Two leading opera sopranos receive bursaries
As the curtain fell on the 64th Wexford Festival Opera two of leading star singers were awarded two very significant artistic bursaries.
Canadian soprano Magali Simard-Galdès and Irish soprano Rachel Croash received their awards from Artistic Director David Agler, on the stage of the National Opera House in front of a sold-out audience after the final performance of Le Pré aux clercs by Ferdinand Hérold.
The Wexford Festival Opera Aria Friends Bursary was awarded to Dublin soprano Rachel Croash, who performed in no less than four operas this year: the role of Renée in Koanga by Delius; Dew Fairy in the ShortWorks opera Hansel and Gretel; and in the chorus of Guglielmo Ratcliff and Le Pré aux clerc.
The long-standing Gerard Arnhold Bursary was awarded to Canadian soprano Magali Simard-Galdès, who sang the role of Nicette in Le Pré aux clerc, her first professional operatic engagement, which received great critical acclaim.
David Agler said: 'Wexford has always prided itself on discoveries, whether it be repertoire or singers. Providing a platform for the best emerging talent on the national and international stage is a key part of the Wexford Festival Opera mission. These bursaries, generously provided by the Arnhold Estate and the Aria Friends of Wexford Festival Opera, allow us to nurture this emerging talent that Wexford is known for uncovering.'
Over the past 12 days over 20,000 people attended 54 separate events which ranged from evening performances, to ShortWorks daytime operas, to the ever popular gala night. With very high demand for tickets this year the Festival entirely sold out, with lengthy waiting lists for tickets for the three main evening operas.