Being a volunteer
Ecclesiastical Insurance has been a long-time supporter of the Festival and sponsor of our Volunteer Programme. Their support helps us maintain a volunteer base of over 400 volunteers, as well as celebrate them each year through the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Volunteer Programme Sponsor
Our Festival is an incredible celebration of art, music, culture and community! It takes a dedicated and enthusiastic group of volunteers to make sure everything runs smoothly and that we are delivering a unique patron experience to everyone who comes through the door of the National Opera House.
Some of our volunteers have “single citizenship” they volunteer for either the National Opera House or Wexford Festival Opera, and some have “dual citizenship“ in that they volunteer for both
Those that volunteer for the House volunteer on a year-round basis outside of Festival time (September to early November).
The volunteers for the National Opera House are in the role front of house stewards, their duty is to welcome patrons, direct them to their seats and assist them in any way possible.
Volunteers for Wexford Festival Opera have roles both front of house, backstage and off-site.
All Volunteers are offered an induction course and training in health and safety, first aid, fire safety, customer service and personal security.
- Front of House volunteers are responsible for front-of-house management at evening events in the National Opera House
- Cloakroom volunteers check in coats, bags etc.
- Programme volunteers sell programmes and souvenirs both prior to the performance and at the intervals.
- Hospitality volunteer team have a suite on the third floor of the National Opera House, which is manned daily to enhance the experience of the valued friends of the Wexford Festival Opera
- Recitals volunteers are responsible for front-of-house management at daytime events both in the National Opera House and at events at other locations such as Saint Iberius church
- House tours volunteers give guided tours of the National Opera House telling its story as they go through the various rooms
- Green room volunteer team caters for the company during performance providing tea, coffee, and refreshments
- Wardrobe volunteer team starts to work mid-September. The volunteers work with professional staff who make costumes from scratch whilst the volunteers concentrate mainly on alterations and hand sewing
- Driver volunteers provide a friendly welcome for artists and guests who are usually collected from the airport and very often are the first face that the singer, musician, artist and VIP see upon arriving for the festival
- These tours are organised on behalf of Wexford Historical Society and are given by volunteers who aim to give both visitors and locals an introduction to the cultural and historic life of County Wexford
- The Wexford Volunteer corps are unique and special people who enjoy being part of a tradition that spans 70 years and will continue to support and give the unique Wexford experience to all patrons
Each year, with the support of our Volunteer Programme Sponsor Ecclesiastical, we award an individual volunteer after a public vote by their peers and the wider Festival staff and board. This individual is awarded on stage at the opening Public Dress Rehearsal of the Festival by our Artistic Director and recognised for their dedication and invaluable contribution.
2022: Ethna Ryan
2021: David Maguire
2019: Eleanor White
2018: Selina Scott
2017: Albert Lacey
2016: Marie Brady
2015: Ted Howlin
2014: Claudine Murphy
2014: Nuala Byrne
2013: Tom Murphy
2013: Bride Tynan
2012: Vivian Crofton
2011: Elizabeth Foley
“The very survival of many charitable institutions is dependent on the volunteer sector and the dedicated volunteers at Wexford Opera Festival are no exception to this. Their professionalism is a perfect complement to the world class performances that we witness during every festival. At Ecclesiastical, we are delighted to be associated with this award and the volunteer team for their invaluable contribution to the Festival.”