Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

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What’s on in the Arts online!

Thursday 13th August 2020 at 9am 178 Comments


As more and more artists and arts organisations from Northern Ireland go digital to connect with audiences at home, the Arts Council has rounded up just some of these fantastic things to do online, supported by National Lottery funding.

Clandeboye Festival: is going digital, with a series of online concerts celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.  The festival will premier online from the 18 - 22 August via the Camerata Ireland website. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its National Lottery funds, stay-at-home audiences will be treated to five concerts showcasing the full cycle of Beethoven’s magnificent piano concertos, with Artistic Director Barry Douglas as soloist and conductor.  This innovative recording project from the only all-Ireland chamber orchestra will be released over five evenings, from the 18 - 22 August, when the live Clandeboye Festival would have been taking place. ‘Clandeboye At Home’ will then remain online until August 2021 for audiences across the globe to stream on demand. For further details visit and, or Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CamerataIreland

Mela at Home: Northern Ireland’s biggest celebration of cultural diversity, the Belfast Mela goes virtual for 2020 with a week-long series of more than 50 free events planned from Monday 24th August to Sunday 30th August.  Highlights of this year’s Mela at Home, sponsored by Sensata Technologies, include a wonderful line up of music, dance, food, art, theatre, discussion and wellbeing from around the world presented by local artists and performers living in Northern Ireland.   An engaging and interactive Mela at Home festival map transports visitors to a virtual Botanic Gardens with a range of new exciting events on offer each day including spectacular performances on the World Stage, a variety of cookery demonstrations in the Palm House, relaxation workshops in the World of Wellbeing, plus interactive theatre, animation, storytelling and much more for children.   Visit

Northern Ireland Opera: is bringing live opera back to Belfast.  Northern Ireland Opera is bringing The Festival of Voice their much-loved annual celebration of singing to Belfast this August, with a theme of Myths and Legends, in partnership with BBC Radio 3. All events will be performed live in the First Church Belfast on August 28-30th and recorded: BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the recitals in the early autumn while the competition finale will be filmed and released via the Northern Ireland Opera YouTube channel in September.  Usually this celebration of the best young opera voices from the island of Ireland takes place in the beautiful coastal village of Glenarm. While they cannot be there this year due to COVID 19, NI Opera is delighted to still be able to bring live performance to Belfast across three days of recitals.

This year’s finalists are David Corr (baritone), David Howes (bass baritone), Andrew Irwin (tenor), Sarah Luttrell (mezzo-soprano) and Jade Phoenix (soprano). The winner is awarded a monetary prize and the chance to attend Canto al Serchio in Tuscany, run by Belfast-born international baritone, Bruno Caproni, one of Northern Ireland’s most successful opera stars.

The Glenarm Festival of Voice also features three BBC Radio 3 Recitals. This year they will welcome soprano Ailish Tynan, mezzo-soprano Anna Huntley and baritone James Newby, with accompanist Simon Lepper.  They’ll be bringing a wonderful range of concerts exploring our theme of ‘Myths and Legends’.  These performances will also be recorded here in the First Church, Belfast and broadcast in the autumn on BBC Radio 3.  Visit

Moving On Music: This week in Moving on Music’s ‘All About…’ outreach series it’s the third and final video from Aisling Agnew on the classical flute and birdsong. Aisling will look at contemporary UK / Irish composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Richard Rodney Bennett and Philip Hammond and how poetry and nature has influenced many of their compositions and depictions of birdsong.  Next up in the ‘All About…’ series is the fantastic Derry-based guitarist, Joesph Leighton, who will be teaching us all about the jazz guitar!  Visit




Craft NI’s August Craft Month: continues throughout August and showcases the  work of local craft makers in a series of virtual events to celebrate just some of the outstanding work that goes on throughout Northern Ireland.  In addition to the digital events, which include a webinar series with some of the leading names in the craft world, there will be a special exhibition at Craft NI’s gallery throughout August and September.  Visit

Cara Dillon: Don’t miss one of Ireland’s most celebrated folk artists, has announced details of her first online streamed concert, ‘Live at Cooper Hall’, which will be broadcast globally on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday 13th August at 8pm BST, 2020 and will be free to watch.  Full details are available on Cara’s website and

Beyond Skin: present an online book launch of, Made to Parade, the debut book by Glenn Millar, a Belfast community worker and bandsman.  Made to Parade is set during 1984 and 1985 when Glenn first joined Pride of the Raven band as a flautist growing up on an interface in East Belfast where Protestant and Catholic territories lines met.  A very special online live event will take place on the 13th August 2020 at and

Spanner In The Works: continues to offer extracts from their plays online.  These extracts are followed with helplines and signposting to help with the issues that are addressed within the plays.  Visit

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: present a Virtual Summer Scheme for young people from 17-21 August.  They are offering a series of exciting online workshops covering music, drama and dance as-well as cooking lessons, sports and crafts activities, so there is something to suit all tastes and interests.  The cost is £10 per child or £15 for two.  Email to register.

EastSide Arts Festival: continues all this week until 16th August with a programme of inspiring and creative events featuring music, theatre, literature, story-telling, visual art, talks and tours under the theme, Moments of Joy.   For the full festival programme and ticket information visit Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest20.


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