Wexford Festival Opera & RTÉ join forces to bring a taste of Magic & Music to your home

The 71st Wexford Festival Opera is now well underway with audiences experiencing the magic of this internationally renowned festival in person, at the stunning National Opera House.

Running until 6 November, Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi’s 2022 programme is built around the theme of Magic & Music. 

RTÉ lyric FM, RTE.ie/culture and WFO have joined forces to broadcast some of the productions to allow audiences to enjoy them at home, and with the support of ARTE and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), to millions around the world. 

Wexford Festival Opera 2022 features three main stage operas, La Tempesta, Lalla-Roukh and Armida each of which are being performed over four nights and a production of Cinderella written by 17-year-old composer Alma Elizabeth Deutscher


Audiences can experience the productions in a number of ways: 

La Tempesta © Clive Barda/ArenaPAL
La Tempesta © Clive Barda/ArenaPAL

Thursday 3 November, 8pm 

La Tempesta by Fromental Halévy 

Watch via RTÉ Culture here and listen back here

On demand on ARTE platforms from 3 December.

La Tempesta (1850), composed by Fromental Halévy, with a libretto by Eugene Scribe after Shakespeare's The Tempest was first performed at Her Majesty's Theatre London in June 1850. The production is conducted by WFO’s Principal Guest Conductor, Francesco Cilluffo and directed by Italian Roberto Catalano in his Wexford debut.  Nikolay Zemlianskikh will sing Prospero in his international debut with Israeli soprano Hila Baggio singing the role of his daughter Miranda making her WFO debut. Former Wexford factory artist Jade Phoenix will sing the role of Ariele.  

Sung in Italian. With the WFO Orchestra and Chorus. Production Sponsored by Elavon

More information on the production and cast can be found here


Armida  © Clive Barda/ArenaPAL
Armida  © Clive Barda/ArenaPAL

Saturday 5 November, 8pm

Armida by Antonín Dvořák 

To be broadcast live RTÉ lyric fm on Opera Night with Paul Herriott 8pm 

Listen back here

Via the EBU network the broadcast will be shared live across stations including the United Kingdom, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany SR, Poland, Germany WDR, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Sweden and The Netherlands.

Armida (1904) composed by Antonín Dvořák, with a libretto by Jaroslav Vrchlický. The piece was first performed at Prague's National Theatre on 25 March 1904. The production is conducted by Czech Norbert Baxa and directed by Austrian Hartmut Schörghofer, both making their Wexford debuts.

After her success as Elsa in Lohengrin at ROH earlier this year, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis will make her Wexford debut in the title role. Austrian-Australian tenor Gerard Schneider will return to Wexford to sing Rinald after singing Prince Dimitri in Risurezzione (2017).  Former Factory artist Rory Dunne will sing the roles of Bohumir / Muezin. Sung in Czech. With the WFO Orchestra and Chorus. 

A co-production with Pilsen Theatre (Czech Republic). Production Sponsored by Energia Group

More information on the production and cast can be found here


Lalla Roukh  © Clive Barda/ArenaPAL
Lalla Roukh  © Clive Barda/ArenaPAL

Saturday 12 November, 7pm  

Lalla-Roukh by Félicien David  

To be broadcast on Opera Night with Paul Herriott on RTÉ lyric fm at 7pm and streamed on RTÉ Culture.

Watch via RTÉ Culture here and listen back here

Lalla-Roukh (1862) composed by Félicien David, in a newly commissioned adaptation of the spoken dialogues by Timothy Knapman. The piece had its premiere at the Opéra-Comique in 1862. The production is conducted by Steven White, and Irish director Orpha Phelan directs. The title role will be sung by French soprano Gabrielle Philiponet in her Wexford debut, with former ROH Jette Parker artist Argentinian tenor Pablo Bemsch also making his Wexford debut singing Nourreddin. The role of the narrator is played by Lorcan Cranitch.

Sung in French, with the WFO Orchestra and Chorus. Production Sponsored by Danone.   

More information on the production and cast can be found here.


Cinderella  © Pádraig David Grant
Cinderella  © Pádraig David Grant

Saturday 19 November, 7pm

Cinderella by Alma Deutscher  

To be broadcast on Opera Night with Paul Herriott on RTÉ lyric fm at 7pm  

Cinderella (2015), composed by Alma Deutscher, will be performed by members of the Wexford Festival Factory in this Irish premiere. At the age of 10, Alma Deutscher began writing her first full-length opera. At 12, she premiered her first piano concerto and she made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 2019. Cinderella had its European premiere in Vienna (2016), conducted by Zubin Mehta, and its U.S. premiere a year later at Opera San Jose. Davide Gasparro will direct with conductor Andrew Synnott in the pit.  Wexford Factory artists feature in the cast and Megan O’Neill will sing the title role.  

More information on the production and cast can be found here