Fiona Linnane is a composer living in the west of Ireland. Her main compositional interests are in the fields of vocal and operatic music. 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.
Fiona is very active in community music and is widely sought after for commissions and to lead projects. In 2013 Fiona was appointed 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 incorporating recycled materials. The project also involved a series of commissions, including Flutter Fossil Fox – a set of pieces for children’s choir, inspired by the creatures of the Burren – and short opera Hag of Loughrask.
Fiona was composer in residence at Opera Castalia, Kilkenny from 2013 – 2015, during which time she developed the one act opera The Breakfast Table. Her short opera Bay of Fundy, which was also developed at the Vocalypse Opera from Scratch workshop in Canada, also recieved its Irish premiere at the Opera Castalia Festival.
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”.
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 the sea after the great storm of 1927. Also featured in the production were two comic songs – Songs of the Meteorologist – inspired by the dramatic weather reporting of Teresa Mannion.
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). She was awarded the Limerick City and County Council Individual Arts Bursary in 2019, to add four further songs to the Kate O’Brien Cycle, for soprano.
In 2020 she again collaborated with Opera Workshop, Limerick who, through Strand 1 of the Arts Council of Ireland Opera Project Award, are developing a new opera based in No.2 Pery Square, a restored Georgian House in the heart of Limerick city. Following intensive devising sessions in January 2020, she composed six scenes for a workshop performance in April 2020. Plans changed, due to the pandemic, and the show of work is now being prepared for online performance.
Linnane’s 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.