12 Oct 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.
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.
One of the much-anticipated highlights will be the Gala Concert – Remote Voices, which will feature performances from some of the most famous and outstanding stars from the opera world, all of whom have appeared in Wexford in the past. It will be streamed free on 16 October at 8pm.
The Gala Concert – Remote Voices will be hosted by Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi and Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ presenter Marty Whelan and will see these leading names in opera join remotely from their own homes.
The star studded line up will include mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina, bass baritone Simone Alberghini, baritone Nicola Alaimo, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, baritone Paolo Bordogna, tenor Joseph Calleja, baritone Roberto de Candia, soprano Helena Dix, soprano Anne Sophie Duprels, tenor Juan Diego Flórez, baritone Igor Golovatenko, tenor Dmitry Golovnin, soprano Sophie Gordeladze, soprano Ermonela Jaho, mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly, baritone Leon Kim, baritone Alessandro Luongo, mezzo-soprano Raffaella Lupinacci, soprano Angela Meade, tenor Sergey Romanovsky, baritone Luca Salsi, tenor Levy Sekgapane, Soprano Mariangela Sicilia, mezzo-soprano Nora Sourouzian and tenor Noah Stewart.
Stream live on 16 October at 8pm from anywhere in the world at RTE.ie/Culture, catch up on RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.
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
Wexford Festival Opera 2020
'What Happened to Lucrece' by Andrew Synott WFO 2020
Gianni Guiga in Falstaff Chronicles, WFO2020 photo by Padraig Grant
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