In what is considered the Oscars of the Opera world, Wexford Festival Opera further established its position among the world’s most recognised opera institutions, being short-listed with other finalists such as The NY Metropolitan Opera, The Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, and Glyndebourne, to name but a few.
Winning the coveted Best Re-discovered Work Award underlines and recognises, by its global peers, what Wexford is fundamentally all about - bringing rare operatic gems back to life for the enjoyment and enrichment of Wexford's local, national and international audiences.
Accepting the award on the night, Artistic Director David Agler commented, “It is a distinct honour that Wexford Festival Opera has been recognised for what it is has done faithfully for 63 years in presenting rediscovered operas to the world by winning this award.”
Cristina, regina de Svezia was composed by Italian-born but Swedish-resident Jacopo Foroni (1825-1858) in 1848 and was successfully performed during Foroni’s lifetime but fell into neglect after the composer’s early death from cholera at the age of thirty-four. Had he lived, critics agree that Foroni would have rivalled Verdi. The opera was brought back to life a few years ago by Swedish musicologist Anders Wiklund, who edited the work and arranged for its performance at a festival in Vadstena. It was recorded by Göteberg Opera in 2007. Wexford Festival Opera’s production in 2013 was the first staging of the opera outside Sweden and attracted many opera enthusiasts from abroad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Osmp_wLbs Critics were equally as enthusiastic.
“…Cristina, regina di Svezia proves the hit of the festival and one of the most worthwhile rediscoveries in its long history.” – John Allison, Daily Telegraph and Editor of Opera Magazine
Wexford was also nominated in three other categories including, Best Festival, Best Chorus and Best Young Singer – Soprano Helena Dix for her performance in the title role of Cristina, regina de Svezia; the awards going to Aix-en-Provence, Bayreuth and Jamie Barton, respectively. A complete list of Award Recipients can be found at www.operaawards.co.uk or #operawards
Come to Wexford to Discover and Re-Discover!
The 63rd Wexford Festival Opera is grant-aided by the Arts Council, Fáilte Ireland, Wexford County Council and Wexford Borough Council.
What the Media had to say about Cristina:
“In an age that binds metropolitan companies in an ever-closer hug of generic co-production, Wexford is the cradle of surprises. You don’t head for a corner of Ireland to hear what you already know. You take a punt and, with a bit of luck, come away believing you’ve witnessed a masterpiece that posterity unjustly rejected.” – Andrew Clark, Financial Times
“Exploring the Swedish monarch's agonizing between private and public interests, the large-scale score rises to ambitious heights under Andrew Greenwood's baton, and with soprano Helena Dix offering unstinting commitment in the title role.” – George Hall, The Guardian
“The title role, written for a lyric coloratura soprano, more than meets its match in Australian-born Helena Dix. She has the notes, the confidence and the stage presence to project a strong personality through the music. John Bellemer and Lucia Cirillo amply fill the tenor and mezzo “love interest” roles, while the two baritone parts are vigorously sung by David Stout and Igor Golovatenko. Andrew Greenwood conducts with finesse, stylistic assurance and a palpable sense of mission, setting the seal on a vintage Wexford rediscovery.” – Andrew Clark, Financial Times FIVE STARS
“Everyone in Wexford conspired to make the ride as thrilling as possible, Helena Dix’s Cristina delivering every last high note with piercing purity, Lucia Cirillo shining as her rival, Maria, the chorus raising the roof on demand, and the Wexford Festival Orchestra under Andrew Greenwood blazing full and fierce.” - Michael Dervan, The Irish Times