A new opera written during lockdown with three alternative endings to premiere this October

While many of us spent lockdown at home taking it a little easier, composer Andrew Synnott wrote an opera. When Wexford Festival Opera realised that the pandemic meant that they would be reimaging this year’s Festival, Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi reached out to Andrew. She asked him if he would create a new opera to premiere as part of ‘Waiting for Shakespeare …The Festival in the air’ which audiences could enjoy online this October.

Written intensely over three months ‘What Happened to Lucrece’ was created with an online audience in mind and has three different endings. Composer and Artist-in-Residence at Wexford Festival Opera, Andrew Synnott’s new opera commissioned by the festival, is based on the Shakespeare narrative poem, The Rape of Lucrece, about the legendary Roman noblewoman Lucretia.

What Happened to Lucrece’ is written for four singers and piano, sung in English and will be performed on three separate evenings. Each performance will have a different ending; one tragic, one farcical and one romantic. Viewers are invited to vote on their preferred ending.  

The creative credits include: Libretto by: Alessandra Binucci and Rosetta Cucchi. Conductor: Andrew Synnott, Pianist Giorgio D’Alonzo, Director/Designer: Rosetta Cucchi, Lighting Designer: Eoin McNinch.

The opera will be performed by four members of the Wexford Factory, a professional development academy for young Irish/Irish-based singers where participants are being tutored by some of the most celebrated professionals in opera today.  The four singers in the cast will be Sarah Richmond (playing Lucrece), Rory Musgrave (in the role of Sextus), Sarah Shine (playing Fran), Kathleen Norchi (as Collatline).

Thanks to a partnership with RTÉ audiences can experience all three endings of ‘What Happened to Lucrece’ from 13th - 15th Oct, streamed at 8pm daily on RTE.ie/Culture. Miss an episode? Catch up on RTE Player and on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

This October audiences across Ireland and around the world will have a chance to experience a taste of the magic of Wexford Festival Opera at home.

Wexford Festival Opera,  RTÉ and ARTE have joined forces once again to ensure that every magical moment will be available for audiences to enjoy for free from the comfort and safety of their own home. To see the full programme and how you can experience it at home go to wexfordopera.com

Wexford Festival Opera would also like to thank the Arts Council, Wexford County Council, Fáilte Ireland/Ireland’s Ancient East and the Festival’s Friends, sponsors and donors. It is only through their invaluable support that Wexford Festival Opera can, in turn continue to reach out on a global scale to enrich, entertain and enlighten audiences during these uncertain times.   

@wexfordfestivalopera / @wexfordopera 

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