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The Glenarm Festival of Voice

The Glenarm Festival of Voice is our annual celebration of singing which takes place in the historic coastal village of Glenarm, Co. Antrim.

The festival features public recitals and events, including three concerts in partnership with and broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and culminates in a vocal competition hosted by Northern Ireland Opera Patron and BBC Radio 3 presenter Sean Rafferty.

The 13th Glenarm Festival of Voice will take place from August 25th to August 27th 2023.

Click here to find out more.

BBC Radio 3 Recitals

2022’s BBC Radio 3 recitals featured soprano Soraya Mafi, tenor Alessandro Fisher and baritone James Newby, with pianist Simon Lepper. The theme for 2022 was Celebration. The BBC Radio 3 recitals are free and open to members of the public to come and watch and listen in St Patrick’s Church. These three recitals are recorded live by BBC Radio 3 and subsequently edited into four lunchtime concerts which are broadcast nationally on BBC Radio 3 a few weeks after the festival.

The BBC Radio 3 Recital theme for 2023 is From the Pens of Women: Women Composers and Poets.

Vocal Competition

Singers are chosen from applications from across the island of Ireland after submitting a recording and they spend four days working with top opera and song professionals including former Director of the National Opera Studio, Kathryn Harries, Simon Lepper, and Dr Ingrid Surgenor.

Applications for The 13th Glenarm Festival of Voice are now open, full details on how to apply can be found by clicking here.

The singers and pianists involved with the Glenarm Festival of Voice competition benefit from a highly focused experience and the opportunity to perform and make contacts with opera professionals. The winner of the competition is awarded the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize, and becomes the NI Opera Young Opera Voice for that year. The judges also choose the winner of the Song Prize, sponsored by The Priests Charitable Foundation, and the audience vote for the winner of the Audience Prize.

The winner of the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize in 2022 and the Audience Prize was Owen Lucas, with Hannah O’Brien winning the Song Prize. Find out a little more about the competition in this video.

Find out all about the five finalists for 2022 and the Peter Rankin piano intern for 2022 in the column on the left.

The Peter Rankin Piano Internship is offered as part of the festival and each year a young pianist is chosen to work closely with the coaches and play for rehearsals and during the Irish song section of the competition finale.  The Peter Rankin Piano Intern for 2022 is Doireann O’Carroll.

Outreach Programme

Outreach activities in the form of creative and musical workshops are an integral part of the Festival, with the ‘Singing Explorers’ having been a feature of the festival for a number of years. In 2022 we launched brand new outreach events to Glenarm with hour long free singing workshops, storytelling and craft events for children taking place on Saturday of the festival in the stableyard of Glenarm Castle. Find out more in this link.

We were delighted to be able to return to The Londonderry Arms in the next door village to Glenarm, Carnlough, for the 12th Festival, after two years away, for our annual Saturday afternoon performance as part of the Festival. 2021 Festival of Voice winner Ellen Mawhinney performed an afternoon song recital from 3-4pm.

Patrons of The Glenarm Festival of Voice

Patrons: The Earl and Countess of Antrim

Vice-Patron: Ben McAteer, baritone and winner of the first Glenarm Festival of Voice in 2010.

Click through our gallery below to see some images from previous Festivals over the last ten years.