Wexford Festival Opera
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|Country and Region||Ireland — Wexford|
|Type of Festival||Opera|
|Location of Festival||Wexford, County Wexford, Ireland|
|Festival Contact Information|
Wexford Festival Opera
Wexford Festival Opera celebrated its 60th festival in 2011. Chief Executive David McLoughlin said, “...we are very pleased that such financial prudence has begun to bear fruit by enabling us to present not just a longer, but also a broader, festival in terms of the number of daily performances to be presented. The ambitious and comprehensive programme which will be staged over 15 days in October will further confirm and establish Wexford Opera’s position in the top three favourite locations in the World for opera lovers.”
|Festival Dates||October 23 - November 3, 2013|
Daytime ShortWorks Taster 2013:
- The ever-popular ShortWorks programme will continue, increasing to four productions: The Sleeping Queen by Michael William Balfe, a one-time resident of Wexford town; L’Elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti; Losers by Richard Wargo, based on Brian Friel’s one-act play; and, in honour of the bicentenary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, La Traviata, which will be staged in the 172 seat Jerome Hynes Theatre. The other three ShortWorks will be performed in the Presentation Secondary School for the second year in a row. Although the ShortWorks performances will have allocated seating for the first time, early booking is advised. Approximately an hour in length, the ShortWorks operas allow the audience to taste a rare work or enjoy a condensed version of a more familiar opera. A special daytime package is on offer for €55 which includes a Lunchtime Recital, 3-course lunch and a ShortWorks opera. The timing of events in this daytime package will allow audiences to travel easily to and from Wexford by car, bus or rail within a day.
Main stage evening operas 2013:
- The 2013 programme includes three main stage operas by Nino Rota, Jules Massenet and Jacopo Foroni. All three operas will be supported by the Wexford Festival Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera, consisting of top musical talent from Ireland and around the world.
- The opening production, sponsored by Elavon, is Il Cappello di paglia di Firenze (The Florentine Straw Hat) by Nino Rota, described as a musical farce. Written in 1945 and sung in Italian, this opera is a witty and brilliant satire on the petty conventionalism of the French bourgeoisie. Here Rota’s musical style is akin to that of a latter-day Rossini, with elements of Puccini and Verdi. Nino Rota is perhaps best known as a film score composer, including the music for The Godfather films.
- Jules Massenet is a composer very dear to Wexford and the Festival is very pleased to produce his double bill of Thérèse and La Navarraise, which unfortunately are rarely performed. The story of Thérèse concerns three people who are forced by the brutal politics of the French Revolution to confront their relationships and to make life and death choices. La Navarraise is an opera in the verismo tradition that depicted lower-class contemporary life. It is the story of Anita, a young woman from Navarre, who, like Thérèse, is caught up in historical events. Set during the civil war in Spain in 1874, Anita is fearful for the safety of the soldier she loves.
- The life and reign of Queen Christina of Sweden provides the inspiration for Jacopo Foroni’s opera Cristina, regina di Svezia. Queen Christina was an intelligent and extremely well-educated monarch who played an important role in ending the Thirty Years’ War, one of the longest and most destructive wars in European history. The events leading up to Christina’s sudden abdication in 1654, including political unrest, conspiracy and her loneliness as monarch, are at the core of Foroni’s opera and are stirringly presented in dramatic orchestral music and lyrical bel canto vocal writing. Although a native of Verona, Foroni relocated to Stockholm, where he spent the last 10 and most successful, years of his life, before his death from cholera at the age of 33.
Fringe Festival 2013:
- Wexford Town also hosts a vibrant Fringe Festival to coincide with the Opera Festival which includes art exhibitions, drama and musical performances, historical tours, and of course the Singing and Swinging Pubs competition. Full details http://www.wexfordfringe.ie.
Opera Europa - cultural conference 2013:
- The Festival is very proud that Wexford has been chosen as the venue for a major international cultural conference in 2013. Opera Europa, the sole representative organisation for all Opera Houses, Companies, Festivals and opera professionals throughout Europe and beyond, will hold its annual gathering in Ireland for the first time ever in 2013. The conference will provide a unique opportunity to promote, present and enhance the reputation of Wexford Opera and the Irish cultural sector, and will further showcase it as a leading destination for opera and music lovers. Senior cultural delegates from potentially thirty-five countries will participate in conference events in Wexford Opera House during the second week of this year’s festival, from Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 October. http://www.opera-europa.org/view.asp
- Wexford Festival Opera