World class opera imbued with the unique spirit of Wexford. Share the joy of artistic discovery, the beauty and truth of neglected masterpieces. The enthusiasm is infectious as the whole community unite to create an experience you’ll never forget.
Vision, determination, talent, bravery and innovation. This is the story of how we’ve grown from small local beginnings to our current status as a leading international opera festival. What a journey!
Compton Mackenzie, the renowned novelist and founder of Gramophone magazine, suggested to Tom Walsh that he stage an opera in Wexford, few could have imagined where the idea would lead.
But since the first ‘Festival of Music and the Arts’ took place in October 1951, Wexford Festival Opera has grown into one of the world’s leading opera festivals.
Creating extraordinary experiences, from the beginning, the Festival has made a name for itself by introducing audiences to unjustly neglected works, many of which have since found a place in the canon. We shine a light into the shadows to celebrate the masterpieces that slipped through the net of public consciousness. Through a process of discovery and reimagination, we reveal their beauty and truth to new audiences, enabling them to live and flourish. Each year we delve into the operatic archive for forgotten masterpieces.
Breathing new life into these forgotten masterpieces, for two weeks in late October and early November, Wexford Festival Opera stage a world-class festival of opera and performance, in our purpose built National Opera House and selective venues around Wexford town bring thousands of opera-lovers flocking to Wexford from all over the world.
But it hasn’t stopped there. Since Tom Walsh first guided the Festival to international success, Wexford Festival Opera has been blessed with a succession of talented and passionate artistic directors, all of whom balanced tradition with bold innovation.
In 2020 the Festival appointed Rosetta Cucchi as Artistic Director. Rosetta, an internationally-renowned pianist and director, who has had a regular presence at the Festival for more than 25 years as Assistant to the Artistic Director, first under Luigi Ferrari and later under David Agler. Her passion, knowledge and respect for Wexford and the Festival places her in the fortunate position to honour Wexford’s traditions while simultaneously introducing a new and innovative vision.
But of course, the Festival’s success is due in no small part to Wexford itself and the hundreds of local, dedicated volunteer force who complete the Wexford experience.
Images ©wexfordopera.com, Ros Kavanagh