13 year-old Stephanie Kinsella, from Palace, Enniscorthy Co Wexford and Jack Power, also 13, from Adamstown Co. Wexford, were recently cast in singing roles in A Village Romeo and Juliet, by Frederick Delius, one of the main stage operas premiering in Wexford next month. Both children, who attend secondary school in New Ross, Co. Wexford, already have some experience performing, but Wexford will mark their professional debut in a rarely performed opera that is already attracting much international attention.
Given the rich musical talent that exists in the county, Artistic Director, David Agler decided to begin the casting search in Wexford before looking farther afield. The children participated in open auditions that required both rigorous singing and acting skills. Commenting on the casting, Artistic Director David Agler said, “The roles in this opera are very demanding for such a young age, but having heard many young singers in local choirs, I felt that we should at least begin our search here. What we discovered is that we could have cast the roles three times over, such was the quality of the talent.”
Rehearsals for the 61st Wexford Festival Opera have now kicked-off in earnest for the 12-day international festival of opera opening next month. Artists representing 14 countries, including the 2 newest cast members, gathered together for their first rehearsal, which will continue 6 days a week for the next 4 ½ weeks.
A Village Romeo and Juliet marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of British composer Frederick Delius with what is considered to be his finest opera. This exciting large scale grand opera is sung in English and in the first scene, the main characters appear in their childhood. The opera is a passionate tale of forbidden love with music that depicts the defencelessness and innocence of youth. The opera includes the celebrated orchestral interlude The Walk to the Paradise Garden.