Thursday 19 October 2017

Opera tickets head for a total sellout


Mezzo soprano Laura Murphy from Corish Park in Wexford will make her professional Wexford Festival debut on the Opera House stage this year. Laura joins the chorus for two of the main stage operas. Laura is no stranger to the Festival as she appeared...
Mezzo soprano Laura Murphy from Corish Park in Wexford will make her professional Wexford Festival debut on the Opera House stage this year. Laura joins the chorus for two of the main stage operas. Laura is no stranger to the Festival as she appeared...

THIS YEAR'S Wexford Opera Festival is rapidly closing in on sellout status, as organisers last week revealed that more than 90 per cent of tickets for the operatic performances have already been sold.

And with just a week to go before it opens on Wednesday October 24, Chief Executive of Wexford Festival David McLoughlin is strongly pushing the message that others who wish to attend but haven't yet booked should move to secure their tickets soon: 'The oft-repeated advice of book now to avoid disappointment could never be more apt!' he said.

Mr McLoughlin added that he was delighted by such strong ticket sales to date: 'It is a heartening endorsement of the Festival that ticket sales have reached such a high level and have almost booked out already,' he said.

Tickets can be booked online at, by phone at (053) 9122144, on in person at the Opera House box office.

The Festival will run for twelve days, until Sunday November 4. This year's programme includes three mainstage opera productions: L'Arlesiana by Francesco Cilèa; Le Roi malgré lui (The King in Spite of Himself) by Emmanuel Chabrier; and A Village Romeo and Juliet by Frederick Delius; as well as two daytime ShortWork operas (A Dinner Engagement by Lennox Berkeley and The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). All in all, 54 daytime and evening events will be presented during this year's Festival.

Opening night will bring a performance of L'Arlesiana. While the opera is rarely performed, many people will be familiar with the title as it features the famous tenor aria known as Federico's Lament, È la solita storia del pastore.

The second mainstage production, Le Roi malgré lui (The King in Spite of Himself), had an ill-starred stage history, but its lively and melodic musical score was a success from the outset and was greatly admired by Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky.

This year Wexford Festival Opera will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of British composer Frederick Delius with a production of what is considered to be his finest opera, A Village Romeo and Juliet, and screenings of Ken Russell's 1968 biographical film about Delius, Song of Summer. This will be the only Delius opera to be performed in a fullystaged production in Ireland or the UK during this anniversary year.

The ever-popular ShortWorks programme will continue with two productions, with a unique adaptation of Mozart's The Magic Flute, and a oneact comic opera, A Dinner Engagement by Lennox Berkeley. Approximately an hour in length, the ShortWork operas allow the audience to taste a rare work or enjoy a condensed version of more familiar opera.

Marking the bicentenary of the birth of Waterford-born composer, William Vincent Wallace, two dedicated recitals of his work will be performed by well-known performers of Wallace's piano music and songs, Irish pianist Una Hunt and mezzo-soprano Máire Flavin. The packed Festival programme also includes lunchtime recitals, chamber and orchestral concerts and will also feature a performance by the recent winner of the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition, the 19-year-old Russian pianist Nikolay Khozyainov.

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