Ahead of the opening of general booking for this year’s Wexford Festival Opera which goes on sale this Saturday, 13 April at 9.30, Artistic Director, David Agler today announced the cast for the forthcoming Festival.
Over the years the Festival has established an international reputation both for attracting and introducing new talent, many of whom have gone on to great international careers and this year is no exception. Artists from eleven countries will gather in Wexford this autumn to perform repertoire which they rarely have had the opportunity to sing before.
Wexford Festival Opera is also delighted to welcome home mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly, soprano Máire Flavin and tenor, Gavan Ring, all who will feature in the main evening operas. Gavan Ring, along with Sinead Campbell-Wallace, Mairead Buicke and John Molloy, will also take to the stage of the O’Reilly Theatre in the National Opera House for a one-night only concert performance of The Veiled Prophet by Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford. Presented in association with Heritage Music Productions, headed by international pianist and broadcaster, Una Hunt, this long neglected opera will be conducted by David Brophy.
The Festival opens with Don Quichotte by Jules Massenet, the tenth production by this composer to be staged in Wexford. The cast features Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina, fresh from the Jette Parker programme at the ROH, Georgian bass Goderdzi Janelidze in the title role of Don Quichotte and Icelandic baritone Olafur Sigurdarson, all of whom will make their Wexford Festival Opera debut. The production will be under the creative direction of Wexford alumni, director Rodula Gaitanou (Vanessa 2016; L’Oracolo, Mala Vita 2018) and conductor Timothy Myers (Vanessa 2016; Margherita 2017).
Dorilla in Tempe by Antonio Vivaldi is the first Baroque opera to be performed at the Festival in over 30 years. Performing Baroque repertoire is a specialty and some of Italy’s finest singers have been assembled for this production including soprano Manuela Custer, tenor Carlo Allemano and mezzo-soprano José Maria Lo Monaco. Director Fabio Ceresa (‘Best Director’ International Opera Awards 2016) and costume designer Giuseppe Palella, the key creative team behind the critically acclaimed operas Guglielmo Ratcliff (2015) and Maria de Rudenz (2016), return to Wexford for this production, while newcomer Andrea Marchiol will conduct. The production is presented in association with Teatro La Fenice (Venice).
Another Irish composer takes to the mainstage in the 2019 programme. The world premiere of a newly-commissioned opera by Andrew Synnott, La cucina, will be performed as a companion piece to Gioachino Rossini’s opera Adina, marking the first time in the Festival’s history that a living Irish composer has been featured in the main evening opera programme. La cucina features Italian actor Luca Nucera as the main protagonist in this story about the inner workings of a professional kitchen as the chef prepares the wedding feast for the upcoming wedding of Adina. From a libretto written by director and artistic director designate Rosetta Cucchi.
The cast of Adina includes Irish mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly in the title role and South African tenor, Lévy Sekgapane. Both of these young singers are currently making quite an impact on the international stage and have both performed in the National Opera House, but it will be their first time to perform in a Wexford Festival Opera production. Also making his Wexford debut is tenor Manuel Amati, who at a mere 22 years of age, has a number of opera roles to his credit.
All three main evening operas will also feature the Wexford Festival Chorus under the direction of Chorus Master Errol Girdlestone. The Wexford Festival Orchestra, led by Concertmaster Fionnuala Hunt, will perform all four main evening operas as well as the concert performance of The Veiled Prophet.
Discover hidden gems at Wexford Festival Opera this autumn.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, 13 April at 9:30 a.m. For booking and full programme details, go to wexfordopera.com
The 68th Wexford Festival Opera will open on Tuesday, 22 October and run for 13 consecutive days, closing on Sunday, 3 November.
Wexford Festival Opera is supported by grants from the Arts Council, Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland/Ireland’s Ancient East.