When the Festival began in 1951 it quickly took advantage of the local musical talent to fulfil the role of the chorus.
However, as the Festival grew and developed, so did the artistic demands of the chorus and it soon became evident that a full-time commitment would be necessary, an impossibility for the many volunteers who also held down jobs during the daytime.
In 1995, the then Artistic Director, Luigi Ferrari, introduced the Prague Choir to fulfil this role. Although a professional choir, the Prague Choir was cast and managed independently of the Festival. While this resolved an immediate need, it was never envisaged as a long-term solution for the Festival.
Since David Agler’s appointment as Artistic Director in 2005, he has set out to achieve three major artistic goals: the formation of the Wexford Festival Orchestra, established in 2006, the opening of the National Opera House in 2008, and the establishment of a Wexford Festival Chorus in 2011, made up of rising young talent from Ireland and across Europe.
Commenting on this artistic development, David Agler said, “I am particularly satisfied that the Festival will now have a chorus to call its own. Singers, directors and conductors come and go. The musical backbone of any fine opera house is its chorus and orchestra. We have now achieved this goal in Wexford and I would like to think that the establishment of the Wexford Festival Chorus and Orchestra will be my lasting contribution to the Festival.”