At a time when more people than ever are turning online to enjoy their favourite opera productions, the first-ever professional performance in English of The Veiled Prophet by Dublin-born composer, Charles Villiers Stanford, is now available to view on the RTÉ Player. The project presented at last year’s Wexford Festival Opera in association with Heritage Music Productions, founded and produced by international pianist and broadcaster Una Hunt, was a momentous milestone in the quest to recover Irish opera from oblivion and was thus supported by a major grant from the Arts Council of Ireland. The opera was recorded live by RTÉ lyric fm for radio broadcast and was included as part of the European Broadcasting Union Premium Opera Series which is heard by millions of listeners across the globe. This is the first complete presentation to take place in more than 125 years, making it a ‘must-see’ for newcomers to opera and connoisseurs alike.
The twelve singers chosen to take part in the inaugural Wexford Factory have been announced. This new professional development initiative, established for the first time this year by WFO Artistic Director, Rosetta Cucchi, is a two-week academy for young Irish / Irish-based singers, which will take place in early September, prior to the beginning of rehearsals for this year’s Festival and will feature top international guest tutors including world-renowned tenor Juan Diego-Flórez.
Ahead of the opening of priority booking for the 69th Wexford Festival Opera, newly appointed Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi has revealed further details of her inaugural artistic programme including the casting for the three main evening operas, which comprises inspiring operatic talent from16 countries from across the globe, including Ireland, most of whom will make their Wexford Festival Opera debuts.
This year the festival is 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. Three day-time operas entitled, Pocket Operas / Opera Beag, will continue this Shakespearean thread, with new productions on the themes of love, fun, and the darker side.
The Merrion Hotel and Wexford Festival Opera are proud to present an evening of the best entertainment and dining as they come together once again this year to present Wexford Opera at The Merrion for two exclusive performances on 17 and 18 June, set against the backdrop of The Merrion's historic Georgian Salons.
After a financially challenging 2018, resulting from the high costs of the ambitious artistic programme presented and lower than anticipated box office income, 2019 was a far more successful year, with a budget-beating box office performance and all costs coming in below budget. As a result, preliminary full-year financial results indicate that the company returned to delivering a surplus in 2019.
Chief Executive, David McLoughlin, commented: “We are very grateful to all our supporters and stakeholders, in particular our audiences, for their strong and continued support of Wexford Festival Opera in 2019, which enabled us to present an artistically and financially successful Festival. We are excited by the new artistic and financial opportunities arising from our new Artistic Director’s ambitious programme for 2020.”