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Our orchestra and chorus

Wfo orchestra

We’re proud to attract some of the world’s best talent to our Orchestra and Chorus. We welcome many of them back year after year, and they have repaid us with their outstanding ability to raise our performances to inspiring new levels.

WFO Orchestra

The orchestra plays a pivotal role in bringing our opera performances to life.

Each year a specially assembled festival orchestra join together comprising some of the best soloists, recitalists, chamber musicians and principals from musical ensembles and distinguished orchestras in Ireland and abroad.

Many musicians have been part of the festival for many years and consider this to be their second artistic home.

WFO Principal Guest Conductor Francesco Cilluffo

Wexford Festival Opera’s Principal Guest Conductor is currently Italian Francesco Cilluffo. Cilluffo was appointed in 2020. A graduate of Turin University, Francesco lived and studied in London at GSMD (composition and conducting fellowship, Master in Composition - distinction) and at King’s College (PhD in Composition).

His studies led him to realise that composing and conducting is very much like two sides of the same coin. They are two different yet complementary sides of creativity. His experiences as a conductor span the core Italian operas and choral masterwork to some more unusual works and new commissions, and he feels at home writing as much as conducting opera and vocal music. Francesco is based in Milan but conducted operas last season at The Grange and Opera Holland Park.

WFO 2024 Main Stage Opera Guest Conductors
Le maschere
(1901) by Pietro Mascagni , Francesco Gilluffo
The Critic (1916) by Charles Villiers Stanford, Ciarán McAuey
Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (1827) by Gaetano Donizetti, Danila Grassi

Arachas logo square

For the first time ever, the Festival welcomes a sponsor of the WFO Orchestra, Arachas Insurance Brokers


First Violin

Fionnuala Hunt, Concertmaster
Lynda O'Connor, Guest Leader
Lara Rosemary O'Sullivan, Co-Principal
Anita Vedres
Brigid Leman
Cillian O'Breachain
Feilimidh Nunan
Emma Masterson
Mathew Whily

Second Violin

Paul O’Hanlon, Principal
Aoife Dowdall, Co-principal
Justyna Dabek
Rachel Du
Robert Mahon
Rachel Masterson


Adele Johnson, Principal
Cheryl Law, Co-Principal
Carla Vedres
Anthony Mulholland
Giammaria Tesai Palacio


Adrian Mantu, Principal
Aoife Burke, Co-Principal
Siobhan Lynch
Alona Kliuchka

Double Bass

Dominic Dudley, Principal
Maeve Sheil, Co-Principal
William Hollands

Woodwind and Brass


Deirdre Brady, Principal
Kieran Moynihan
Naoise O’Briain


Aoife McCambridge, Principal
Ben Gannon
Ruth Berresford


Jessie Grimes, Principal
Seamus Whily


Bartosz Kwasecki, Principal
Aidan Murphy


Hannah Millar, Principal
Dewi Jones
Peter Mullen
Caoimega Lavin


William Palmer, Principal
Eoghan Cooke
Michael Mullin


Ross Lyness, Principal
Karl Ronan
Paul Frost


Les Neish, Principal


Dianne Marshall, Principal

Timpani and Percussion


Noel Eccles, Principal


Patrick Nolan, Principal

John Rouasso


Dermot Dunne, Principal


Colin McLean, Principal

Orchestra Team

Orchestra Manager

Noel Eccles

Orchestral Assistant

Brian Smith

Orchestra Librarian

Sarah Burn

Assistant Manager

Lloyd Byrne

WFO Chorus

Wexford Festival Opera is internationally recognised as the premier festival of rare operas. For singers, the WFO Chorus offers an unrivalled opportunity to explore more diverse repertoire, the prospect of reviving an opera which has not been performed in modern times, professional experience and international exposure.

The WFO Chorus was formally set up back in 1994, with previous Chorus Masters including Anthony Hose, Myer Freedman, Kenneth Montgomery and Gregory Rose.

The current Festival Chorus Master is Andrew Synott.

Widely praised for its versatility and dynamism on stage, learn more how to Audition for the Wexford Festival Opera 2024 Chorus.