29 Jun 2020
Ireland’s world-renowned opera festival has pushed its previously announced artistic programme into an online event for this year.
The fully online ‘Waiting for Shakespeare… The Festival in the Air’ will take place from 11 – 18 October and feature performances, interviews, recitals, a gala concert, lectures and pop-up events.
Audiences from home and abroad will be invited to experience the magic of Wexford Festival Opera from the comfort of their own homes as the power of music digitally brings together opera lovers and the wider worldwide community of regular Wexford-goers.
The festival will open with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, dedicated to victims of the coronavirus pandemic, and close with a live concert from the National Opera House featuring renowned American lyric coloratura soprano Lisette Oropesa, with the Wexford Festival Orchestra, conducted by Francesco Cilluffo.
The online celebration of music will encompass many of the ambitions set out by Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi in the previously announced programme, with the inaugural Wexford Factory, a professional development academy for young Irish and Irish-based singers, being retained.
Academy singers will be mentored by professional opera singers such as tenor Juan Diego Flórez and will also perform scenes from Verdi’s Falstaff from the National Opera House, which will be streamed online.
Other events will include a star-studded gala concert featuring some of the opera world’s top performers, most of whom performed in Wexford early in their careers.
A special dinner-time recital by the celebrated Irish soprano Celine Byrne, as well as a new opera by artist-in-residence and composer Andrew Synnott will also take place.
Pop-up performances, which will take place daily in Wexford town in accordance with social distancing guidelines, will ensure a local community element to the festival.
The re-imagined festival highlights the indomitable creativity and spirit of Wexford Opera, which was founded in 1951.
Over the last 69 years the festival has built an international reputation for excellence, with thousands of opera-lovers from all around the world annually flocking to the former Viking stronghold in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Wexford’s commitment to the highest artistic standards has seen it emerge as one of the world’s leading opera festivals and anticipation for the seventieth anniversary celebration of the classic art form next year will be high.
Full details of the 2020 festival, including a downloadable brochure and a personal video presentation by Rosetta Cucchi, is available through www.wexfordopera.com
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