2021 Programme

Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi announced details of the 2021 WFO programme, celebrating Wexford’s 70th anniversary, which looks forward to welcoming live audiences back into the National Opera House, to experience in person the magic that is Wexford Festival Opera.

Patrons can rest assured that at all times events will be delivered safely, within government guidelines. Live audience numbers for festival performances will be at a reduced capacity, but this will not dampen the excitement of this 70th Anniversary festival programme.

3 evening operas, performed in the O’Reilly Theatre to a limited audience - a fully-staged production of Edmea (Alfredo Catalani), a semi-staged production of Le Songe d’une nuit d’été (Ambroise Thomas), and a concert performance of Ein Wintermärchen (Karl Goldmark).


A fully staged production of EDMEA by Alfredo Catalani (1854–1893). The character of Edmea is reminiscent of the tragic Ophelia. The opera tells of a young woman, Edmea, driven mad by love having been forced by her adoptive father, a Count, to marry against her will when she was in love with Oberto, son of her aristocratic guardian. Sung in Italian with English surtitles. 

Conductor: Francesco Cilluffo, Director: Julia Burbach, Set & Costume Designer: Cécile Trémolieres, Lighting Designer: D.M. Wood.

Cast includes: Anne Sophie Duprels (Edmea), Ivan Shcherbatykh, John Molloy, Leon Kim and Conor Prendiville.

Dates: 19, 22, 28 & 31 Oct (each date at 8pm).


A semi-staged production of Le Songe d’une nuit d’été by Ambroise Thomas (1811–1896). An opéra comique, with spoken dialogue, Le Songe d’une nuit d’été is a fantasy about Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I. The playwright-poet sinks gradually into drunkenness and debauchery until Elizabeth is forced to remind him of his duty as England’s literary genius. The third leading character is Sir John Falstaff, governor of ‘Richemont’, where the action is set. Sung in French with English surtitles.

Conductor: Guillaume Tourniaire, Director: Walter Le Moli, Set Designer: Tiziano Santi, Lighting Designer: D.M. Wood. 

Cast includes: Hasmik Torosyan, Valentina Mastrangelo, Sébastien Guèze, Tommaso Barea, Vasyl Solodkyy, Rory Dunne and Kathleen Norchi. 

Dates: 20, 23, 25 & 30 Oct (each date at 8pm).


An In-Concert performance of Ein Wintermärchen (A Winter’s Tale) by Karl Goldmark (1830–1915). Some Shakespeare plays have been set as operas several dozen times, others hardly at all. A Winter’s Tale features somewhere in the middle popularity-wise, without having inspired any of the most famous Shakespearean operas, it makes Karl Goldmark’s Ein Wintermärchen all the more intriguing. First premiered at the Hofoper in Vienna in 1908, Ein Wintermärchen would prove to be the last of the six operas composed by Goldmark (1830–1915). Sung in German.

Conductor: Marcus Bosch, Lighting Designer: D.M. Wood.

Cast includes: Sophie Gordeladze, Ava Dodd, Simon Thorpe, Daniel Szeili, Rory Musgrave, Lancelot Nomura, Niamh O’Sullivan.

Dates: 21 (8pm) & 24 Oct (3.30pm)

A fully staged opera, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Vincenzo Bellini), will be performed by members of the Wexford Factory for two afternoon and evening performances. Conducted by Giuseppe Montesano and directed by Conor Hanratty. 

10 wonderful lunchtime recitals will be performed in the O’Reilly Theatre.

The Festival will welcome back Andrew Synnott as artist-in-residence and Francesco Cilluffo as principal guest conductor. 

24 pop-up events. Each day during the festival experience a free pop-up, multi-disciplinary performance featuring music, drama, singing and dance which will be performed in non-traditional settings in various locations around Wexford town. 

A new opera with music by Andrew Synnott, The 47th Saturday, will be performed in Green Acres. Based on a story by William Trevor, adapted by Vivenne Howards.

Unforgettable concerts, the WFO Gala Concert featuring a collection of favourite party pieces from members of the Festival company (24 Oct), a special Concert with Angela Meade (27 Oct) and a final Factory Concert (26 Sept) a platform for young talent to shine. 

The annual Dr Tom Walsh Lecture, delivered by acclaimed author Colm Tóibín, exploring 'Music & Silence: James Joyce's Songs' (29 Oct).

Impossible interviews, Shakespeare and Alfredo Catalani, hosted by The Irish Times journalist Michael Dervan.

"This Festival will be a double celebration for us: the return to live theatre, meeting each other again after a long period of time and also marking the 70th year of our Festival. We are very proud of the long history and tradition of Wexford Festival Opera and while celebrating this 70th year we are also looking forward to the future with great excitement.” - Rosetta Cucchi

View the 2021 Festival Calendar here