Shelter Me From The Rain wins Allianz Business to Arts Award


Ireland’s first opera commissioned by a local authority – Shelter Me From The Rain by Brian Irvine (music) and John McIlduff (text), commissioned by Carlow Local Authorities, was yesterday awarded the “Best Use of Creativity in the Community Award” in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards held at Dublin Castle. The award was presented by President Mary McAleese to project curator Fergus Sheil and Carlow County Council, Leas Cathaoirleach, Councilor Wayne Fennell.



Produced in May 2011, Shelter Me From The Rain was one of Ireland’s largest per-cent for art commissions, and the first such commission in the operatic medium. It involved a performance company of over 100 Carlow-based singers, who undertook a year-long training and rehearsal programme led by conductor Fergus Sheil. The performances were given in conjunction with 12 members of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Carlow’s GB Shaw Theatre in May 2011.

The project was tracked by a 10-part documentary series made by Athena Media for RTÉ lyric fm. Podcasts of the radio series are available at

Shelter Me From The Rain was also supported by a project grant from The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

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