Anúna singer Lucy Champion named to new outreach program at Wexford State Opera

Lucy Champion, a member of the renowned Riverdance Anúna vocal ensemble, has been appointed to lead a new county-wide education and community program for Wexford National Opera.

ucy is well known nationally in the arts and education sector. After graduating from the London College of Music, she worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra before becoming Head of Education and Community Outreach at the National Concert Hall, which has won awards for projects innovative communities.

She is also an active artist, working as a professional singer, vocal coach, choral workshop leader and Alexander Technique teacher. She is a member of the vocal ensemble ANÚNA and is featured soloist on eleven of their albums.

The National House has long had the ambition to have an education outreach program and the National Opera Board of which Lucy was a member, worked tirelessly to develop a strategy by organizing several awareness raising events and arts education.

In 2021, funding was provided by Wexford Local Development under the Leader program to enable the Opera House to embark on a cohesive program of arts events for people of all ages, both in the building of the ‘Opera and outside community.

Separate funding has been provided by Wexford County Council for additional projects. Events included workshops for preschoolers and their parents and guardians, Singing for Health for adults, and evening arts appreciation classes.

Speaking about the programme, Lucy said: “For us, education is about all ages, from the very young to the later years. We have therefore aimed to program interactive, informative and entertaining events.

“However, the restriction of in-person activity has meant that almost all of our events so far have been online, but we haven’t let that deter us. Musicians and audiences have really embraced the opportunity and embraced their technology. However, since the easing of restrictions, we are now delighted to present our events in person, both at the National Opera and in the community.

“We want to provide the opportunity for as many people of all ages and abilities as possible to participate in the arts and bring them to the beautiful venue of the award-winning National Opera, but we realize that not everyone can come to us, then we will go to them.

This month, actor and musician Pete McCamley and singing specialist Elizabeth Drwal are running workshops for residents of St Bridget’s daycare center in the town of Wexford.

A series of Singing for Health workshops are currently taking place in some primary schools in County Wexford and adults can take advantage of arts appreciation evening classes, which are taking place in Enniscorthy, Bunclody and town libraries of Wexford.

All educational and community programs are freee, but places are limited and must be reserved in advance. For more information about the program and how to get involved, visit www.nationaloperahouse.ie/education-community/about-education-community, email [email protected] or call 053 912 2144.

The education and community program is made possible through grants from Wexford Local Development, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development; Europe invests in rural areas, as well as Wexford County Council.

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