Wexford Festival Trust announces the decision of its long serving CEO to step down from his role.

Wexford Festival Trust today announced that David McLoughlin, its long serving Chief Executive, has decided to leave the organisation after thirteen years in the role.

McLoughlin, whose role encompasses CEO responsibilities for both Wexford Festival Opera and the National Opera House, has decided to make the move from opera to return to producing roles in the film and television sector from where he had come prior to commencing in the Wexford role in 2007, as well as providing project and consultancy services to the broader cultural sector.

During his tenure he oversaw the completion of the capital redevelopment of the then Wexford Opera House, the expansion of Wexford Festival’s fundraising activities into new international territories, the recognition by the State of the Festival’s home as the National Opera House, and the pioneering of new broadcast and digital streaming initiatives in association with RTÉ, the EBU and ARTE over many years. Most recently, McLoughlin, in collaboration with Artistic Director, Rosetta Cucchi, managed the organisation’s response to the Covid pandemic, succeeding in presenting live Festival performances online to a global audience of in excess of 150,000. During his term, the organisation secured many awards including Wexford Festival Opera crowned Best Festival at the International Opera Awards in 2017 and the National Opera House securing the title of Best Live Venue at the IMRO Awards.  

Mary Kelly, Chairwoman of Wexford Festival Trust, commented: “David has made a huge contribution to the continued success of Wexford Festival Opera and indeed to the arts sector in Ireland.  He has shown huge resilience in the face of the many challenges faced by those working in the arts, not least over the past year in putting on a successful Festival during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the past thirteen years he has been the face of Wexford Festival greeting patrons personally each evening during the Festival.  We will miss him greatly and wish him every success in his new undertaking”.

David McLoughlin commented: “It has been a huge privilege and honour to serve as CEO of Wexford Festival Opera and the National Opera House over the past thirteen years – a period of many challenges but also much success and growth. I am immensely grateful to the current and past Chairpersons and board members of Wexford Festival Trust and the National Opera House for their support and guidance during my term, and to the great team of colleagues that I have had the pleasure to work alongside over the many years. The broader Wexford ‘family’, including the local community, the Volunteer corps, and Wexford’s numerous Friends, donors and supporters, have also provided me with great encouragement and inspiration since my arrival. Wexford Festival and the National Opera House make an increasingly significant contribution to the national and international cultural landscape. Their importance and leadership can only grow over the coming months and years. I wish the organisation and all associated with it ongoing success in its continuing and future endeavours. Although I will be leaving Wexford, it will always have a special place in my heart”.

McLoughlin will leave his position in March. In the meantime, the board will embark on a process to recruit a new CEO to lead Wexford Festival Opera into the future.