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Women & War themed WFO 2023 Programme is Announced

WFO Square Season 2023 Women and War
Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi has announced the 72nd Wexford Festival Opera programme. Centring around the theme of Women and War, the three mainstage operas have been confirmed as Zoraida di Granata by G. Donizetti 1822; L’aube rouge by Camille Erlanger 1911; La Ciociara by Marco Tutino 2015.

The festival theme of Women and War has been one Rosetta Cucchi has been developing over a number of years, and it is as relevant today as when these operas were written. Each chosen work highlights a different aspect of the struggles which women face; in wars, fighting prejudice and making women’s voices heard.

Zoraida di Granata by G. Donizetti 1822

A modern premiere, Zoraida di Granata follows the experience of a woman drawn into war against her will, in a battle to save her love. Irish soprano Claudia Boyle will sing the title role.

Donizetti wrote two versions of this opera, one in 1822 and the second in 1824 (the only existing recording of the Zoraida di Granata by Opera Rara (1990) gives an idea of the two versions). Zoraida di Granata will be presented as a co-production with the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo who plan to stage the 1824 version of the work in 2024.

L’aube rouge by Camille Erlanger 1911

A respected composer while alive, Camille Erlanger was the Prix de Rome winner and a Léo Delibes student. Over time however, his work has been neglected.

This tragic opera follows the story of Olga, who strives to save her nihilistic and blinkered partner Serge, who believes that change comes only through violence. Their inevitable fate plays out against a beautifully nuanced score.

La Ciociara (Two Women) by Marco Tutino 2015

Premiered in 2015, La Ciociara was originally a commission by San Francisco Opera, based on true events at the end of the Second World War. The orchestration will be revised for the Wexford Festival by composer Marco Tutino. The 72nd Wexford Festival Opera will be the first time the new version will be professionally performed.

Based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, the film version entitled La Ciociara (1960), directed by celebrated Italian director Vittorio De Sica starred Sophia Loren. Audiences will have the chance to see a screening of the film as part of WFO 2023. A contemporary opera depicting the devastating impact of the end of the Second World War in Italy,

La Ciociara follows a mother trying to shield and protect her daughter from the horrors of war in the aftermath of the Battle of Monte Cassino.


L'italiana in Algeri by Rossini 1813

The 4th iteration of the Wexford Factory will commence in September 2023, when the singers and repetiteurs from this year’s Factory will embark on their second year of this professional development academy. The brainchild of Rosetta Cucchi, the Wexford Factory nurtures young Irish / Irish-based artists. The Factory will once again be sponsored by PwC. The Factory artists will perform L'italiana in Algeri by Rossini in WFO 2023.

In this popular opera L'italiana in Algeri, a strong woman outwits her kidnapper with both her intelligence and charm.


Both pocket operas in 2023 continue the theme of women and war. As part of the Festival’s commitment to nurturing a new generation of creative artists, WFO is inviting applications from young directors and set designers. Two directors and one set designer (who are Irish/based in Ireland) will be chosen to develop innovative stage concepts for the two pocket operas.

- La fille du régiment by Gaetano Donizetti 1840

This well-loved comic opera follows the story of an orphan girl ‘adopted’ by a regiment of soldiers.

- Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini 1918

Puccini’s beautiful score tells of one woman’s ultimate sacrifice when caught in circumstances enforced upon her by both her family and society.

Community Opera

Wexford Festival Opera was founded by local volunteers and even today the local community are hugely involved in so many aspects of the festival. In 2023 the Festival will present a promenade community opera where non-professional people from the local area will have the chance to work and perform with professional artists. Full details and how to apply to be part of it, will be announced in the coming months.


WFO is delighted to announce that Conor Mitchell will return to Wexford in 2023 in his second year as Artist-in-Residence. This will include the presentation of a newly commissioned chamber piece.

Choral Concert

Continuing the collaboration which began earlier this year when they performed as part of the WFO Stabat Mater concert at the NCH, the New Dublin Voices will feature in a special Festival choral concert.