16 May 2022

Showtime! Live events return as Kilkenny Arts Festival gets under way

Excitement is building


Pictured are soprano Máire Flavin (as Chrysothemis) and bass-baritone Tómas Tómasson (as Orest) from the cast of Elektra PICTURE: MARK STEDMAN

The wait for live events in the Marble City comes to an end today as audiences have the chance to attend in person, premieres in theatre, music and visual art as part of Kilkenny Arts Festival.

Pictured are soprano Máire Flavin (as Chrysothemis) and bass-baritone Tómas Tómasson (as Orest) from the cast of Elektra, in Kilkenny ahead of the first staged performances of this opera in Ireland which will be the opening performances of Kilkenny Arts Festival 2021. Irish National Opera in association with Kilkenny Arts Festival presents Richard Strauss’s Elektra outdoors in Castle Yard from August 5-14 for live audiences.

The production provides the rare prospect of an opera set in the mythical courtyard of Agamemnon’s palace being performed in a historic, real-world courtyard.

Numbers will continue to be limited (working within government guidelines), and the festival is ever cognisant of the importance of retaining a digital strand in the programme, engaging with broader audiences and facilitating those who may not yet be in position to attend in person.

The festival runs from Thursday, August 5 – 15. In the midst of an ever changing landscape, the festival brings artists and audiences together again through unique arts encounters.

Line-up also includes a new play from Rough Magic in a future where hope for a return to the halcyon days of the 2020s comes in the form of a new ‘Tonic’. The festival continues to support artists as they explore new directions with new projects from Karan Casey and Murieann Nic Amhlaoibh with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Helen Comerford premieres 19 new artworks, an immersive installation at Kilkenny’s new skatepark and Richard Mosse’s Incoming at the Butler Gallery.

Organisers of Kilkenny Arts Festival say they’re grateful for the continued support from funders, including principal funder, the Arts Council; Kilkenny County Council, as well as Fáilte Ireland.

“The festival would like to sincerely thank all its sponsors, the local business community, volunteers, friends and audiences for their continued support and commitment in these challenging times,” said the festival.

Kilkenny Arts Festival runs from August 5 to 15. For more, go to

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