An Opera for Carlow – Athena Media’s latest radio documentary airs on RTÉ lyric fm

Three years in the planning, one year in production, ‘An Opera for Carlow’ is the story of an extraordinary and unique community music and arts project led by conductor Fergus Sheil. Sheil, and his creative team composer Brian Irvine and director and writer John McIlduff, set up to create an opera from scratch working with the people of Carlow. On May 5th in the GB Shaw Theatre in Visual that opera ‘Shelter me from the Rain’ was premiered and this documentary produced by Athena Media is the story of the journey to that night and how the birth of that opera changed the lives of everyone involved.

Athena Media’s latest documentary was broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on Friday 1st July at 7pm.

Listen to An Opera for Carlow documentary here

You can also find the podcasts on podcasting Ireland. Go to to subscribe or find the Athena Podcasts RSS feed here.

To view the libretto go here
and you can also view the website Shelter me from the Rain here

An Opera for Carlow: Shelter Me from the Rain is an Athena Media production for RTE Lyric fm and was made with the support of the BAI’s Sound and Vision Funding Scheme. The producer is Helen Shaw, assistant producers Lisa Essuman and Paula Cunniffe. Sound supervision was by Lochlainn Harte. Narrator is Paul Herriott. Our thanks to Carlow Local Authorities and the cast and of ‘Shelter me from the Rain’.
Further details on the opera is available on the rte lyric fm website here

You can also listen to previous short episodes on the year long journey here
which featured monthly on Paul Herriott’s In Tempo programme. Athena Media tracked the creative stages from auditions to rehearsals, from creative workshops to the writing of the opera itself talking to the creative team led by conductor and curator Fergus Sheil, composer Brian Irvine and librettist John McIlduff.

To read the press release please click here