independent

Monday 14 October 2019

Taoiseach full of praise for Wexford Festival Opera

SAOIRSE MCGARRIGLE

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny officially launched the 60th Wexford Festival Opera at the annual quayfront ceremony on Friday night.

When asked whether he had a particular interest in opera himself, the Taoiseach commented on how he realised the power and magic of opera particularly when popular operas began to be performed. He recognised the role which the late Pavarotti played in raising the profile of opera on the international stage. In a similar manner he outlined in his speech how Dr Tom Walsh 'opened up music to Wexford which in turn opened up Wexford to the world'.

The Taoiseach appeared eager to demonstrate his enthusiasm and support for Wexford Opera Festival: 'People in this town always co-operated and associated themselves with what is a magnificent festival – well done to everybody.'

When pressed on the issue of the upcoming budget and whether he would be willing to secure funding for cultural events such as this, the Taoiseach wasn't able to offer any certainty. He said: ' This is all being transferred back to the Arts Council, there was some, as you know, confusion but I think it's now a matter that's directly in their hands and the responsibility of the Arts Council and I'm sure that they will want to continue to support festivals like Wexford.'

He addressed the crowds in a speech which included references to the economy. He described the rich culture in which the festival is steeped as the 'untouchable, immeasurable wealth of the Irish people that can never be measured by markets, or stored in banks or traded on the stock exchange'.

After officially declaring the festival open Enda Kenny headed to the Opera House, where he said he was looking forward to the opening performance.

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