independent

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Cast details for the three main festival operas are revealed

David Agler, Artistic Director
David Agler, Artistic Director

Esther Hayden

The cast details for this year's main stage operas for Wexford Festival Opera were announced yesterday (Monday) with booking opening this Saturday at 9.30am.

Wexford Festival Opera is renowned for discovering and presenting hidden gems, not only in the operas on stage but in the outstanding cast of singers it presents. Many of this year's principal singers, who hail from 11 countries, are making their Wexford debut this year.

The Festival opens with a double-bill by composers in the verismo tradition, Umberto Giordano's Mala vita and Franco Leoni's L'oracolo conducted by Francesco Cilluffo in his third year at Wexford.

These operas will be directed by Rodula Gaitanou and designed by Cordelia Chisholm, the duo responsible for the powerful production of Barber's Vanessa in 2016.

The second production marks the European premiere of William Bolcom's Dinner at Eight which merges the best elements of European opera and the American musical.

Wexford's Artistic Director David Agler who conducted the premiere in Minnesota will conduct these performances in Wexford and the production will be directed by Tomer Zvulun and designed by Alexander Dodge (sets) and Victoria (Vita Tzykun) (costumes).

The third production, Il bravo, is by Saverio Mercadante, a composer well known to Wexford audiences and the sixth of his operas to be performed at the Festival. The production is conducted by Jonathan Brandani in his house debut and directed by Renaud Ducet and designed by André Barbe.

The programme also includes three daytime ShortWorks operas, concerts, recitals, theatre and talks; 62 events over 17 days beginning Friday, October 19 until Sunday, November 4. Full programme details are available on Wexfordopera.com. Audio samples of the repertoire can also found at www.wexfordopera.com/programme/listen

Since the first 'Festival of Music and the Arts' which took place in October 1951, Wexford Festival Opera has grown into one of the world's leading opera festivals and was named Best Opera Festival at the 2017 International Opera Awards.

From Saturday tickets can be purchased online at www.wexfordopera.com, in person at the National Opera House or by calling the box-office on 053 912 2144.

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