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70th Anniversary

Festival’s trip down memory lane

Vols Crop
It all began with a gramophone recital, but this year Wexford Festival Opera is celebrating its seventieth anniversary and is asking friends and volunteers for their memories of the heady, magic brew that is Wexford.

What started in 1951 as the humble aspiration of a small group of Wexford people to stage their own opera production in the Theatre Royal, has evolved into the world renowned festival that we love.

Firmly rooted in the community, the Festival has long since enjoyed an international reputation for excellence, winning the Best Festival category at the International Opera Awards in 2017.

This year will be no exception: Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi is currently finalising a programme of exciting events for Shakespeare in the Heart in October.

The Festival and Wexford have shown what a town and its supporters can achieve together with renewed hope and fresh ambitions.

And because of its proud and distinguished history, the Wexford Festival Opera is looking for you to share your memories of festivals past.

A trip down memory lane is likely to evoke a reminder of what the festival has come to mean to so many: for example, the BBC’s Sean Rafferty, reflecting about the Theatre Royal, recalled ‘the sheer physical excitement of a vast uplifting sound on a small stage.’

It was the late and great member of the voluntary team, Nicky Cleary, who said that memories of great voices and a team of wonderful people made Wexford possible.

The true spirit of the festival is what it has always meant to those who cherish it in their hearts, for without their love and support it simply could not exist.

If you have a favourite memory or a particular recollection to share of festivals past, please send it to, or by post to Memories at Wexford Festival Opera, National Opera House, High Street, Wexford. Photo memories are also most welcome.