The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has been appointed a Corporate Member of the Erin Arts Centre in recognition for its support of the venue.


The Steam Packet Company regularly assists with the transport costs for shows and exhibitions staged at the Centre in Port Erin, most recently helping with travel for artists taking part in the Mananan International Festival of Music and the Arts.


It is also supporting the 2016 Mananan Opera Festival, which will be held at the Erin Arts Centre in September.


Erin Arts Centre Chairman John Bethell said: ‘Hosting visiting artists and performers is essential to offering a diverse programme of events at the Centre, and we have greatly appreciated the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s assistance in helping us to meet the costs. We have given the company Corporate Membership in recognition of its support and hope it goes some way to showing our thanks.’


The Steam Packet Company’s support for the annual Mananan Opera Festival includes assisting with the travel of the director, Stefan Janski, and two performers.


For the festival, founded in 1976, the Erin Arts Centre stages a live opera every year. This year La Traviata, by Giuseppe Verdi, will be performed from 9th to 11th September.


The opera will be directed by Stefan, who was Head of Opera Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music until his retirement this year. Among the performers will be James Berry, who has appeared regularly in RNCM productions and sung with the Stratford-upon-Avon Choral Society, Huddersfield Voices and Warrington Choral Society, and Charlotte Kempster, who has appeared with Opera North, English Touring Opera and Welsh National Opera and performed in Japan, France and Germany.


The Steam Packet Company is assisting with the travel costs for Stefan, James and Charlotte.


Mr Bethell said: ‘The Mananan Opera Festival is one of the highlights of our calendar, and a chance to experience live opera performed by some of the best singers from all over the British Isles under the directorship of the hugely experienced Stefan Janski.


‘Stefan has been our director for the past 15 years, as well as having served as associate director for the Glyndebourne Festival, working international and producing works for the BBC.


‘We are very excited about La Traviata, which promises to be a wonderful production, and are extremely grateful to the Steam Packet Company for its support and assistance in bringing Stefan, James and Charlotte to the Island.’


Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘The Erin Arts Centre offers a diverse arts programme throughout the year, hugely enhancing the Island’s cultural offering. We have been pleased to be able to support the Centre over the years, and delighted that our assistance has been recognised by being appointed a Corporate Member.’