23 Sep 2019
A leading Irish festival is set to wow opera lovers once again with a pitch perfect programme of performances.
Regarded as the most important festival of rare opera in the world, the award-winning Wexford Festival Opera will present world-class productions of hidden gems over 13 music-filled days this autumn.
The 68th festival will run from 22 October to 3 November in the ancient Viking town of Wexford in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Renowned for breathing new life into forgotten masterpieces and discovering the opera stars of the future, the festival attracts thousands of opera-lovers from all over the world and an international cast of vocalists and musicians.
This year’s festival has a distinctly Irish flavour, featuring the world-premiere of a newly commissioned opera by Irish composer Andrew Synnott, La Cucina, and a concert version of The Veiled Prophet by the Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford.
Hotly anticipated is the first Baroque opera to be performed at the festival in over 30 years, Dorilla in Tempe, by Antonio Vivaldi. The festival will also continue its long association with Massenet, presenting Don Quichotte, its tenth opera by the French composer.
Enduring festival favourites include the daytime ShortWork productions, which this year will feature Le Docteur Miracle by Bizet, Cendrillon by Viardot and Rossini’s L’inganno Felice. Intimately staged with piano accompaniment, the ShortWork operas offer audiences the opportunity to enjoy a one-act opera performed by cast members from the evening operas.
The 50-minute Lunchtime Recitals are also an integral part of the daytime programme presenting a unique opportunity to hear the festival’s principal artists perform their favourite repertoire in the beautiful setting of the eighteenth-century St Iberius Church.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Gala Concert at which members of the festival company perform a collection of favourite pieces.
Lectures, talks, guided tours of the state-of-the-art National Opera House and personalised tours of Wexford town and county add a further dimension to the festival.
Alongside the opera festival Wexford town hosts a vibrant fringe festival, which includes art exhibitions, drama and musical performances, as well as the legendary Singing and Swinging Pubs competition.
Sitting on the banks of the River Slaney, and with a maze of medieval streets, Wexford is a charming town to visit at any time of the year. Add a world-class opera festival and it becomes an unmissable autumn destination.
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