Celebrating the Voice with Tara Erraught and special guests

26–29 January 2023
At Various times

Presenting a weekend of events: Celebrating the Voice with Tara Erraught and special guests

Following the success of the inaugural weekend celebrating the voice in January 2020, Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught returns to Drogheda to lead a weekend of professional development and vocal health masterclasses, workshops and concerts. Through her opera and singing career, Tara has seen first-hand the importance of good vocal health and with her team of professionals has created this special weekend in Drogheda to highlight the importance of integrating it at the base level. This unique weekend is open to all, whether you’re a professional singer, an avid choral member or have a curiosity about the voice. 

Joined by pianist Dearbhla Collins; opera and recital singer Angela Brower; Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, Dr Paul Kwak from New York; Gaby Smyth, financial and tax consultant specialising in literary, music, film and theatre;  Senior Arts Manager and former casting director at Bayerische Staatsoper, Andreas Massow and RTÉ lyric FM presenter Liz Nolan, this weekend is a must for anyone interested in preparing for a long and healthy vocal career.

Season tickets now available

Season tickets for Celebrating the Voice are now available to purchase for just €60. Season ticket includes two main evening concerts plus access to all public masterclasses and talks between Thursday 26th and Sunday 29th January 2023.

Book season ticket

Programme of events

© Christine Ledroitperrin

Masterclass 1


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St & Gerrard’s Church, Mary’s Hill
(NB song and opera masterclasses are happening at the same time in two different venues)

In this opening masterclass, split across two venues, mezzo-sopranos Tara Erraught and Angela Brower team up with pianists Dearbhla Collins and Morgane Fauchois-Prado to work with emerging singers on song and opera repertoire. This is a fascinating experience to witness a singing lesson and have a chance to hear the transformation as well as a chance to ask questions.

Song Masterclass Anna-Helena Maclachlan, Heather Sammon, Seán Tester and Maria Matthews

Opera Masterclass Catherine Donnelly, Deirdre Arratoon, Deirdre Higgins and Owen Lucas

Book tickets
© Frances Marshall

Guest Lecture 1: Dr Paul Kwak, Laryngeal Surgeon at the New York University Voice Center


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St 

While a graduate student at The Juilliard School, pursuing a degree in collaborative piano and working with opera singers, Dr Paul Kwak fell in love with the singing voice and became fascinated by how the body creates sound. 

Dr Paul Kwak is a laryngologist and laryngeal surgeon at the New York University Voice Center, and Assistant Professor in the NYU Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, specialising in care of the professional voice. He treats patients with vocal cord cancer, vocal cord paralysis, and laryngeal papilloma, and is experienced in surgical techniques for laryngeal microsurgery and use of the KTP laser. He works closely with singers at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Book tickets

Guest Lecture 2: Gaby Smyth, understanding tax for artists


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St 

Gaby Smyth is a financial and tax consultant with over 25 years’ experience. He specialises in literary, music, film and theatre and is an accomplished pianist. Gaby is an integral part of some of Ireland’s most successful artists’ teams. As business manager for many, Gaby plays a vital part in the lives and business of these artists, with close managerial relationships.

Book tickets
© Andres Poveda

Guest Lecture 3: Dr Paul Kwak in conversation with Liz Nolan


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St 

In this second part of Dr Paul Kwak’s talk, he will be joined by presenter Liz Nolan for an in-depth discussion on vocal health.

Book tickets
© Frances Marshall

Masterclass 2


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St & Gerrard’s Church, Mary’s Hill
(NB song and opera masterclasses are happening at the same time in two different venues) 

In this second set of masterclasses, mezzo-sopranos Tara Erraught and Angela Brower with pianists Dearbhla Collins and Morgane Fauchois-Prado swap to work with the second group of singers. Audience members therefore get the chance to see and hear all singers perform in these public classes. 

Song Masterclass Anna-Helena Maclachlan, Heather Sammon, Seán Tester and Maria Matthews

Opera Masterclass Catherine Donnelly, Deirdre Arratoon, Deirdre Higgins and Owen Lucas

Book tickets

Guest Lecture 4: Gaby Smyth, business strategies for artists


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St

In this session, Gaby will speak on musicians & managers (holding a business meeting etc.) contracts and what to expect from your management team.

Book tickets

Guest Lecture 5: Andreas Massow: Senior Artist Manager


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St

Andreas Massow is a Senior Artist Manager, a former casting director at major European opera houses and founder of the recital series at Opera Frankfurt. He has developed the careers of some of this generation’s most accomplished artists. He will join the song masterclass and speak on “the German system” and how Artist Management and Casting works in Europe.

Book tickets
© Frances Marshall

Panel Discussion


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St

Broadcaster, Liz Nolan will lead the panel as they discuss the many sides of a singing career. From managing health and wellbeing, programming concerts, understanding the needs of audiences and promoters, this forum will give audiences a chance to hear from leading lights in the singing world and have a chance to ask questions too.

Book tickets

Keynote Address: Jonathan Friend, Casting Director Metropolitan Opera


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St

This year’s keynote speech is by casting director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In this session, Jonathan Friend will give insights to the inner workings of one of the most famous opera houses in the world. He will be joined by Aebh Kelly, who participated in Celebrating the Voice 2020, to illustrate some of the dos and don’ts of auditions. This will be a fascinating opportunity to see and hear one of the most experienced casting directors in the industry.

Book tickets
© Rebecca Fay

Celebrating the Art of Song


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St

Join us for an evening of song singing. As part of the weekend dedicated to the Voice, we are delighted to present a recital filled with young singers performing their favourite songs. Following two days of masterclasses and in-depth tuition, our singers will present a collection of art songs that they have selected for your enjoyment. The art of song singing has long been the most thrilling performance experience for both singer and public. Based on poetic and musical narrative, the singer and pianist duet together to bring each short story to life. This evening will be a chance to get to know some of the brightest new singers, while also enjoying a varied programme of songs from all over the world. 

Our young singers taking part are Anna-Helena Maclachlan, Heather Sammon and Drogheda’s Seán Tester. Alongside these brilliant young singers, this concert will also feature a performance by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Angela Brower. 

The New York Times described Angela Brower’s voice as “plush, full sound, yet also youthful brightness”. 

Book tickets

Grand Finale of Celebrating the Voice 2023 – Opera Gala concert


St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Peter St

The weekend draws to a spectacular close with a Gala concert that brings together all musicians for an uplifting celebratory concert. An evening of showstopping arias and excerpts from the wonderful world of opera. Presenting arias that the participants have worked on in masterclasses, this closing event will feature pianists Dearbhla Collins and Morgane Fauchois-Prado at two pianos and include a performance by Tara Erraught.

Our young singers taking part are Catherine Donnelly, Deirdre Arratoon, Deirdre Higgins and Owen Lucas.

Tara Erraught has “a voice that inspired pity that would have moved even the stoniest of hearts” Bachtrack 

Book tickets

Listen to Tara Erraught on RTÉ Radio 1 where she talks about the importance of good vocal health and what to expect from this weekend of professional development for classical singers, “Celebrating the Voice” in Drogheda.

Listen to RTÉ Radio 1

Our artists


Hailed by the New York Times for her “plush, full sound, yet also youthful brightness”, American mezzo-soprano Angela Brower is one of the most sought-after lyric mezzo-sopranos of her generation. A former member of the Bayerische Staatsoper ensemble, and alumna of their studio, she continues to bring her compelling artistry and musicianship to the world’s leading opera houses and concert venues.

The 2021/22 season sees Brower make a series of very exciting role and company debuts: in Hamburg she inaugurates the season with a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffman and the role that made her famous: Nicklausse/The Muse; in Munich she returns to her alma mater Bayerische Staatsoper, this time for a new role: Fox in a much anticipated new Barrie Kosky production of The Cunning Little Vixen, conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla; and finally she takes on the roles of Susanna, Zerlina and Dorabella in Mozart’s Da Ponte trilogy under the baton of Mark Minkowski presented at Grand Teatre del Liceu and Opéra National de Bordeaux. On the concert platform, Brower joins the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for concert performances of The Cunning Little Vixen in Birmingham and on tour in Europe, and returns to the Mozarteum in Salzburg for Mozart’s Requiem.

Appearances last season include Dorabella Così fan tutte and a special gala concert at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Annio in a new production of La Clemenza di Tito at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; as well as her company debut with Norwegian National Opera as Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia. Further highlights include Brower’s Metropolitan Opera debut in one of her signature roles – Octavian Der Rosenkavalier; Dorabella Così fan tutte in her first appearance at the Dutch National Opera, Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro at the Mozartwoche Salzburg; the title role of Cendrillon in Klagenfurt and Adalgisa Norma in Munich.

Further recent successes include a series of company debuts with Opéra de Paris (Annio La Clemenza di Tito); Deutsche Oper Berlin (Prince Orlovsky Die Fledermaus); Royal Opera House and Salzburg Festival (Dorabella in new productions of Così fan tutte); Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Glyndebourne Festival (Komponist Ariadne auf Naxos); Lyric Opera of Chicago (Idamante Idomeneo); Wiener Staatsoper (Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia); Lucerne Festival (Tamiri Il re pastore); Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Dorabella Così fan tutte); Festspielhaus Baden (Siebel Faust); and San Francisco Opera (Nicklausse Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro). At Bayerische Staatsoper she was heard as Nicklausse Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Annio and Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito; Komponist Ariadne auf Naxos; title role of La Cenerentola; Dorabella, Cherubino, Octavian, Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel; Charlotte Werther; and Adalgisa Norma.

On the concert platform, she has performed works such as Mozart’s Requiem with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Andrés Orozco-Estrada; a concert with the Aachen Symphony Orchestra which featured works by Debussy, Chausson, Ravel, and Duruflé; Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at the Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Alban Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the Tiroler Symphonie Orchester in Innsbruck; Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer Op. 19 and Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the NDR Sinfonieorchester, under the musical direction of Yal Pascal Tortilier.

Her discography includes the hugely acclaimed Deutsche Grammophon recordings of Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro both conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Angela Brower was raised in Arizona and studied at Arizona State University and Indiana University. Her career started as a young artist singing at the Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artists Program in 2008. She was then invited to join the Opera Studio at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, where she later became a member of the Ensemble from 2010-2016. Her portrayal of Dorabella in Così fan tutte earned her particular attention on the main stage of the National Theater, which led to her receiving the prestigious Munich Festival Prize in 2009.


Dearbhla Collins is one of Ireland’s finest musicians. In addition to her accomplished career as a soloist, the prize winning pianist is a regular chamber music partner to many internationally renowned singers as well as Ireland’s leading artists.

Vocal coach at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Dearbhla Collins is also Head of Artistic Administration at the National Opera Studio in London. Since 2005, she has been the Executive Artistic Director of the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin.

She is highly regarded internationally as a song pianist; performances include concerts with sopranos Juliane Banse, Anna Devin and Fatma Said; mezzo-sopranos Tara Erraught, Rachel Kelly, Ann Murray and the late Bernadette Greevy; tenors Dean Power, Paul McNamara and Mark Padmore; baritones Benjamin Appl and Will Thomas. These performances include recitals throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe. She has also toured the US with Tara Erraught and given masterclasses and recitals in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan in China.

Dearbhla was the moving force behind the 2003 Dublin Hugo Wolf Festival, when under her artistic direction the complete songs of the Austrian composer were performed for the first time in Ireland. Other notable projects under her direction include the acclaimed performance of the three operas known as the “Irish Ring” at the Royal Dublin Society, for whom she was opera consultant. She also founded the Dublin Song Series in 2013 and continues to curate it in partnership with the National Concert Hall and the Hugh Lane Gallery.

Dearbhla regularly plays for classes and masterclasses with Dame Ann Murray, BrigitteFassbaender and Sir Thomas Allen.

As Artistic Director of the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, Dearbhla has worked alongside such guest jury members as Richard Bonynge, Peter Carwell, Ileana Cotrubas, John Gilhooly, Olga Kapanina, Marie McLaughlin, Steven Naylor, Tobias Truniger and Diane Zola. Past prizewinners of the competition have included Nadine Sierra, Fatma Said, Will Thomas, Sarah-Jane Brandon, Tara Erraught, Simon O’Neill and Pumeza Matshikiza.

Dearbhla was a member of the Board of the National Concert Hall, Dublin from 2010 – 2015, having previously served two terms on the Board of Culture Ireland. In October 2017 Dearbhla was awarded an honorary doctorate for her services to music in Ireland from the National University of Ireland.


Tara Erraught is one of the leading international singers, whose varied repertoire ranges from Baroque to Mozart, the Belcanto repertoire, Romanticism to contemporary music.

The 2021/22 season begins for Tara Erraught with her role debut in the title role in Iphigénie en Tauride at the Opéra de Paris. She will return to the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. At the Opéra de Paris she can be heard in the title role of Cendrillon. She will make her role debut as Maria Stuarda at the Irish National Opera. Song recitals and concerts at the Schubertiade in Hohenems and in Dublin add to the busy singer’s calendar.

Highlights of the past seasons were Hansel in Hansel and Gretel at the Bavarian State Opera, Rosina at the Berlin State Opera and the Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Hamburg State Opera. Tara Erraught also gave recitals in the Wigmore Hall in London, in Munich, Barcelona, Oxford and Eppan. Concert engagements have taken her to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt, the Minnesota Orchestra under Simone Young, with a Mozart gala at the Munich Radio Orchestra under Alexander Soddy, with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle at the Wexford Festival. In addition, her international concert activities took her to New York Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center Washington, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver, Savannah, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Lyon and Tokyo. With the Philadelphia Orchestra she sang Mozart’s Requiem under Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Important commitments in the past seasons include Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann and Hansel at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Stéphano in Romeo et Juliette at Liceu Barcelona, Angelina in Cenerentola at the Munich Opera Festival and Annius in Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito alongside Joyce DiDonato and Rolando Villazon under Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. At the Bavarian State Opera she appeared as Susanna (Nozze di Figaro), Hansel, Despina, Orlofsky, Sesto, Romeo, as Kathleen Scott in the successful world premiere of Srnka’s opera South Pole. She made her celebrated US debut as Angelina at the Washington National Opera, guested as Rosina and Angelina at the Hamburg State Opera, sang the world premiere of Iain Bell’s A Harlot’s Progress at the Theater an der Wien and made her role debut as Octavian in Rosenkavalier at the Glyndebourne Festival and at the BBC Proms. At the Vienna State Opera she was not only Rosina but also successful as Angelina in the new production of La Cenerentola and was celebrated as the “New Belcanto Queen” by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. At the 2016 Salzburg Festival she made her debut as Siebel in Gounod’s Faust. Her Octavian in Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier has been released on DVD by Opus Arte.

Born in Dundalk, Ireland, Tara Erraught graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. From 2008 she was a member of the opera studio of the Bavarian State Opera, from 2010 to 2018 she was a member of the ensemble. Tara Erraught works regularly with Brigitte Fassbaender on her song and opera repertoire.


French pianist Morgane Fauchois’s career is leading her from opera theatres to concerts stages, vocal recitals to chamber music projects.

She collaborates with singers such as Roberto Alagna, Aleksandra Kurzak, Rolando Villazón, Natalie Dessay, Karine Deshayes, Béatrice Uria-Monzon, Tara Erraught…

In repertoire going from late Baroque to contemporary pieces, she works as a coach for the Paris National Opera, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra-Comique, operas in Lyon, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Riga, as well as renowned festivals such as Salzburg or Aix-en-Provence, thus collaborating with conductors such as Louis Langrée, Carlo Rizzi, Daniele Gatti, Alain Altinoglu, Peter Eötvös, Marc Minkowski, Thomas Hengelbrock, Edward Gardner and Henrik Nánási.

Alongside her activity as a coach and a collaborative pianist, Morgane Fauchois is also an avid chamber music player, particularly with musicians from the Orchestre de Paris ; an orchestra inside of which she also performs as pianist and harpsichordist.

Morgane Fauchois studied at the Paris Conservatoire, where she graduated with high honours in piano, chamber music and vocal accompaniment. She completed her studies under the tutelage of Dominique Merlet in Geneva, where she received a postgraduate diploma as a solo pianist.

She was then a member of the Young Artists Program at Paris Opera, and was awarded a first prize in opera coaching at the International Belvedere Competition in Vienna.

Committed to transmitting skills to younger generations, Morgane Fauchois teaches in the vocal department of the Paris Conservatoire, where she has also been appointed head coach for productions.



Jonathan Friend was born in London, England, and educated in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. He joined English National Opera in 1974, becoming the Archivist in 1977. In 1979 he became Company Manager for English National Opera North in Leeds. In 1981, he was invited by James Levine to come to the Metropolitan Opera, becoming Company Manager in 1982. In 1984 he was appointed Artistic Administrator, and he remained in that capacity for 36 years. In that period, he worked with two music directors and five general managers. He was responsible for the planning of future seasons and engaging singers and conductors. He became Artistic Advisor to the Met in 2019, and now holds the same position with the Irish National Opera. He frequently serves as a judge on vocal competitions.


Dr Paul Kwak decided to become an otolaryngologist while he was a graduate student at The Juilliard School, pursuing a degree in collaborative piano and working with opera singers. He fell in love with the singing voice and became fascinated by how the body creates sound. During this time, he heard Dr. Steven Zeitels lecture on vocal health, and realized that he could merge his passion for voice with his interest in science and medicine.

Dr Kwak works with people to maintain and restore vocal health, so that they can meet all of their vocal demands without restrictions. He considers performers and people who use their voices professionally to be vocal athletes, and just like other athletes, their muscles and tissues require care and maintenance. At the New York University Voice Center, voice coaches, physical trainers, vocal trainers, and laryngologists collaborate to help patients maintain vocal health over the course of a lifetime. They treat people who are experiencing any type of problem related to the larynx, ranging from changes in their voice to difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, cancer of the vocal folds, and benign laryngeal lesions.


Andreas Massow was born in Hamburg. In his hometown he studied musicology, economics and sociology. After various practical trainings at the Hamburg State Opera and Komische Oper Berlin he gratuated with his Master thesis “Engelbert Humperdincks „Königskinder“. Melodram und Oper”. Andreas Massow started his professional career at the company’s office at Frankfurt opera in 2003. In 2012 he was called by the Zurich opera as consultant for artistic planning and casting. Since 2014 Andreas was working at Bayerische Staatsoper as head of the casting office. In 2019 he joined ARSIS Artist Management in Vienna.


Liz Nolan hails from Dublin and trained in voice, oboe and piano at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Following a degree in English Literature (TCD Hons) and M.Phil in Music (DIT/TCD), Liz was appointed academic lecturer and singing teacher at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. A H.Dip in Arts Administration (UCD) led to Liz’s appointment as Education and Outreach Officer at the Association of Irish Choirs. In 2001, RTÉ lyric fm beckoned. There, Liz has presented a wealth of key shows including Classic Drive, A World of Song, Daybreak, Lyric Notes and Lunchtime Classics. In 2015 she was awarded bronze for Best Overall Music Presenter at the prestigious PPI (now IMRO) Awards, and in 2022 was shortlisted as Best Overall DJ. She now presents The Full Score, 1-4pm Monday- Thursday on lyric, and also compiles and produces content for RTÉ Culture online platforms. Liz has written and presented numerous acclaimed arts radio features, which have received international broadcast. She is also a well-known presenter/ MC at concerts and arts events around Ireland. In addition, Liz appears as lecturer and mediator at a range of series, including UCH Music Club and Drogheda Classical Music’s “A Celebration of the Voice” International Masterclass weekend.

Buy a full season ticket

Our full season tickets allows you access to all eight concerts throughout the series, including all events during the January ‘Celebrating the Voice’ weekend, for only €150!

Buy season ticket

Concerts from September 2022 to April 2023

View all concerts