First deadline approaches for new Arts Council Opera Production Award.

Last December The Arts Council adopted a new policy on opera which sets out how it intends to promote and develop opera in Ireland.  This new policy on opera arises from a request from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in May 2011, that the Arts Council should resume responsibility for opera policy and its implementation. Prior to deciding how best to proceed, the Arts Council met with a broad cross section of the opera sector in the autumn of 2011 and listened to the broad range of views and ideas that this process generated.

The new policy is distinctive in its approach (from previous policies) because it is focused on building partnerships in Irish opera in the short to medium-term that in the long-term, will benefit the sector – composers, artists, performers and audiences. Chairperson Pat Moylan added that the policy: “Aims to enable a distinctive indigenous voice to emerge in opera in Ireland through composition and performance.”

These new funding opportunities are:

  • a new Opera Production Award which is designed to encourage partnership-based proposals from those wishing to produce and present an opera at either main scale, medium scale or small scale. The deadline for applications for the new Opera Production Award (i.e. for activity due to take place later in 2012) is Thursday 9 February 2012. For additional information on this award visit, Opera Production Award.  The deadline for applications seeking funding for activities scheduled for 2013 is Thursday 17 May 2012.


  • an Opera Projects Award which will focus on supporting partnership-based proposals to develop and/or produce a new work, initially at a small scale. Opera Project applications will be sought in advance of twin deadlines of Thursday 29 March (for activity scheduled to take place later in 2012) and Thursday 6 September 2012 (for activity scheduled to take place in the first half of 2013).


Opera bursaries and travel and training awards will continue to be offered to individual practitioners. Applications for opera bursaries are due on Thursday 12 July 2012.

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