independent

Sunday 18 August 2019

New Wexford Opera House is built on greatness

THE WEXFORD Opera House was built on the previous site of the Theatre Royal. The original theatre was constructed by William Taylor in 1831 and it was opened in 1832. Throughout the 19th Century, it was a major cultural focus with regular performances and many visits by companies from England. It also received annual performances from the amateur group, the Wexford Light Opera Society.

The Theatre Royal was home to the yearly Wexford Opera Festival. The Opera Festival was held in the theatre each year from 1951 until it's closure in 2005, with the exception of the 1960 Opera Festival, which was lost due to expensive alterations when the Upper balcony was replaced with a Circle balcony. This balcony remained for the rest of the theatres existence.

The 1832 theatre was demolished in 2006 and was replaced by the current Opera House. The state of the art building is four and a half times bigger than the previous theatre and consists of two performance spaces-the Jerome Hynes and the O'Reilly theatres. The main auditorium has a seating capacity of 769-a 41% increase on the Theatre Royal.

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