PwC/Wexford Festival Opera 2020 ‘Emerging Young Artist’ Bursary Announced

Mezzo-Soprano Anna Brady from Co. Dublin and Bass-Baritone Rory Dunne from Co. Kildare were named winners of the PwC/Wexford Festival Opera 2020 ‘Emerging Young Artist’ Bursary. This initiative serves to support and celebrate Ireland’s Emerging Young Artists from the opera world and helps to contribute towards the many costs associated with furthering their careers. 

To mark the occasion Anna and Rory took to the stage of the world-renowned National Opera House to take a bow, with just an audience of two people socially distanced in the auditorium, Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi and Jean Delaney, Tax Partner, PwC.

This is a time of change and arts and business are both responding to the current Covid-19 climate. WFO has responded by totally reimagining their programme which will now be delivered in a virtual format this October, free for audiences to view at home. 

PwC is also helping clients to respond to the challenges that lie ahead for their businesses in these unprecedented times. The firm recognises that supporting and celebrating young talent, including emerging young artists such as Anna and Rory, continues to be vital for future growth and success.

Mezzo-Soprano Anna Brady received her BA in Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2011 before studying for her Masters in Vocal Studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which she recently completed.  She is a 2012/13 alumni of the Young Associate Artist Programme with Opera Theatre Company. Her performing experience includes Annina in La Traviata with Fife Opera, Margot-Froufrou in The Merry Widow with Opera Bohemia and Daisy in The Next Station is Green Park with Opera Eos among others. Anna is currently preparing to sing the role of Arnalta in L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). 

Kildare born bass-baritone Rory Dunne studied as an actor before he realised that he wanted to pursue a career in opera when he first stood on a stage, in full costume, in character and with an orchestra playing in the pit, and felt that it is the one place that he felt truly empowered. Rory studied at TU Dublin Conservatoire and has gone on to perform with Wexford Festival Opera, Lyric Opera Productions, Irish National Opera, Cork Opera, Opera Collective Ireland and Blackwater Valley Opera Festival. 

Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director, Rosetta Cucchi, said “Over the years, Wexford Festival Opera has become known as a springboard for young emerging artists – somewhere that nurtured them early in their careers and helped them fly. With the help of loyal partners like PwC we can continue to raise young talent and provide them with a platform, which is even more fundamental during these challenging times.”

Jean Delaney, Tax Partner,  PwC, said, “PwC has a long history of championing talent development and recognises that, no matter what the economic climate, having the right skills is key to success.  It’s so encouraging to see Wexford Festival Opera adapt so seamlessly to the new environment and, with their exciting productions and superb talent, continue to bring great joy to so many people. We are delighted to support these two budding artists and wish them every success in the future.

The 69th Wexford Festival Opera is supported by grants from the Arts Council, Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland/Ireland’s Ancient East.