Mafi with music including Mozart, Britten and Hamilton Harty: Sunday 28th August 3pm, St Patrick’s Church, Glenarm

Family Friendly Music Activities

Join us in the stableyard of Glenarm Castle on Saturday 27th September, right next door to ice cream emporium The Milk Parlour, where there’s a whole day of family friendly activities, all completely free! Music activities with India Chapman-Webb and pianist Lorraine Stanley.

  • 10-11: Singing Workshop for 5-9 year olds, with a 5 minute performance at the end. BOOK HERE
  • 11-12: ‘Into The Woods’ themed arts and crafts activities – no booking required
  • 12.12.45: Storytime: Folk Tales with Sean Kearns: the ‘Mysterious Man’ from NI Opera’s ‘Into The Woods’  – no booking required
  • 13.15 to 14.00: Taster session singing activities and games: no booking required
  • 14.00 to 15.00: Singing Workshops for 5-8 year olds with a 5 minute performance at the end. BOOK HERE
  • 15.15 to 16.00: Singing Workshops for 9-13 year olds, with a 5 minute performance at the end. BOOK HERE

For more information about previous Festivals of Voice click here.


BBC Radio 3 Recitalist
Alessandro Fisher

BBC Radio 3 Recitalist
James Newby

BBC Radio 3 Recitalist
Soraya Mafi

BBC Radio 3 Pianist
Simon Lepper

Soprano: Afternoon Recital at the Londonderry Arms
Ellen Mawhinney

Creative Team

BBC Radio 3 Recital Programmer
Simon Lepper

Competition Vocal Coach
Dr Ingrid Surgenor

Competition Vocal Coach
Kathryn Harries

Outreach Facilitator
India Chapman-Webb

Sean Kearns