Opera Workshop is Limerick’s new resident opera company. We are committed to commissioning new works, re-exploring familiar opera and to producing productions that surprise, challenge and above all, entertain audiences across Limerick and neighbouring counties in the south of Ireland.
We aim to develop cross arts and community projects that will create fresh perspectives for us as performers and for members of the public new to opera. Furthermore, we aim to develop training and development opportunities for professional performers, voice teachers and directors and for those seeking to develop their skills in opera.
Lyric Mezzo-Soprano, Opera Director and Producer
Shirley Keane is the founder and artistic director of Opera Workshop. Since its inception in 2017, she has written and directed five shows collaborating with a core ensemble of Opera Workshop associated singers and instrumentalists. The most recent production was the site-specific ‘Abandoned’, comprised of short contemporary operas, at The Old Sailor’s Home, Limerick.
Having had training in both theatre and opera, at Rose Bruford College, Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, Shirley is a performer whose experience ranges from traditional and contemporary opera roles to mainstream theatre.
Shirley has written, produced and directed projects that involve community groups and professional artists and which incorporate any number of elements from spoken word to orchestral works. She has devised site specific opera productions at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and the Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, London.
As a performer, director, and facilitator, Shirley has worked with companies as diverse as Opera Theatre Company, Opera Holland Park, Basingstoke Haymarket Theatre, Glyndebourne Opera, Live Music Now, Accademia Solti Te Kanawa, Newham Young Peoples’ Chorus, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre Company, Theatre Venture, East End Opera and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Currently Shirley teaches acting to young singers on the new Young Artist’s Programme developed by the Irish Music Theatre College and National Opera House, Wexford. She is also involved in the Young Women Conductors Programme run by Alice Farnham and The National Concert Hall Dublin. Shirley enjoys regular presenting time on RTE Lyric FM, as a cover presenter of a range of live classical music programmes.