Wexford Opera Festival
The Opera House, Wexford, Co Wexford
Wexford has been runnning its Opera Festival annually since 1951, bringing lesser known opera to an appreciative audience who travel from all parts of the globe in what for many has become an annual pilgrimage.
2011 marks the 60th year of the festival, and the format is unchanged – the production of three full length operas, a popular formula since the early days.
La cour de Célimène an opéra comique, by Ambroise Thomas, the composer of Mignon and Hamlet. This was an immensely successful opera in its day, now fallen by the wayside.
Maria, by the Polish composer Roman Statkowski, was written in 1903 and has been undeservedly ignored even in its native Poland. The announcement of its inclusion at Wexford this year has generated considerable excitement in the world of opera.
Gianni di Parigi, a 1839 melodrama, will be the the fifteenth opera by Gaetano Donizetti to get a Wexford staging.
There will also be choral concerts, gala concerts and lunchtime recitals, and a host of other events to keep people entertained in between operas - this year’s event features artists from 11 different countries
While it would be easy to think that this is a festival for hard core opera buffs only, that isn’t the case. While everyone who travels should try to see at least one of the main productions, there is a very active fringe festival in the town which sees music sessions of all kinds in the pubs, street entertainment, art exhibitions, fireworks, walking tours and a host of other activities. Wexford really buzzes during this festival.