Treasure is found in the most unlikely places….
For sixty years now many hundreds of thousands of people have made a pilgrimage to Wexford Festival Opera in search of buried operatic treasure. Wexford is a charming seaside town on Ireland’s southeast coast and since 1951 this town has hosted what has become known as one of the world’s most remarkable festivals. Wexford Festival Opera prides itself in giving new life to unjustly neglected operas, introducing artists and audiences to the forgotten masterpieces. And it does this in high quality productions which annually delight both critics and audiences alike.
But far from being satisfied with presenting three productions each year, also on offer is a packed programme of morning events, lunchtime concerts, afternoon ShortWorks and recitals and late night revues. As if this wasn’t enough, a vibrant Fringe Festival offers everything from art exhibitions through to singing and swinging pubs.
And throughout all this, there is the remarkable camaraderie engendered by the warmth and intimacy of Wexford town itself. From the brand new Wexford Opera House seating just over 770, the 350 strong volunteer corps ready to welcome you to Wexford, to the hotels, bars and restaurants along the High, Main, and side streets of this Viking town, Wexford is a town which is truly taken over by the Festival. There’s something in the air that quickens everyone’s pulse – a common heartbeat of expansive good feeling and heightened sensibility that brings people back to Wexford again and again.
From David Agler, Artistic Director, on the 2012 season:
It has been a good number of years since Wexford has considered a work from the Italian opera style known as verismo. Although recognized as a title because of a very famous tenor aria L'arlesiana by Francesco Cilèa remains infrequently performed. L'Arlesiana will open the 61st Wexford Festival season. Also included in the programme is Le Roi malgré lui by Emmanuel Chabrier which has been on the Wexford 'wish list' since the artistic directorship of Elaine Padmore. It is a marvellously colourful work-Maurice Ravel was said to have admired it so much that he could play it on the piano from memory. For our third opera we are indeed pleased to be presenting A Village Romeo and Juliet, the operatic masterpiece of Frederick Delius born 150 years ago this year. To fill out a typical Wexford day there will be recitals, orchestral concerts, and late night events.