2020 marks the inaugural Festival for Rosetta Cucchi as Wexford Festival Opera’s Artistic Director. To date only seven previous Artistic Directors have programmed the Festival over its 68-year history. Today Rosetta Cucchi announced her first exciting programme for 2020.
For the first time, in a major new development, the Festival will be themed. Inspired by William Shakespeare, each of the three main evening productions in the National Opera House will be based directly or indirectly on the life and work of this great poet and playwright.
The three day-time operas, retitled, Pocket Operas / Opera Beag continues this Shakespearian thread, with new productions on the themes of love, fun and the darker side.
Wexford has always provided key professional development opportunities. 2020 sees the establishment of the Wexford Factory, a new intensive academy, which will offer professional and financial support to 15 young Irish or Irish-based singers in the early stages of their careers. Working closely with our national and international partner opera companies, TU Dublin (Technological University Dublin) RIAM (Royal Irish Academy of Music), CSM (Cork School of Music), The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro and Opera for Peace, the Wexford Factory will train young Irish or Irish-based singers through intensive masterclasses held by internationally renowned artists and professionals. Guest tutors will include world-renowned tenor Juan Diego-Flórez. In addition, graduating students will perform in a reduced version of Verdi’s Falstaff, one of the Pocket Operas / Opera Beag in 2020. Information on how to apply for the Wexford Factory can be found at www.wexfordopera.com/about-us/wexford-factory/ from Friday, 25 October 2019.
Further professional development opportunities include:
- Key national collaborations with SinfoNua orchestra who will be mentored by members of the Wexford Festival Orchestra.
- The establishment of an Artist-in-Residence Programme. Leading Irish composer Andrew Synnott will be Wexford's first ever Artist-in-Residence.
- The establishment of a Principal Guest conductor. Italian Francesco Cilluffo will be appointed to the role for the next three years.
Including many traditional Festival favourite events, WFO 2020 marks an expansion of the number of events, presenting more than 70 separate performances over 13 continuous days including:
3 main stage operas
Ein Wintermärchen Karl Goldmark
Le Songe d’une nuit d’été by Ambroise Thomas
Edmea by Alfredo Catalani
- A new series of daytime Pocket Operas / Opera Beag, performed in both the O’Reilly Theatre and Jerome Hynes Theatre in the National Opera House as well as the Wexford Arts Centre.
- A special evening concert in the O’Reilly Theatre of the National Opera House with the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra and starring internationally renowned American soprano, Lisette Oropesa.
- Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle in Rowe Street Church.
- 4 late night Cabaret des Artistes performances.
- W F O 2.0 - (W- F- O- 2- point- zero): A series of free pop-up, multi-disciplinary performances featuring music, drama, singing and dance which will be performed in non-traditional settings in various locations around Wexford town.
Speaking at the announcement today, Rosetta Cucchi said, “Wexford is a magical place where in the last several years I have enhanced my experience as an artist and as an artistic leader, and where I have recognised my best talents. While being faithful to its tradition, it has also made me aware of Wexford’s great potential for the development of new and stimulating ideas, some of which will be showcased in my inaugural season.”
Priority booking for the 69th Wexford Festival Opera opens on Saturday, 21 March 2020 for Bravura, Aria, Cabaletta and Ensemble + Friends of Wexford Festival Opera. Booking for Ensemble Friends opens on Saturday, 28 March, 2020. Public booking opens on Saturday, 4 April 2020.
Wexford Festival Opera is supported by grants from the Arts Council, Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland/Ireland’s Ancient East.
For more see wexfordopera.com @wexfordfestivalopera / @wexfordopera
by Karl Goldmark
An opera in 3 acts. Sung in German
Performance Dates: 20, 23, 26, 29 October 2020
O'Reilly Theatre, The National Opera House.
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Director: Dmitry Bertman,
Set & Costume Designer: Astrid Janson
Le Songe d’une nuit d’été
by Ambroise Thomas
An opera in 3 acts. Sung in French.
Performance Dates: 21, 24, 27 October and 1 November 2020
O'Reilly Theatre, The National Opera House
Conductor: Guillaume Tourniaire
Director: Walter Le Moli
Set Designer: Tiziano Santi
Costume Designer: Gabriele Mayer
by Alfredo Catalani
An opera in 3 acts. Sung in Italian.
Performance Dates: 22, 25, 28, 31 October 2020
O'Reilly Theatre, The National Opera House
Conductor: Francesco Cilluffo
Director: Julia Burbach
Set & Costume Designer: Cécile Trémoliers
Performance Dates: 21, 22, 23 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 October 2020
St Iberius Church, Wexford
Selected lead performers from the Festival's main productions will perform a wide variety of music from across the repertoire including operatic arias, lieder, oratorio, concert and popular songs in this intimate and historic venue.
POCKET OPERAS / Opera Beag
The previously titled Short Works programme are being reimagined as a new series of daytime operas, called Pocket Operas / Opera Beag, which will be performed in different venues in Wexford town, including both the O’Reilly and Jerome Hynes theatres in the National Opera House as well as the Wexford Arts Centre.
These Pocket Operas will continue the Shakespearian theme and act as an important showcase for young Irish and international Festival artists. The Pocket Opera production of Falstaff will also feature the SinfoNua Orchestra of young Irish based musicians tutored by members of the Wexford Festival Orchestra.
-Shakespeare in Love
A collage of the most famous love scenes, arias, duets and quartets from operas related to Shakespeare.
Performance Dates: 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 October 2020
Jerome Hynes Theatre
Director: Lyaysan Safargulova
Dramaturg: Jessica Traynor
-The Dark Side of Shakespeare
A collage of the darker, more obscure and mysterious Shakespearian characters in opera from Otello to Macbeth.
Performance Dates: 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31 October 2020.
Wexford Arts Centre
Director: Wayne Jordan
-Shakespeare for Fun
A reduced production of Falstaff by Verdi with singers from the Wexford Factory and SinfoNua orchestra.
Performance Dates: 22, 24, 27, 29 October 2020
LISETTE OROPESA CONCERT
Performance Date: 30 October 2020.
A special concert with full Wexford Festival Orchestra, starring the internationally-renowned American lyric coloratura soprano Lisette Oropesa.
Performance Date: 24 October 2020.
O'Reilly Theatre, National Opera House.
Always a Festival favourite, featuring a collection of popular arias from members of the Festival company.
PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE
By Gioachino Rossini
Performance Date: 1 November 2020.
Rowe Street Church.
Rossini's final composition before his death, one of the most delightful examples of a solemn mass performed in Rowe Street Church on the closing afternoon of the Festival.
DR. TOM WALSH LECTURE
Date: 30 October 2020.
Jerome Hynes Theatre, the National Opera House.
Speaker to be announced in spring 2020.
LATE- NIGHT CABARET DES ARTISTES
Performance Dates: 22, 25, 28, 31 October 2020.
Late-night performance series. Four theatrical events featuring music, recitation, dance and drama, featuring an ensemble of the Festival's singers, actors and dancers, exploring French, German, English and American cabaret.
W F 0 2.0 (W-F-O-2- point- zero) A series of free pop-up, multi-disciplinary performances featuring music, drama, singing and dance which will be performed in non-traditional settings in various locations around Wexford town. This exciting new initiative is designed to bring the Festival back into the community of Wexford, making it more accessible and inviting for new and diverse audiences. A map indicating the location of these free, ‘pop-up’ performances will be created to lead the public to venue where these artistic spectacles will take place, adding a ‘Treasure Hunt’ element to the experience.
The Wexford Factory, a major new WFO enterprise, whose name is derived from Andy Warhol’s New York Studio, ‘The Factory’ and his idea to create an ‘artists’ collective’ in an effort to cultivate their talents. The inaugural term of this new academy for young Irish or Irish-based singers will run for two weeks from 1 September, 2020. Participants, chosen from an audition process, will take part in masterclasses and tuition from renowned industry professionals including Juan Diego-Flórez and Dimitry Vdovin. They will also perform in a reduced version of Verdi’s Falstaff, one of the 2020 Pocket Operas / Opera Beag.
The Wexford Factory will be presented in collaboration with the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) and the Cork School of Music (CMS). And in keeping with the International profile and reach of Wexford Festival Opera, a partnership with the Bolshoi Academy, Moscow, the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro and Opera for Peace has also been established.
For full programme details see wexfordopera.com
Wexford Festival Opera is supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Fáilte Ireland, Wexford County Council and Ireland’s Ancient Eastfor Rosetta Cucchi as Wexford Festival Opera’s Artistic Director. To date only seven previous Artistic Directors have programmed the Festival over its 68-year history. Today Rosetta Cucchi announced her first exciting programme for 2020.