Wexford Festival Opera was an unlikely idea to begin with.
The idea took shape in Foyle’s in Charing Cross Road, then grew during a conversation with Sir Compton Mackenzie, founder of The Gramophone magazine. Unlikely it might have been, but unjustly neglected opera had a new champion and Dr. Tom Walsh launched Wexford Festival Opera.
In 1951, Wexford was a town on the southern edge of a very different Ireland than we know today, yet Dr. Tom ventured forth with The Rose of Castille. During its first decade, Wexford offered an increasingly enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience such rarities as Lortzing's Der Wildschütz and obscure works like Bellini's La sonnambula. Increasingly, Wexford attracted producers and designers like Michael MacLiammoir who would go on to become famous. The results were astounding and the Festival was soon attracting internationally recognised operatic talent.
From 1982, the beloved Elaine Padmore, a former BBC opera producer, served as Artistic Director introducing a wide spectrum of music and singers from Russian Sergei Leiferkus to American dramatic soprano Alessandra Marc. The core mission of Wexford Festival Opera remained secure and the Festival’s international stature continued to grow.
Then, in a bold move, the Festival's home of so many years, the Theatre Royal, was demolished and replaced by the Wexford Opera House – now the National Opera House – on the same site. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian opera, Snegurochka, opened with the new building on 16 October 2008. The opera house is a glorious space that competes with the best operatic venues in the world.
The crazy idea of 1951 had grown into a first-class Festival in a first-class venue – and Wexford remained committed to the founding vision. Tom Walsh’s legacy still informs what we enjoy today. The Festival has always understood its links with the past and a commitment to the future. So how do you ensure your legacy for rarely performed and neglected opera?
At Wexford Festival Opera, legacy gifts hearken back to Dr. Tom Walsh’s first big idea – ensuring that unjustly neglected operas have a home. Your legacy gift to the Festival can play a role, too.
Legacy gifts come from the proceeds of your estate. They might be a portion or even all of your estate. Some people leave a house and others leave €1,000. What matters is that you support something with meaning to you, something that can continue for many years to come. We can work with you to ensure that your gift is properly named and recognised – but you need to let us know!
Please speak with Christopher Massi and we will discreetly work with you on +353 (0)86 012 0910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wexford Festival Opera can also arrange for you to speak with a solicitor specialising in wills and estates in Ireland, the UK, the US and Canada.
Click Here for our MyLegacy.ie profile where you can find examples of wording for will codicils.