Booking opens on May 7th for the 62nd Wexford Festival Opera
62nd Wexford Festival Opera
23 October – 3 November 2013
The 62nd Wexford Festival Opera will run for 12 days from Wednesday, 23 October until Sunday, 3 November 2013. Full details: www.wexfordopera.com
Online, telephone and in-person booking for all performances will commence at 10 am on Tuesday, 7 May. To avail of priority booking for all performances and events become a Friend of Wexford Festival, guaranteeing you exclusive access to the best seats for all main opera and day-time performances. Friends’ membership and bookings can be made online: www.wexfordopera.com, by phone +353 (0)53 912 2144, or in person at the Wexford Opera House box-office.
Programme includes Il Cappello di paglia di Firenze (The Florentine Straw Hat) by Nino Rota, a double bill of Thérèse and La Navarraise by Jules Massenet, and Cristina, regina di Svezia by Jacopo Foroni.
Afternoon programme includes 4 shortwork operas La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, The Sleeping Queen by Michael William Balfe, L’Elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti and Losers, by Richard Wargo.
58 daytime / evening events.
Demand for tickets is expected to be even greater than usual as Wexford hosts the world renowned Opera Europa Conference from 28 to30 October. Over 250 international delegates expected to attend this conference which will be held in Ireland for the very first time.
A special daytime package is on offer which includes a Lunchtime Recital, lunch and ShortWork opera performance for €55.
It is estimated that over 50,000 visitors will be present in Wexford town over the 12 day festival period.
(Thursday, May 2, 2013) Friends, old and new are very much at the forefront of this year’s Wexford Festival Opera. The launch of The European Friends of Wexford Festival in the European Parliament building in Brussels recently, the development of The American Friends of Wexford Opera and the hosting of the Opera Europa conference guarantee that Wexford will be inundated with all kinds of Friends this autumn.
Since 1951 Wexford has hosted what is widely regarded as one of the world’s most remarkable festivals and has re-affirmed its reputation this year when it was shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Festival Opera category at the 2013 International Opera Awards. Wexford prides itself in bringing new life to unjustly neglected operas, introducing artists and audiences to forgotten masterpieces and providing an invaluable international platform for emerging talent, and this year is no different.
Three main stage operas (evening programme)
The 2013 programme includes three main stage operas by Nino Rota, Jules Massenet and Jacopo Foroni. All three operas will be supported by the Wexford Festival Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera, consisting of top musical talent from Ireland and around the world.
The opening production, sponsored by Elavon, is Il Cappello di paglia di Firenze (The Florentine Straw Hat) by Nino Rota, described as a musical farce. Written in 1945 and sung in Italian, this opera is a witty and brilliant satire on the petty conventionalism of the French bourgeoisie. Here Rota’s musical style is akin to that of a latter-day Rossini, with elements of Puccini and Verdi. Nino Rota is perhaps best known as a film score composer, including the music for The Godfather films.
Jules Massenet is a composer very dear to Wexford and the Festival is very pleased to produce his double bill of Thérèse and La Navarraise, which unfortunately are rarely performed. The story of Thérèse concerns three people who are forced by the brutal politics of the French Revolution to confront their relationships and to make life and death choices. La Navarraise is an opera in the verismo tradition that depicted lower-class contemporary life. It is the story of Anita, a young woman from Navarre, who, like Thérèse, is caught up in historical events. Set during the civil war in Spain in 1874, Anita is fearful for the safety of the soldier she loves.
The life and reign of Queen Christina of Sweden provides the inspiration for Jacopo Foroni’s opera Cristina, regina di Svezia. Queen Christina was an intelligent and extremely well-educated monarch who played an important role in ending the Thirty Years’ War, one of the longest and most destructive wars in European history. The events leading up to Christina’s sudden abdication in 1654, including political unrest, conspiracy and her loneliness as monarch, are at the core of Foroni’s opera and are stirringly presented in dramatic orchestral music and lyrical bel canto vocal writing. Although a native of Verona, Foroni relocated to Stockholm, where he spent the last 10 and most successful, years of his life, before his death from cholera at the age of 33.
A taster menu of one hour ShortWorks (daytime programme)
The ever-popular ShortWorks programme will continue, increasing to four productions: The Sleeping Queen by Michael William Balfe, a one-time resident of Wexford town; L’Elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti; Losers by Richard Wargo, based on Brian Friel’s one-act play; and, in honour of the bicentenary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, La Traviata, which will be staged in the 172 seat Jerome Hynes Theatre. The other three ShortWorks will be performed in the Presentation Secondary School for the second year in a row. Although the ShortWorks performances will have allocated seating for the first time, early booking is advised.
Approximately an hour in length, the ShortWorks operas allow the audience to taste a rare work or enjoy a condensed version of a more familiar opera. A special daytime package is on offer for €55 which includes a Lunchtime Recital, 3-course lunch and a ShortWorks opera. The timing of events in this daytime package will allow audiences to travel easily to and from Wexford by car, bus or rail within a day.
The Festival is very proud that Wexford has been chosen as the venue for a major international cultural conference in 2013. Opera Europa, the sole representative organisation for all Opera Houses, Companies, Festivals and opera professionals throughout Europe and beyond, will hold its annual gathering in Ireland for the first time ever in 2013. The conference will provide a unique opportunity to promote, present and enhance the reputation of Wexford Opera and the Irish cultural sector, and will further showcase it as a leading destination for opera and music lovers. Senior cultural delegates from potentially thirty-five countries will participate in conference events in Wexford Opera House during the second week of this year’s festival, from Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 October.
Wexford Town also hosts a vibrant Fringe Festival to coincide with the Opera Festival which includes art exhibitions, drama and musical performances, historical tours, and of course the Singing and Swinging Pubs competition. Full details www.wexfordfringe.ie
Booking for all 2013 performances commences at 10 am on Tuesday, 7 May. Friends of Wexford Festival Opera have first preference of dates and seats for all performances. To avail of priority booking from 7 May become a Friend of Wexford Festival Opera and enjoy many other benefits including complimentary Friends parties, In conversation with events, and Friends Dublin Summer concert, to name but a few.
Visit www.wexfordopera.com/friends for further details on how to become a Friend of Wexford Festival Opera.