Wexford voted best opera festival in the world

By Maria Pepper

Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director David Agler and Chief Executive David McLoughlin with the 'Best Festival' Award at the Internatonal Opera Awards in the London Coliseum on Sunday night.
Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director David Agler and Chief Executive David McLoughlin with the 'Best Festival' Award at the Internatonal Opera Awards in the London Coliseum on Sunday night.

Wexford Festival Opera has been named 'Best Festival' at the International Opera Awards which were held at a gala event in the prestigious London Coliseum on Sunday night.

Wexford was crowned Best Festival ahead of other leading international opera events including Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in France; Festival Verdi in Parma; Garsington Opera, UK; Lyon Festival, France, and Spoleto Festival, USA,

Artistic Director David Agler who is now in his 13th year at the helm, accepted the award on behalf of Wexford Festival Opera. He told the attendance which included many of the world's leading opera professionals that the festival started out in the rural seaside town of Wexford 66 years ago with the clear and ambitious but risky vision of exploring the neglected and often obscure opera repertoire.

'With unstinting support from the local community as well as the Arts Council of Ireland, the festival has grown from strength to strength and now performs in a new state-of-the-art theatre, the National Opera House, which allows us more scope and opportunity'.

Mr. Agler said the award validated the founders' conviction and determination and the winning combination of a shared vision, artistic quality and a warm welcome which is truly second to none.

The International Opera Awards which were hosted this year by BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny, are an annual celebration of excellence in world opera and attract leading opera professionals from around the globe.

Preparations are well under way for the 66th Wexford Festival Opera which is running for an extended 18-day period from Thursday, 19 October until Sunday, November 5. The full programme and samples of this year's operas are available at www.wexfordopera.com/programme.

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