Originally from Cratloe in County Clare, composer Fiona Linnane has been based in County Limerick for ten years. In 2000 she graduated from University College Cork with a Bachelor of Music and continued her studies with a Masters in Music Technology from University of Limerick (specialising in electro acoustic composition). She is director of new music ensemble CoMA Limerick and is represented by the Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin.
Fiona’s compositional interest currently centre on vocal and operatic music. In 2018 she was awarded the Individual Arts Bursary by Limerick City and County Council Arts Office. In 2018 she was awarded the Limerick Arts Office Bursary for the composition of a new opera Off Tuskar. Developed in collaboration with Opera Workshop Off Tuskar received its premiere as part of the Riverfest Festival 2019. It tells the story of two women waiting for loved ones to arrive home from sea after the great storm of 1927. Also featured in the production were two comic songs inspired by the dramatic weather reporting of Teresa Mannion – ‘Songs of a meteorologist’.
In 2014 Fiona released Magic – a collection of works for solo piano following a successful Fund it campaign. The album, a collaboration with pianist Aoife Chawke, was released on CD, digitally and as a collection of sheet music. This year also saw the premiere of spirestone – a choral work inspired by the city of Limerick with text by Mary Coll – which was described by local press as “majestic and truly beautiful”. She was composer in residence at the Opera at Castalia 2014 Festival in County Kilkenny where her short opera Bay of Fundy received its Irish premiere.
In 2013 she was composer in residence for Bells Across The Burren, an Arts Council of Ireland artist in the community project, during which she constructed an outdoor music trail from recycled materials and completed a series of commissions for local choirs and music groups including the short opera Hag of Loughrask. As a participant in Vocalypse Opera From Scratch workshop 2013 in Halifax CA her short opera Bay of Fundy was performed by soprano Vania Chan.
Fiona has also written music for theatre productions including Painted Filly’s production of The Common Will described as ‘an excellent original score‘ by The Irish Times. Awards for her vocal music include the Walter Beckett Trophy for original song at the 2008 Dublin Feis Ceoil for a setting of Robert Burns’ To a mouse; a Boston Metro Opera Merit Award at the BMO Composers’ Competition 2013 and an honourable mention at the same competition in 2014, both for Songs from Kate O’Brien (lyricist Mary Coll).
Her work has been performed in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, France and the Czech Republic including performances at Opera at Castalia, Vox Novus Fifteen Minutes of Fame (NY, USA), the inaugural Limerick Sings Choral Festival, the Kate O’Brien weekend 2012, Burren in Bloom Festival, Cork International Choral Festival, Culture Night (Ireland) and Love:live Music Day. Her work has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Limerick City and County Arts Offices, Clare Arts office and North Tipperary Arts Office.