Page 1



Grant Funders

Corporate Leaders

Corporate Sponsors

Official IT & Communications Partner

Community & Education Partners

Accommodation Partners

Preferred Hotel Partner

Media and Hospitality Partners


Contents 2

Welcome from the Chairman


Wexford Festival Trust


L’oracolo/Mala vita


Dinner at Eight


Il bravo




Don Pasquale


Bernstein à la carte


La fanciulla del West




Dr Tom Walsh Lecture


Lunchtime Recitals


Play: Holy Mary


Piano Recital: Sae Yoon Chon


Gala Concert


Vocal Recital: Rachel Kelly


Chorus and Orchestra Concert




Chorus of Wexford Festival Opera


Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera


Wexford Festival Opera Tours


My Opera City


Golden Wexford

66 Ten Years unrivalled 67

Golden Wexford




Artistic Benefactors

80 The President’s Circle 80

New Sponsor


Legacy Giving


Development Structure


Awards and Bursaries


Support Wexford Festival Opera


Friends of Wexford Festival Opera

89 Thank You 90

Repertoire by Year 1951–2018


Repertoire by Composer 1951–2018

94 Personnel 96 Volunteers 140 Festival Calendar 142 Index of Advertisers Medea, 2017 Wexford Festival Opera. Photo © Clive Barda/arenaPAL





From the Chairman

Fáilte! It seems like only yesterday since we brought the curtain down on the 2017 Festival, yet here we are once more! Days shorten, and pulses quicken in Wexford as the town is in full festival flight. David Agler has once again assembled a remarkable company of artists, who will present a packed and varied 2018 Festival programme. We are particularly pleased to have a three-week Festival once more, a sign of your confidence and support in Wexford and the work that we present. On the subject of time flying, it is scarcely believable that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the inauguration of Wexford Opera House, now the National Opera House. Just before curtain up in 2008, a small group of us raised a glass of a fine millennium malt to toast those whose vision got the House built, and to salute the future of the Festival and its new home. From his portrait in the Founders Room, Tom Walsh smiled. Few of us imagined the journey that lay ahead. Economic turmoil aside, magnificent memories of many of the opera productions stand out, from traditional Wexford staples through to new works which touched and moved us. We all have our favourites, and I do hope that over the past ten years you have made some worthwhile discoveries from our unusual repertoire. We have heard some remarkable voices too, many of whom are now working in the great opera houses of the world. And as always in Wexford, we have made new friends from all over the globe. These past ten

years have witnessed the growth and development of the Festival, both artistically and in national and international standing, while throughout the remainder of the year, the House presents a very busy and varied programme of events, with over twenty thousand people now passing through our doors annually. If this is your first time visiting us, may I wish you a very fruitful stay, and I hope that you will find works to capture your imagination and interest from among this year’s offerings, as well as experiencing the unique magic that defines the Festival and the town. I look forward to seeing you at the Opera House or some of our other venues during these Festival days. Thank you for your support, both moral and financial. Your passion and commitment mean a lot to us, and your words of encouragement and your critiques of all that we do mean that we can continue to look at new ways of developing into the future. This most extravagant of all art forms has a vigorous appetite for funds and resources, and so, all assistance is most gratefully received. In these days of social and economic change, opera still has plenty to say, holding a mirror to so many aspects of humanity, and inviting us to explore the many ways in which we express ourselves. Long may it continue!

Ger Lawlor Chairman Wexford Festival Opera

Wexford Festival Trust

Wexford Festival Trust Patron


His Excellency, Michael D. Higgins

1951 – 1972

Sir Compton Mackenzie

Uachtarán na hÉireann

1974 – 1976

Lauder Greenway

1977 – 1992

Sir Alfred Beit

1993 – 2014

Sir Anthony O’Reilly

2014 –

Sir David Davies

President Sir David Davies

Chairman Ger Lawlor

Chairmen 1951 – 1955

Dr Tom Walsh

1956 – 1961

Fr MJ O’Neill

1962 – 1966

Sir Alfred Beit

1967 – 1970

Dr JD Ffrench

1971 – 1976

Seán Scallan

1977 – 1979

Brig Richard Jefferies

1980 – 1985

Jim Golden

1986 – 1991

Barbara Wallace-McConnell

Ger Lawlor (Chairman), Paul Cleary (Vice-Chairman),

1992 – 1997

John O’Connor

Karina Daly, Jim Donnelly, Mary Gallagher, Mary Kelly,

1998 – 2003 Ted Howlin

Robert McGlynn, Kevin Mitchell, Eamon Tierney,

2004 – 2009

Paul Hennessy

Eleanor White

2010 – 2012

Peter Scallan

National Development Council

2013 – 2018

Ger Lawlor

Terry Neill (Chairman), Jim Donnelly, Mary Finan,

Artistic Directors

Artistic Director David Agler

Chief Executive David McLoughlin

Board of Directors

Eithne Healy, John Healy, David Lane, Judith Lawless,

1951 – 1966

Dr Tom Walsh

Declan Lynch, Yvonne Mays, Dr Oran McGrath,

1967 – 1973

Brian Dickie

Rory Musgrave, Brenda Quinn, Dr Sarah Rogers

1974 – 1978 Thomson Smillie

Wexford Festival Trust (UK) Ltd

1979 – 1981

Adrian Slack

1982 – 1994

Elaine Padmore

1995 – 2004

Luigi Ferrari

2005 –

David Agler

Sir David Davies (Chairman), Prof. Roy Foster, John Healy, Paul Hennessy, Ger Lawlor, Mary V Mullin, Terry Neill, Patrick O’Sullivan, Celestine Phelan, Darra Power-Mooney, Dame Fiona Woolf, Keith Hatchick (Secretary)

Contact Details Wexford Festival Opera, The National Opera House, High Street, Wexford, Y35 FEP3, Ireland Tel: +353 53 912 2400 Email: info@wexfordopera.com Box Office: +353 53 912 2144 Callsave: 1850 4 OPERA Email: boxoffice@wexfordopera.com www.wexfordopera.com






L’ORACOLO FRANCO LEONI (1864–1949) L’ORACOLO Opera in one act Libretto by Camillo Zanoni based on the tragedy of Chester Bailey Fernald’s The Cat and the Cherub Sung in Italian First performance 28 June 1905, Royal Opera, Covent Garden. By arrangement with Warner Chappell Music Limited

Uin-Scî . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LEON KIM Cim-Fen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOO WON KANG Hu-Tsin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BENJAMIN CHO Uin-San-Lui . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SERGIO ESCOBAR Ah-Joe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ELISABETTA FARRIS Hua-Quî . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LOUISE INNES Hu-Cî . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CILLIAN MCCAMLEY


MALA VITA Opera in three acts Libretto by Nicola Daspuro, adapted from Salvatore Di Giacomo and Goffredo Cognetti’s verismo play of the same name. Sung in Italian First performance 21 February 1892 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome. By arrangement with Casa Musicale Sonzogno

The performance will last approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. There will be a 30-minute interval after L’oracolo. A short introductory talk will take place in the Jerome Hynes Theatre one hour before the performance. Speaker: FRANCESCO CILLUFFO Presented with the support of the Bravura Friends of Wexford Festival Opera

Vito . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SERGIO ESCOBAR Annetiello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LEON KIM Cristina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANCESCA TIBURZI Amalia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DOROTHEA SPILGER Marco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BENJAMIN CHO Nunzia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ANNA JEFFERS

Conductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANCESCO CILLUFFO Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RODULA GAITANOU Set & Costume Designer . . . . CORDELIA CHISHOLM Lighting Designer . . . . . . . . . . PAUL HACKENMUELLER Assistant Director/ Movement Director . . . . . . . . . REBECCA MELTZER Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . COLIN MURPHY Répétiteurs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GIORGIO D’ALONZO, TINA CHANG Surtitles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ELIZABETH DRWAL Chorus of Wexford Festival Opera

ERROL GIRDLESTONE Chorus Master ELIZABETH DRWAL Children’s Chorus Director

Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera FIONNUALA HUNT Concertmaster

Production built by Leonardo Laboratorio Costruzioni, Parma, Italy FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. | THURSDAY 25 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER – 3 P.M. | WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER – 8 P.M. 25 OCTOBER SPONSOR

Presented with the support of the L’ORACOLO/MALA VITA CONSORTIUM.




Franco Leoni (1864–1949), composer of L’oracolo, illustration by Benjamin T. Stone. benjaminthompsonstone.com


Synopsis – L’oracolo The play opens upon the fifth hour of the Chinese New Year’s Day. With the coming of the dawn, the last remaining revellers make their way home from the opium dens, while the devout part of the populace is directing their steps to the temple, the House of Prayer. Cim-Fen, the proprietor of an opium den, pretends to be in love with, and desirous of marrying Hua-Quî, nurse to Hu-Cî, the son of a rich merchant called Hu-Tsin. His real purpose, however, is to get the nurse to steal a fan from the wealthy merchant’s house, and to obtain access to the house to further his nefarious plans. Uin-San-Lui, the son of Uin-Scî, a learned doctor, is in love with Ah-Joe, Hu-Tsin’s niece. At break of day, as the sun rises, they meet and confess the secret of their love. From the temple comes the echo of a hymn, from the streets are heard joyful songs. Hu-Tsin consults the learned doctor, Uin-Scî, as to the future of his little son. Uin-Scî reads in the book of stars that tragic events are shadowing him. Hence the title of ‘The Oracle.’ Cim-Fen overhears the conversation, and when the street is deserted, save for the little child and his nurse, he awaits his opportunity, and, finding the nurse’s back turned for a moment, steals the child and hides him in his opium den. He then goes to the child’s father HuTsin and asks for the beautiful Ah-Joe in marriage should he succeed in finding and restoring the child. Hu-Tsin accepts, but Uin‑San‑Lui also declares to the father that he will find the child, and asks the same reward that Cim‑Fen has asked for. Uin-San-Lui suspects Cim-Fen, watches him, and after a fierce struggle succeeds in entering his opium den. He brings the little boy out of it, but Cim-Fen follows him, and with a hatchet kills him. He then opens a trap-door and pushes the child into it.

Ah-Joe at the sight of her lover’s dead body becomes mad. Uin-Scî, the learned doctor, is also overpowered by sorrow at the death of his son and determines to discover his murderer. After an interval, the scene opens on the second night. Uin-Scî burns several sacred papers and begs the gods to aid him. A cry of distress from the little boy, Hu-Cî, reaches his ears. He finds him beneath the trap-door and restores him to his father. Uin-Scî now waits for Cim-Fen, and the latter, who has been drinking, approaches him. Uin-Scî, with tragic calm, beckons him toward him and makes him sit beside him on a wooden bench. Being convinced of Cim‑Fen’s guilt, he suddenly attacks him and strangles him. In the distance, the step of an approaching policeman is heard. Uin-Scî props the body upon the bench beside him, and, as the policeman passes, appears to be discoursing quietly to the dead man. This repeats a similar position between the two at the beginning of the opera when the policeman also passes. As soon as the policeman is out of sight, the dead body falls with a thud to the ground.




Umberto Giordano (1867–1948), composer of Mala vita


Synopsis – Mala vita ACT I A crowd of people gathers outside Vito’s shop. Nunzia, tells everyone that Vito has had another attack – he is suffering from consumption. Marco comments that it is a punishment from God and suggests that Amalia, Vito’s lover, will be better off without him. As friends bring Vito outside, the crowd falls silent. Vito tries to make the best of his situation but then says that he wishes he could die. Nunzia suggests that he try praying, and reluctantly Vito agrees. In an impassioned prayer he says that although the good Lord knows that he does not believe, he still does not want to be abandoned. As the crowd support his plea, he says that if he can be healed, he will marry a fallen woman, thus, according to Neapolitan belief, freeing the woman from her sin and himself from his disease. Amalia arrives in time to hear this promise and is shocked. The crowd congratulates Vito on his vow and leaves. Amalia asks him to explain what he has done, but he tells her to leave him alone and goes into his shop. She leaves, saying darkly that they will see one another again. Amalia’s husband, Annetiello, now arrives, slightly the worse for drink. He sees Marco and asks him about Vito’s vow. Marco confirms what has happened, but Annetiello is scathing in his mockery of Vito. Despite Marco’s snide comments, it is clear that Annetiello does not know about the affair between Vito and his wife. Passing workers

comment on how well Annetiello looks, and he replies that the festival of Piedigrotta is in a few days and that on the second day of the festival, there will be the usual opportunities to dance, to sing, and to meet girls. Vito emerges from his shop and starts a conversation with Marco. A flower lands at his feet. Vito picks it up, and Marco comments that it is obvious what kind of a house it came from and tells Vito to take no notice of it. Marco leaves, and Vito looks around. A girl comes out of a house (known to be a brothel) to fill a water bottle at the well. Vito asks her if it was her who threw the flower, and then says that he is thirsty. She lets him drink from the bottle and then tries to leave. Vito asks her name. ‘Cristina’ she replies. She tries to leave, but Vito takes her hand and tells her that she is beautiful. He asks her about her life and then asks if she has ever thought that some man would ever come and rescue her, and love her. Cristina says that she has dreamed this dream many times, and Vito announces that he is that man, he will rescue her. Cristina is overjoyed, but her joy is ruined when Annetiello comes out of the inn and recognises her. Even drunker now, he mocks Vito, asking him if his prayer has reached heaven yet. Annetiello tries to stroke Cristina’s face, calling her ‘Cristinella’, and when Vito pushes him away, Annetiello realises what has happened between them. Cristina is overjoyed, and Vito repeats his promise to save her.

ACT II Amalia is fretting about Vito. Nunzia arrives. Amalia asks if the rumour is true that Vito is going to get married. Reluctantly, Nunzia admits that it certainly looks that way and Amalia responds by saying that she wants to meet Cristina. Amalia makes her promise to bring Cristina. Nunzia leaves.

and a family, she herself has nothing but Vito. Amalia pleads with her, offers her money, and then grabs a knife. Cristina is resolute in the face of the threat, and Nunzia manages to keep them apart. Cristina leaves, telling Amalia that she will not forget this conversation. Nunzia begs Amalia to calm down and then leaves.

Nunzia returns with Cristina and Amalia asks her outright if she is going to marry Vito. Cristina confirms it, and Amalia tells her that her happiness might be shortlived, and admits her own passion for Vito. Cristina is unmoved. She explains that Vito is her only hope of salvation, and points out that while Amalia has a home

Vito now arrives and coldly tells Amalia to leave Cristina alone. Amalia tries to remind Vito of their former love, but he will not listen. As a storm builds up outside, Amalia throws herself at him and he gives in. Cristina, out in the street sees them embrace, and Amalia triumphantly closes the shutters.

ACT III The street is decked out for the festival of Piedigrotta. Vito and a crowd of men are playing morra, a rowdy finger-guessing game. Vito launches into a love song, and the women sing that they will be at Piedigrotta, ready to sing and dance and fall in love, and dance a tarantella to demonstrate their mood. A group of men, women and children arrive, led by Annetiello and obviously on their way to Piedigrotta. Annetiello sings a rousing song and leads everyone off to Piedigrotta, except for Vito. Cristina comes by, and Vito rejects her brusquely. Cristina asks him if he still loves her – he tells her that she must know all about love, looking pointedly at the brothel. Cristina breaks down, and Vito tells her that her plight still stirs him,

but that he cannot break his old bonds. Cristina realises that she has lost him. Amalia arrives, very elegantly dressed. She asks why Cristina is there and tells Vito to hurry up; she has ordered a carriage for them. Cristina pleads with Vito not to abandon her but to remember his vow to redeem her. Vito again tells her that her tears are ripping him apart, but that he cannot change his ways. He leaves with Amalia. Alone, Cristina pours out her grief in a bitter prayer: God knows how much she was suffering, and how she longed to be rescued from her bad life, but obviously he has now abandoned her. She rushes towards the brothel, bangs on the door, and falls in a faint.




Franco Leoni: The Lion of London


ignor Leoni, although a foreigner, has … proved himself a better friend to the cause of English music than most people seem inclined to admit.’ In fact, the view of ‘G.H.C.’, expressed in the Observer on 7 November 1909, seems to have been shared by many music-loving Londoners, who took a shine to the Milanese Franco Leoni – composer of operas, sacred works and ballads – who had emigrated from his native Italy to England in 1892, aged twenty-eight. Contemporary newspaper reports and letter pages praised Leoni’s instigation of the foundation of the Queen’s Hall Choral Society, of which he became conductor, and admired his endeavours ‘to inspire his chorus with a genial, warm Southern enthusiasm […] the general effect produced is keen and musicianly in the best sense of the word’. Similar warm responses greeted the performance of Leoni’s oratorio Golgotha at the Queen’s Hall in 1911. Listeners did not seem perturbed that the work neglected to observe the conventions of the English cult of the oratorio, with one enthusiast, James Bernard Fagan, expressing his somewhat florid opinion that ‘Mr Leoni has done for sacred music what Francis of Assisi did for Christianity, bidding us look for the spirit of God not in cold, gloomy, formless abstractions on remote unscalable heights, but down on the warm earth – in trees and in flowers and in running waters, in the birds and in the beasts, and in the hearts of men’. Others remarked that many had listened ‘in rapt and devotional wonderment’, and even allowed that, though the work was ‘modern’, ‘its sincerity lifts its hearers to a higher and loftier mood’. Leoni was born in 1864 and studied alongside Puccini and Mascagni at the Milan Conservatoire under the supervision of Amilcare Ponchielli and Cesare Dominiceti. His first opera, Raggio di Luna (Moonbeam), was produced at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan in June 1890. Two years later he emigrated to England, settling in Hampstead and involving himself in the musical life of the capital, working initially for the music publisher Chappell & Co. and then as a conductor in the concert hall and the theatre. When Leoni’s opera Rip van Winkle was produced at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1897, it was judged by the Observer to demonstrate ‘knowledge of effective instrumental combinations’ and likely to ‘add to its composer’s reputation’. There was, however, criticism of Leoni’s failure to develop an individual voice and over-reliance on the idioms of Mascagni, Bizet, Dvořák and Wagner: ‘Colour of a sort there is in the music, and some dramatic point, but of downright individuality and humour there is little’, wrote The Times. Ib and Little Christina (after Hans Christian Andersen), Leoni’s first and only collaboration with the D’Oyly Carte company, opened at the Savoy Theatre on 14 November 1901 but was not a success, attracting


unfavourable comparison with the work of Arthur Sullivan, who had died earlier that year. In 1914, the composer’s one-act opera Francesca da Rimini, based on a play by Francis Marion Crawford, was presented in Paris at the Opéra Comique. But, by 1917, Leoni had returned to Italy and it was here that his little-known later operas – including Le baruffe chiozzotte, Falene and La terra del sogno – were composed and performed, although he seems to have shared his time between his native land, France and England, where he died on 8 February 1949. By far Leoni’s greatest international success, however, was the one-act L’oracolo (The Oracle), a blood-andguts verismo melodrama set in an opium den in San Francisco’s Chinatown, which premiered at Covent Garden on 28 June 1905, conducted by André Messager and with Antonio Scotti in the role of the drug-dealing degenerate, Cim-Fen. There is certainly nothing ‘high and lofty’ about Camille Zanoni’s libretto, which is based on a Chinese-American story, The Cat and the Cherub, by Chester Bailey Fernald; nor much evidence of the ‘spirit of God’ in this tale of an appalling protagonist who has no apparent redeeming qualities and who gets his comeuppance when a vengeful father strangles him with his own pigtail. Here, the ‘peculiar vein of passion’ that the Manchester Guardian had found ‘out of place’ in Ib and Little Christina seems to have found its natural home. The tale is swift and sensational. It crams villainy and viciousness, kidnapping and stabbing, strangulation and insanity into its sixty minutes. Its personnel include gamblers and fortune-tellers, drug addicts and reprobates, as well as chattering choruses of children and vendors. The action takes us through the seedy back-streets of 1900 Chinatown, down alleyways which are choked by the San Francisco fog and the festering stench of the running drains, and teaming with caterwauling costermongers. The opium dens of ‘Hatchet Row’ are ruled by Cim-Fen, a merciless cutthroat who wields his knife with slickness and a smile. Countering the squalor is the festive spectacle of a Chinese New Year Dragon Procession. The eponymous Oracle predicts that two people will die, and murder follows murder with chilling speed and inevitability. When Uin-San-Lui discovers that Cim-Fen has kidnapped the child of the wealthy merchant Hu-Tsin – in a ploy to win the hand of Hu-Tsin’s niece, Ah-Joe, by heroically ‘rescuing’ the infant – Cim-Fen despatches his love rival with an efficient single hatchet-blow to the back of the head. Uin-San-Lui’s father, Uin-Scî, may be of philosophical bent, but that doesn’t stop him displaying his own thuggish resourcefulness and expertise. When the blade that he has plunged into Cim-Fen’s back fails in its fatal intent, Uin-Scî calmly winds his son’s killer’s plait around his neck and with delicate deliberation

Franco Leoni: The Lion of London

French conductor and composer André Messager (1853–1929), who led the Covent Garden premiere of L’oracolo.

proceeds to strangle him. So peacefully occupied in quiet conversation do the pair appear, seated sideby-side on a bench, that a passing policeman notices nothing amiss. This Grand Guignol grotesquerie and gore went down well with the London opera-going public. The Observer admired the score’s ‘freshness, spontaneity, and intellectual strength [which] has not oft been equalled of late’ and found that ‘the atmosphere of the sombre tragedy is so mysteriously quiet, the murders so inevitable – as if they were everyday occurrences – that in no sense does the story seem forced or morbid’. L’oracolo might, in terms of its length, be considered ‘small-scale’, but it stands or falls on the ability of the baritone in the protagonist’s role to communicate the very large-scale passionate intensity of the opera’s vocal drama. For many years, that responsibility fell to Scotti, who created the role of the villainous Cim‑Fen and championed L’oracolo at the Met, where he persuaded general manager Giulio Gatti-Casazza to present the work in 1915. Not all were impressed: the New York Times critic Henry E. Krehbiel condemned it as, ‘Puccini and water; sometimes, as in the case of the love-music, fair Puccini and deftly sugared water’. But, L’oracolo became a star vehicle for Scotti at the Met – often paired with Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, L’amico Fritz and even La bohème – until 1933, when the fifty-fifth performance of the opera served as the Italian baritone’s farewell to the house. Subsequently, it fell into near oblivion until the early 1970s when another Italian, Tito Gobbi, brought the opera back to the stage and recording studio.

Italian opera singer Antonio Scotti (1866–1936), creator of the role of the villainous Cim-Fen and champion of L’oracolo at the Metropolitan Opera.

L’oracolo might not be the musico-dramatic equal of the opera it perhaps most resembles, Puccini’s Il tabarro, but it conjures a similarly powerful milieu and mood. In choosing his subject and setting, Leoni may have been mindful of the appetite for Eastern exoticism that had contributed to the success of Puccini’s Butterfly which had premiered at La Scala the previous year. Some might argue that such works contributed to the invidious representations of the ‘Other’ that characterised European cultural imperialism, of the kind identified by Edward Said – images of ‘Oriental despotism, Oriental splendour, cruelty, sensuality … promise, terror, sublimity, idyllic pleasure, intense energy’. It was certainly the case that since 1885, when Gilbert and Sullivan’s most successful ‘Savoy opera’, The Mikado, had opened, East Asian characters, settings and songs had been no stranger to the London stage. The musical San Toy, or The Emperor’s Own opened on 21 October 1880 and ran for 778 performances and The Geisha followed it at Daly’s Theatre reaching 750, while A Chinese Honeymoon notched up 1,075 performances between 1901–04. Many of these ostensibly Chinese-themed diversions had almost nothing authentically Chinese in them, but they did strive for a somewhat partisan exoticism and local colour. Leoni’s score is similarly rich in pentatonic gestures, parallel fourths and fifths, rhythmic slashes and stabs, evoking a vivid and violently impassioned oriental scene; but, there is ‘realism’, too, in the flamboyant roster of verismo sound-effects, from ticking clocks




Franco Leoni: The Lion of London (continued)

Interior of lodging/opium den, San Francisco, 1921.

and crowing cocks to the hooting of tugs-boats in the harbour beside the docks. Choruses roar, wail and babble in pidgin Chinese. The musical rumpus is heralded not by an overture but by three thwacks of the bass drum and a rooster’s squawk. The melodrama is somewhat relentless, but there are moments of tenderness and sincerity. Ah-Joe’s rhapsodic greeting to the radiant dawn unites blissfully with Uin-San-Lui’s lyrical response before their entwining voices are subsumed within the ecstatic rejoicing of the New Year worshippers. Love’s passion flowers again in a rapturous duet which blooms with an aching Italianate warmth, only for fulfilment to be delayed and finally denied by the hectic instrumental prelude to Uin-San-Lui’s slaying at the hands of CimFen. Subsequently, Ah-Joe’s fragmentary lament expresses profound emotions through its simple gestures, against tremulous divided strings and poignant choral cries, ‘Come back!’ And, there is portentous gravity in Uin-Scî’s appeal to the ‘Supreme Divinity of the Western Sky’ to reveal his son’s assassin and facilitate a human sacrifice of atonement. Both horror and righteousness course through the striking brass chords which articulate Cim-Fen’s demise and punctuate Uin-Scî’s moral reflections on the fate of one who has decked himself in vulgar finery, indulged in filthy vices and whose life has ended in an agony of self-revulsion.

Leoni probably knew little about San Francisco’s Chinatown, but in the years preceding the 1906 earthquake it was a thriving theatrical hub, with four vibrant opera theatres which drew international visitors. When, in September 1921, L’oracolo opened the opera season, a magnificent Chinese ball was held at the Fairmont Hotel. It’s somewhat ironic, perhaps, that the fanciful musical A Trip to Chinatown – in which a group of affluent youngsters inform their wealthy guardian Uncle Ben that they plan to visit San Francisco’s Chinatown, when in fact they intend to indulge in allnight hedonism nearer to home – had been Broadway’s longest running show in the 1890s. For, while the English took the Milanese Leoni to their hearts, and L’oracolo showed that he could combine tense oriental exoticism with the relaxed sunshine of Italian melodism, one can’t help but feel that if Broadway or Hollywood had beckoned, Leoni might have found his true vocation.

CLAIRE SEYMOUR studied Music at King’s College Cambridge and completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Kent. She is an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and an independent writer, teacher and musician.


Verismo with a vengeance: Giordano’s Mala vita



mberto Menotti Maria Giordano (1867–1948) was a child of the Risorgimento, named after the Italian Crown Prince Umberto (who became King of Italy in 1878) and Garibaldi’s son Menotti. Giordano was born in the small city of Foggia in the Apulia region of southern Italy, where his father worked as a pharmacist. With this solid middle-class background, it’s hardly surprising that Giordano’s father did not want him to pursue a career in music. According to the composer’s own later recollections, his parents hoped that he would one day become a doctor, though one delightfully improbable alternative story was that Giordano père thought young Umberto should take up the unlikely profession of fencing master (in his spare time away from the pharmacy, his great passion was fencing). Despite parental resistance, Giordano went to the San Pietro a Maiella Conservatory in Naples where one of his classmates was Alessandro Longo, later to edit all of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas. Long before that he made the piano-vocal score of Giordano’s first surviving opera, Mala vita. This opera came about as a result of a competition organised by the Milan publisher Edoardo Sonzogno. The first of his competitions had only moderate success (and may well have been scuppered by Sonzogno’s rival, the enormously prestigious firm of Ricordi). The second produced an exceptionally successful winning entry in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and also brought Giordano to the firm’s attention with his entry, Marina, written while he was still a student. Amintore Galli, Sonzogno’s musical adviser, spotted the young composer’s potential and Sonzogno duly provided Giordano with a libretto by Nicola Daspuro based on the play Mala vita by Salvatore Di Giacomo and Goffredo Cognetti. The play had been well received, and the opera had Di Giacomo’s blessing: he wrote the words for one of the Neapolitan songs in Act III especially for Daspuro and Giordano.

The first night of Mala vita was at the Teatro Argentina in Rome on 21 February 1892, a month after the premiere of Catalani’s La Wally (20 January), and three months before Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (21 May). The cast was led by Gemma Bellincioni (who had created Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana in 1890) as Cristina, with Emma Leonardi as Amalia and Roberto Stagno as Vito. All three sang in the first Naples performance at the Teatro San Carlo on 27 April 1892, and again in Berlin at the Kroll-Oper on 13 December 1892. The Rome premiere was quite well received, though critics were quick to point out that the story was not suited to the grand surroundings of the Teatro Argentina and would work better in a more modest venue. One critic (writing for the Gazzetta musicale di Milano, published by Sonzogno’s rival Ricordi) claimed that no operatic treatment could ‘dignify the deepest depravity’ of a story which was ‘displayed on stage in its crudest reality’. The same critic suggested that it was not a

suitable opera for patrons’ daughters either: ‘young ladies’, he proclaimed, ‘should be left at home.’ Even so, Giordano had a respectable success with the opera in Rome. It was a completely different story in Naples. Even though the original play was still running successfully, the opera was seen an outrage and an affront to the city itself. The argument ran that the magnificent stage of the San Carlo and its bourgeois audience deserved better than to be reminded of the grim reality of the city’s slums. Roberto Bracco found it a sorry state of affairs seeing singers such as Bellincioni and Stagno ‘among the squalor of back-alleys’ and the haunts of ‘sinful womanhood’. The difficulty was not just that Giordano and Daspuro had set the opera in such an insalubrious part of the city, but that they had presented the story with unflinching honesty, providing little in the way of light relief to ease the squalid reality. Even so, Giordano did include some elements of traditional Neapolitan songs and dances. As Bracco put it: ‘There is local colour, but the ear is too often assaulted by rhythms, modulations, melodic turns and phrases, to which familiarity denies the honour of artistic life in the theatre.’ He grumbled that Giordano was ‘unwilling to conceive music independently of the plebeian vulgarity of the play’ and objected to the ‘coarseness and meanness’ of the score. The audience was hostile, booing and jeering throughout the performance (one critic reported that ‘the San Carlo was like a kennel of barking dogs’). For Naples, Mala vita was, in the words of Matteo Sansone, ‘too true to be good.’ Bellincioni also sang Cristina in the first Vienna performance a few months later, on 27 September 1892, in the specially constructed theatre in the Prater built for the International Exhibition of Music and Theatre held that year. The Italian season, which ran from 15 to 30 September, was an extraordinary undertaking for Sonzogno, presenting five operas from his catalogue, amounting to a two-week festival of recent verismo operas: Mascagni himself conducted Cavalleria rusticana (with Bellincioni as Santuzza) and L’amico Fritz (with Fernando De Lucia in the title role he had created the previous year). Both had already been seen in Vienna, but the other works in Sonzogno’s season were all receiving their Viennese first performances: Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Leopoldo Mugnone’s Il Birichino (as a curtain-raiser for Cavalleria rusticana), Cilea’s La Tilda, and Mala vita. Giordano’s opera was given twice, on 27 and 29 September, and it attracted the attention of Vienna’s most famous critic, Eduard Hanslick. Usually presented as a conservative figure, he was far more open to verismo than might be expected. Hanslick reviewed all of the operas given in the Italian season. After the reaction of the Roman critics, and the scandal Mala vita caused in Naples, Hanslick’s assessment is more balanced and is interesting as an early non-Italian response to the novelty of verismo. He wrote that ‘in its merciless




Verismo with a vengeance: Giordano’s Mala vita (continued)

Stage scene from Act I of the April 1892 performance of Mala vita at the Teatro San Carlo Naples, 1892.

truthfulness to life Mala vita is both gripping and revolting at the same time, like most of these realistic operas. The music of Maestro Giordano makes its effects through the rough-hewn ability to achieve a tone appropriate to the situation, and now and again by means of a gentler passage, as for example in Cristina's first entry.’ Later in his review, Hanslick waxed lyrical about the role of Cristina as performed ‘with overpowering truth’ by Bellincioni, adding that he had ‘never seen anything more perfect’. As for Giordano, Vienna’s sternest critic clearly sensed a talent: ‘If Mr Giordano imagined Cristina as Bellincioni portrays her, then he is a true poet, musician and artist.’ Giordano himself reported in a letter to his father that the audience was very enthusiastic ‘from the first to the last note, while in two or three spots their enthusiasm reached the level of delirium.’ Mala vita is perhaps the first verismo opera with an inner city setting. Unlike in Cavalleria rusticana (which preceded it by two years) or Pagliacci (which came three months after Mala vita) the action does not depict the goings-on of country folk or strolling players – all safely at one remove from the city – but instead it is in the kind of urban environment that opera audiences preferred to forget even if it was on their doorstep. According to the libretto, Mala vita is set in ‘1810’, but it was staged in modern dress, and located in the slums of the Basso Porto, half an hour’s walk from

the Teatro San Carlo. From the very start, Giordano wrote with extraordinary assurance for a composer in his mid-20s, handling the orchestra with considerable skill (not least in the Act II Intermezzo and the Tarantella in Act III) and handling the chorus particularly well. He also composed abundantly idiomatic music for the principals, though some suspension of disbelief is needed for the dyer Vito, the tenor lead. We’re told early on that not only is he suffering from tuberculosis but also that he has just suffered a particularly nasty bout of the disease. For someone in such a parlous state of health (sparing few details, the libretto notes that he coughs into his handkerchief), Vito is in remarkably sturdy voice for his first solo: a radiant prayer (‘O Gesù mio d’amor’) in which he asks God for a cure, promising to marry a fallen woman – the prostitute Cristina – as an act of thanksgiving. Putting the dramatic improbability of Vito’s illness to one side, the music Giordano gives him to sing has an ardent fluency that is the mark of an exceptionally talented lyric composer at the start of his career. The duet for Vito and Cristina near the end of Act I is a beautifully written scene (to which the chorus adds its full weight as the act comes to a close) and is the first of several notable duets in the opera. The start of Act II brings together the two mezzo-sopranos, Amalia (Vito’s erstwhile mistress and wife of the coachman Annetiello) and her friend Nunzia (an itinerant hairdresser).


Wexford Festival Opera’s 1999 production of Giordano’s opera Siberia. Photo © Derek Speirs

Giordano gives Amalia music of considerable expressive range: in the space of a few bars she moves from raging about her hellish existence now that Vito appears to have deserted her for Cristina (‘Oh, che vita d’inferno!’), to an ecstatic outburst of her love for him (‘Ah! Vito, Vito, eterno martirio mio’). Later in Act II, Amalia confronts Cristina, and Nunzia intervenes. In both of these scenes, Giordano shows himself to be capable of deft vocal characterisation: all three roles have a distinctive musical identity. The orchestral intermezzo, based on material drawn from earlier in the opera rises to an imposing climax, presaging the pivotal moment in the drama where Vito decides that perhaps, after all, he would be better off with Amalia, prompting another passionate duet. Cristina’s desolate cries of ‘Vito, Vito’ go unheard in the thunderstorm, but the love music for Amalia and Vito is a precursor of the more mature Giordano of Andrea Chénier, finished four years later: all it lacks is the once-heard-neverforgotten melodic effulgence of the music for Chénier and Maddalena. When the community is en fête for the Festival of Piedigrotta in Act III, Giordano adds some local colour, including a Neapolitan song for Vito that begins with a four-note phrase that is identical to the start of the chorus of ‘O sole mio’. Giordano thought of it first: Mala vita was written several years before the most famous of Neapolitan songs (though as an aside, it is worth noting that ‘O sole mio’ – a song with a startlingly convoluted composition history – came second in the 1898 Piedigrotta Song Festival). Cristina’s desolate closing scene inspired some of Giordano’s most tender music, sung in the very same place where

Vito had promised to marry her in Act I. With Mala vita, Giordano arrived as an opera composer with innate dramatic instincts and a distinctive musical language that had the potential for great things. That potential was realised in March 1896 when Andrea Chénier, composed before Giordano turned thirty, was first performed at La Scala, Milan. The following year, Giordano and Daspuro made a revised version of Mala vita with the title Il voto. The location was moved to the affluent district of Arenaccia, and the story was toned down (Cristina became a ‘betrayed woman’). The premiere took place in Milan on 10 November 1897, and despite the advocacy of Rosina Storchio (the first Butterfly) and Enrico Caruso as Cristina and Vito, this bland rewrite was not a success. For all its occasional moments of immaturity, Mala vita needs to be heard the way it was originally conceived: as gritty, urban– slum verismo.

NIGEL SIMEONE writes on many aspects of twentieth-century music, especially opera, including articles and essays for the Royal Opera House and Opera magazine. His books include The Leonard Bernstein Letters, and he co-authored Janáček’s Works and Charles Mackerras with John Tyrrell. He has just completed The Janáček Compendium due for publication in 2019.






DINNER AT EIGHT WILLIAM BOLCOM (1938–) EUROPEAN PREMIERE Opera in two acts Libretto by Mark Campbell Based on the play by Georges S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber Sung in English

A co-production with Minnesota Opera Commissioned and first performed by Minnesota Opera 11 March 2017 The performance will last approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. There will be a 30-minute interval after Act 1. A short introductory talk will take place in the Jerome Hynes Theatre one hour before the performance. Opening Night Speaker: DALE JOHNSON All other performances: LESLIE DALA Copyright @ 2017 by Edward B. Marks Music Company and Bolcom Music International.

Millicent Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . MARY DUNLEAVY Oliver Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STEPHEN POWELL Paula Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GEMMA SUMMERFIELD Carlotta Vance . . . . . . . . . . . . . BRENDA HARRIS Dan Packard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CRAIG IRVIN Kitty Packard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SUSANNAH BILLER Lucy Talbot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SHARON CARTY Larry Renault . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RICHARD COX Dr Joseph Talbot . . . . . . . . . . . BRETT POLEGATO Max Kane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ASHLEY MERCER Gustave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SHELDON BAXTER Miss Copeland . . . . . . . . . . . . . MARIA HUGHES Tina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LAURA MARGARET SMITH Miss Alden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GABRIELLE DUNDON Eddie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RANALD MCCUSKER Mr Hatfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HENRY GRANT KERSWELL Zoltán . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FEILIMIDH NUNAN Supernumeraries . . . . . . . . . . . ALESSANDRO AMBROSINI, ELIAS BENITO ARRANZ, CHASE HOPKINS, JAMES LIU

Conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DAVID AGLER, LESLIE DALA (23 OCTOBER) Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TOMER ZVULUN Set Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ALEXANDER DODGE Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . VICTORIA TZYKUN Lighting Designer . . . . . . . . . . ROBERT WIERZEL Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . THERESA TSANG Associate Director . . . . . . . . . . DAVID TORO Répétiteurs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JESSICA HALL, ANDREA GRANT Surtitles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MARK CAMPBELL Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera FIONNUALA HUNT Concertmaster

Production built by Minnesota Opera SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. | TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. FRIDAY 26 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. | THURSDAY 1 NOVEMBER – 8 P.M. SUNDAY 4 NOVEMBER – 8 P.M.







William Bolcom (1938–), composer of Dinner at Eight. Photo by Philip Brunnader


Synopsis – Dinner at Eight ACT I Scene one: The drawing room of the Jordan home – 9 a.m., Friday Socialite Millicent Jordan opens her morning mail while conversing with her husband Oliver. She receives a radiogram from Lord and Lady Ferncliffe, who will soon arrive in New York on the Aquitania. They have accepted an invitation from the Jordans for a dinner party occurring the following Friday, and Millicent is jubilant. Immediately, she starts to imagine the guest list. Dr Joseph and Lucy Talbot immediately spring to mind, as well as the celebrated former actress Carlotta Vance; Oliver also suggests inviting Dan Packard and his wife Kitty for reasons related to his business. The Jordans’ daughter, Paula, enters and puts off a shopping trip with her mother scheduled for that afternoon. After Oliver and Paula leave for work, Millicent telephones the Talbots and the Packards, and they eagerly accept the invitation to the party. Millicent reveals the many details of the dinner party. Scene two: Oliver Jordan’s business office in lower Manhattan – 1 p.m., Friday Carlotta Vance visits Oliver at his company, Jordan Shipping Lines, and reveals that she is suddenly destitute and wants to sell her shares of Jordan stock. Jordan explains his own financial concerns, knowing that other shareholders wish to liquidate as well. As Carlotta leaves, Dan Packard enters and Oliver asks him for a loan. After Dan exits, Oliver expresses his concerns about weathering the Depression. Scene three: Kitty’s bedroom in the Packard penthouse – 4 p.m., Friday Kitty Packard luxuriates in bed, claiming to be ill. Her husband Dan strides in and announces that he’s going to Washington, D.C. to meet with the President. Dan also discloses his secret intention to take over Oliver’s business. Dr Talbot makes a house call to Kitty who bemoans his absence during their ongoing affair.

Scene four: The drawing room of the Jordan home – 3 p.m., the following Wednesday Millicent and Dr Talbot’s wife, Lucy, return from shopping and learn that one of the party guests has cancelled. Millicent invites Larry Renault, who is in town rehearsing a play on Broadway, and he immediately accepts the invitation. Paula speaks to Larry on the telephone, revealing that they are having an affair. Scene five: Larry Renault’s room in the Hotel Versailles – 2 p.m., Friday, the day of the dinner party Paula visits Larry at his hotel. She wants to break it off with her fiancé and go public with their relationship, but Larry resists the idea. Paula leaves as Max Kane, Larry’s agent, arrives. He tells Larry that he has been replaced in the cast of the Broadway play. Larry demands that he ask the producer for a secondary role. After Max leaves, Larry orders another bottle of whiskey, and now completely out of cash, pays with his cufflinks. As he drinks, he tries to persuade himself that he isn’t a failure. Scene six: The drawing room of the Jordan’s home – 4 p.m., Friday A crash is heard from the kitchen. The doorbell rings. Carlotta has unexpectedly stopped by to see Oliver. The bell rings again, and a dozen roses from the Ferncliffes are delivered. Carlotta confesses to Oliver that she has sold her stock and Oliver learns by telephone that others have followed suit, revealing a potential takeover. Millicent also receives terrible news. The Ferncliffes have cancelled and the music company telephones to tell her that the string quartet she engaged to play at the party will be replaced by a lone Hungarian violist. Worst of all, Gustave informs her that the lobster aspic has been dropped, ruining it completely. Paula reveals that she doesn’t want to marry her fiancé after all, and Oliver tries to beg off attending the dinner party due to chest pains. Millicent collapses in utter despair.

ACT II Scene one: Dr Talbot’s office – 5 p.m., Friday Oliver visits Dr Talbot to discuss his chest pains. After Oliver leaves, Lucy looks in and, hearing her husband on the phone with Kitty, confronts him about his philandering. After she leaves, it is revealed that Oliver has a serious coronary condition, with weeks to live. Dr Talbot feels guilty and resolves to change his ways. Scene two: The drawing room of the Jordan's home – 6:15 p.m., Friday Millicent calls Delmonico’s to have them make a dinner and deliver it to her home. Scene three: Kitty’s bedroom in the Packard penthouse – 7 p.m., Friday Kitty is preparing for the dinner party. Dan reiterates his intention to pursue politics in Washington and Kitty protests. She confesses that she is having an affair and will not leave New York. Dan threatens to destroy her reputation. Kitty, in turn, promises to reveal his shady business practices and ruin his career.

Scene four: The drawing room of the Jordan's home – 7:45 p.m., Friday Millicent puts the final touches on the dinner party. Scene five: Larry Renault’s room in the Hotel Versailles – 8 p.m., Friday Larry learns from Max that he didn’t get the secondary role in the play. The hotel manager informs him that his room needs to be vacated the next day. Realizing he has no career and no money left, he leaves the gas burners going in his fireplace. Scene six: The drawing room of the Jordan home – 8:15 p.m., Friday Millicent welcomes the guests to her party: the Packards, the Talbots, and Carlotta. As the evening progresses, all of the events from the preceding week come to light with startling consequences. — Synopsis by Mark Campbell






Meet the Creators

William Bolcom

Mark Campbell



National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award-winner William Bolcom (born 26 May 1938) is an American composer of chamber, operatic, vocal, choral, cabaret, ragtime and symphonic music. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan’s School of Music in 1973, was named the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition in 1994, and retired in 2008 after thirtyfive years. Bolcom won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano, and his setting of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience on the Naxos label won four Grammy Awards in 2005. Dinner at Eight is Bolcom’s fourth opera written for opera houses and a third performance of one of his operas in Europe. He also has three produced operas for actors, destined for theatres. As a pianist Bolcom has performed and recorded his own work frequently in collaboration with his wife and musical partner, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. Cabaret songs, show tunes, and American popular songs of the twentieth century have been their primary specialties in both concerts and recordings. Their twenty-fifth album, ‘Autumn Leaves,’ was released recently on White Pine Records. williambolcom.com

Mark Campbell’s work as a librettist is at the forefront of the current contemporary opera scene in the US. A prolific writer, Mark has produced twenty-eight opera librettos, lyrics for seven musicals, text for five song cycles and one oratorio and his works for the stage have been performed at more than sixty venues around the world. The composers with whom he collaborates represent a roster of the most eminent composers in classical music and include three Pulitzer Prize winners. Mark’s best-known work is Silent Night, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music and was produced at Wexford Festival Opera in 2014. Other successful operas include Elizabeth Cree, As One, The Shining, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Later the Same Evening, The Manchurian Candidate, Volpone, Rappahannock County, Approaching Ali, Bastianello/ Lucrezia, and The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare. Awards include: a Grammy nomination, the first Kleban Award for Lyricist, two Richard Rodgers Awards, a Larson Foundation Award, and a NYFA Playwriting Fellowship. Forthcoming: Stonewall for New York City Opera, Today It Rains for Opera Parallèle, Edward Tulane for Minnesota Opera and the book for the musical Les Girls at Théâtre du Châtelet. markcampbellwords.com


Dinner at Eight: From Play to Film to Opera


uring the 1930s, Broadway and Hollywood produced numerous hits requiring the crackling precision of a true ensemble of charismatic, technically accomplished actors. Only a few of those works, however, have found new life on the operatic stage. One of them, Dinner at Eight, arrived on Broadway in 1932 and was filmed the following year. Now, more than eight decades later, it has been dazzlingly adapted by composer William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell, whose career achievements include significant successes in opera. Dinner at Eight began life as the second of six plays by a remarkable duo. Edna Ferber had already gained fame for grand-scale novels celebrating America in all its diversity. She was one of numerous co-writers her Dinner at Eight collaborator, George S. Kaufman would work with during a stupendous, four-decade theatrical career including forty-five plays and musicals. Initially, Kaufman doubted that the multiple strands of the Dinner at Eight plot could be satisfactorily integrated into a unified whole, but Ferber’s enthusiasm conquered his objections. Despite their arguments, Ferber relished writing with the notoriously prickly Kaufman. In addition to a rigorous work ethic, they shared an opinion pointedly described by a lifelong Kaufman admirer, Woody Allen: the actor-director has written of his idol that ‘he, more than anyone, seemed to grasp how phony the world and its pompous inhabitants were.’ Created at the height of the Depression, Dinner at Eight takes place in New York and was written for a New York audience. In portraying the city’s upper classes, it provided a biting, gutsy look at their romantic, social and financial travails, with utter desperation lurking just beneath the façade exhibited by many of the principal characters. Millicent and Oliver Jordan’s dinner party is a ritual of sorts; we can assume that these two have gone through that ritual countless times, fully aware of its importance in maintaining one’s social status. Consequently, when the dinner party’s guests of honour, Lord and Lady Ferncliffe, cancel their attendance, this is, in Millicent’s view, a catastrophe of epic proportions. Although frequently listed among the best 1930s comedies, the play is very much a comedy-drama. Except for some quips from Oliver’s former flame, Carlotta Vance, the script evinces surprisingly little of the uproarious humour characterising much of Kaufman’s other work. Malcolm Goldstein, a Kaufman biographer, sums up the dramatis personae succinctly,


noting that ‘everyone onstage has somehow been hurt.’ That applies above all to the long-suffering doctor’s wife Lucy Talbot, quietly devastating when confronting her weak-willed, philandering husband. Surprisingly touching are Oliver, reluctant to unburden himself to Millicent about either his shipping company’s problems or his heart ailment; and the two ageing actors – Carlotta, relentlessly presenting a front of imperturbable ebullience, and Larry Renault (the mucholder lover of the Jordans’ daughter Paula), once a matinee idol and now vainly hoping for a comeback. Kaufman, who was also an exceptional director, took charge of the original production, which opened successfully on 22 October 1932. Only ten months later the film version was released by M-G-M, with George Cukor directing a fabulously starry cast: John and Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Billie Burke, Marie Dressler (who received top billing), and the comparative beginner among these legends – a slinky twenty-twoyear-old platinum blonde named Jean Harlow. Frances Marion and Herman J. Mankiewicz prepared the screenplay, with Donald Ogden Stewart credited for additional dialogue – outstanding, highly experienced screenwriters all. Certain characters were omitted, with the Jordans’ servants receiving significantly less attention. The play had included an ill-fated below-stairs love triangle, verging on melodrama: the maid Dora, pursued by chauffeur Ricci but loved by butler Gustave. A violent altercation between the two men results in injury and the lobster aspic, the dinner’s intended pièce de résistance, falling on the floor. All of this is very briefly mentioned in the film, and its prominence is not missed. The movie’s impact is softer than the play’s – for example, in the addition of a scene near the end, when Carlotta, with great sympathy, informs Paula of Larry’s suicide. The writers have wisely cleaned up some of the language, deleting certain racial epithets apparently acceptable on Broadway in 1932. With the luxury of three full acts, the play could extend individual scenes well beyond what the film could accommodate. Certain contemporary references from Ferber and Kaufman that New Yorkers would relish are missing, and with the movie being marketed nationwide, the writers deemed it unnecessary to include comments like one that the sophisticated Paula addresses to her mother: ‘That tea for Chanel – oh, she was an awful bust. She wore pearls with a sport suit – ropes of ’em.’




Dinner at Eight: From Play to Film to Opera (continued)

Still from the 1932 film version of Dinner at Eight.

Cukor could have chosen to ‘open the play out’ a good deal, but he sticks to interior scenes. Each set admirably brings to life the astonishingly detailed descriptions that so enhance one’s enjoyment when reading the Ferber/Kaufman script. On the other hand, the play’s character descriptions don’t quite match their embodiment onscreen. The Barrymores (Lionel as Oliver, John quite magnificent as the drunken wreck Larry has become), Burke (Millicent), and especially Dressler (Carlotta) all appear significantly older than what Ferber and Kaufman imagined. When seen today, Dressler’s exaggerated facial expressions, smacking of the silent-film era, are occasionally a bit much, and Beery, portraying business tycoon Dan Packard, is rather buffoonish and insufficiently dangerous. His wife Kitty is described in the play as ‘the slightly faded wild rose, Irish type,’ but Harlow is hardly that. She presents an almost indecently alluring, confident, young woman, petulant and brassy by turns, brazenly standing up to her husband and grasping at the dinner invitation as a prized chance to get ahead socially. The film was warmly received, with many critics considering it superior to the play. Ferber held the minority view, commenting caustically, ‘Very good. I wonder who wrote it.’ William Bolcom came to Dinner at Eight having produced a large output of much-acclaimed vocal music, including three full-length operas: a story of obsessive greed, McTeague (1992); a domestic tragedy, A View from the Bridge (1999); and an ensemble comedy, A Wedding (2004). In assessing the Dinner at Eight plot’s potential for opera, Bolcom asked himself, ‘Is there a character so concrete that I can say, “Yes, I have someone physical in my mind that I can point this to”?’ The composer found the Ferber/

Kaufman characters admirably delineated – he had ‘a sense of each one being somebody palpable.’ Mark Campbell took the play rather than the film as his source since he and Bolcom found it more truthful. The great challenge came in reducing the number of characters and events to fit the exigencies of operatic performance. In addition to avoiding the Dora/ Gustave/Ricci subplot, Campbell also eliminated Hattie and Ed Loomis, Millicent’s drily amusing sister and her dull husband, who do nothing to advance the plot. Only very small portions of text are pulled directly from the script. Campbell skilfully condenses certain scenes of multiple pages (for example, Paula’s confrontation with Larry) down to just a few lines while sacrificing nothing in terms of character. Creating the opera’s basic ‘tinta’ (to borrow Verdi’s apt word) was, according to Bolcom, ‘a tightrope. We were trying to deal with something light but very dark at the same time.’ The composer’s concerns extended to the very specific colours he wanted in the pit, ‘that mixed sound of a real old-fashioned Broadway orchestra – Gershwin comes straight out of that sound. It’s the kind of marmalade mixture that makes Broadway orchestras sound different from Tchaikovsky.’ The Minnesota Star-Tribune review of the opera’s 2017 premiere at Minnesota Opera praised Bolcom’s ‘sparkling, imaginative score’ with its splendid musical variety (‘marches, waltzes, tangos – along with tangy harmonies and atmospheric etches’). That variety is evident in the Act I prologue, beginning with a number much in the spirit of an American operetta of the 1920s or ’30s: a bustling chorus sung by eight subsidiary characters, proclaiming that ‘despite your woes, the bubbly still flows, the party goes on.’ This group will open Act II in the same vein, with their vigorous reappearance marked ‘Tempo di Broadway’ in the score.


Playwright Edna Ferber (1885–1968), co-author of the play Dinner at Eight.

A four-note theme sung to the phrase ‘dinner at eight’ is initially heard from Millicent, voiced in buoyant waltz time. Upon realising that lobster will be just the thing to serve her guests, the waltz returns, this time with added excitement. Millicent seems meant for a warm, ‘full lyric’ soprano; in the final pages of Act I, however, the singer suddenly moves into intimidatingly high tessitura for her fortissimo outburst of dismay, upon hearing of the Ferncliffes’ cancellation. The big surprise occurs late in Act II with Millicent’s brief solos declaring that ‘One simply must learn to adapt’ and ‘The party will go on, no matter what.’ The character suddenly becomes rather more positive and substantial than the fluttery creature Billie Burke portrays in the film. Oliver (character baritone) is at his most affecting at the office when visited unexpectedly by Carlotta (soprano or mezzo, but requiring a particularly fulltoned, colourful instrument). Bolcom’s score gives them a sweetly sentimental duet, communicating deep nostalgia for the classier, more elegant New York they had enjoyed years before. When the action moves to Kitty’s boudoir, the character (light lyric soprano) is introduced by a deliciously graceful flute obbligato, associated with her throughout the scene. Musically she often expresses herself in darting staccati, although Bolcom does give the pouting young wife a ravishing sustained pianissimo high B on the phrase ‘I want to feel good.’ In all his exchanges with her, Dan (dramatic baritone) brings a boisterous, heavily declamatory style to the fore. Later, as the couple quarrel, while readying themselves for the Jordans’ dinner, their lines turn even more aggressively angular. Paula, a soprano whose vocal weight seems to hover halfway between Millicent and Kitty, gets a lovely andante grazioso aria, sung to her lover on the phone,

Playwright George S. Kaufman (1889–1961), co-author of the play Dinner at Eight.

beginning with the gentle reproach, ‘Larry, you’ve been drinking.’ When she eventually bursts into his hotel room, her exuberant opening line – ‘Not THE Larry Renault!’ – offers, vocally speaking, possibly the most thrillingly expansive moment in the entire score. As for Larry himself, Bolcom in one respect had in mind silent-film superstar John Gilbert: ‘When sound came in, he had a little squeaky tenor voice. That’s why he was suddenly out of work!’ Like Gilbert, Larry would no doubt have been ‘a very old-fashioned histrionic actor,’ and his high-strung nature splendidly suits a dramatic tenor. Highlighting the role is a pep talk he gives himself in a brief but demanding monologue, ‘Back on top’ (it finishes on a sustained top C). The hotel scene in Act II, which ends with Larry’s carefully arranged demise, projects a notably dark aura through genuinely eerie colours from the orchestra’s woodwinds. Brilliantly paced throughout, the opera reaches its climax, fittingly, with everyone’s arrival for dinner. The Jordans’ guests are heard in ensemble writing of considerable complexity, involving as many as seven vocal lines. Even though, as Bolcom says, ‘these are people who six months hence may be committing suicide,’ the operatic Dinner at Eight ends on a note of genuine sweetness for the host and hostess: whatever comes their way in the uncertain future, they will face it together.

ROGER PINES, dramaturg of Lyric Opera of Chicago, writes frequently for Opera, Opera News, recordings, and major opera companies internationally.




Billy, the Opera Kid William Bolcom talks to John Allison


he musical canon may famously include the ‘three Bs’ of German music, but American opera has its ‘three Bs’ as well, albeit a whole lot less canonically. Indeed, being ‘un-canonic’ is what Bernstein, Blitzstein and Bolcom have been all about, not least when it comes to their multifaceted contributions to the genre of lyric theatre. Collectively, they have shown a vision that might serve as at least one definition of American opera – one definition that encompasses a staggering variety of influences and impulses. The youngest of this group is William Bolcom, who turned 80 in May, and who took his first steps as a theatre composer with Bernstein and Blitzstein not only in attendance but as enthusiastic supporters. He recalls the premiere in 1963 of his first cabaret opera, Dynamite Tonite, written with his long-time collaborator, the poet and playwright Arnold Weinstein. ‘We managed to put on a production at the Actors Studio theatre on West 44th St, with a cast including Gene Wilder, and it also drew an all-star audience – not only Bernstein and Blitzstein but Judy Holliday and all sorts of wonderful people.’

wasn’t as good a singer as people said I wouldn’t allow myself to fall in love. I was a little afraid of getting married again, but when I realised that she had a beautiful voice and really cared about text, I could let myself go.’ Bolcom talks a lot about text and a lot about singers. ‘Sam Barber wrote wonderfully for singers because he was a singer himself. You can learn so much from his prosody. But I learnt the most from figures like Irving Berlin. He came to English as a second language – as Joseph Conrad did as well, and perhaps these people used the English language so well because they learnt it methodically. Text has been a major preoccupation for me, not just understanding text but internalising it as an actor does.’

But probably the greatest influence on Bolcom was the French composer Darius Milhaud, with whom he first came into contact in 1957 as a student at Aspen in the summer before his senior year at the University of Washington. The Jewish Milhaud had gone into exile in the United States after the fall of France in 1940 and had joined the faculty of Mills College in Oakland, California. Milhaud’s presence there There had been other nonAmerican ‘Bs’ in Bolcom’s early William Bolcom. Photo © Katryn Conlin was decisive in Bolcom’s choice of graduate schools, and as the musical life, but they soon faded, younger composer recalled in an at least as direct influences. article written in 1977, three years after his mentor’s Bolcom had begun his compositional career in a serial death, ‘To me, the proof that Milhaud was a good idiom and as an admirer of both Boulez and Berio. teacher was that I could shed his advice as often as I Yet by the 1960s the Seattle-born composer (known took it.’ Since Milhaud had half-returned to France after to everyone as Bill) had found a more polystylistic the war and was spending alternative years teaching voice, and received encouragement from Blitzstein at Mills and the Paris Conservatoire, he invited Bolcom – even posthumously, when after Blitzstein’s death to Paris in 1959, thus opening up new horizons for the he received the inaugural Marc Blitzstein Award in young American composer there. 1965 (the committee for which consisted of Bernstein, Copland, their fellow composer Lukas Foss and the At the Paris Conservatoire, Bolcom also studied playwright Lillian Hellman). One thing that Bolcom (though not composition) with Olivier Messiaen. did have in common with Berio was that they both He remembers playing a bit of Dynamite Tonite in gained experience early on as répétiteurs, learning Messiaen’s musical aesthetics class. ‘I never got a direct the operatic craft from the inside out; Bolcom worked response, but Messiaen was always far more accepting mostly with New York City’s Amato Opera and ‘was of different ideas than my censorious classmates! so unhappy that the teachers of these singers never Milhaud was one of the more opening experiences paid any attention to text.’ Another parallel was that of my life. His openness was so rare. He had a terrific they both married mezzo-sopranos. Cathy Berberian sense of humour; he was serious but never solemn. remained Berio’s muse even after their marriage was That influenced me – there’s no solemnity in my music.’ dissolved. Joan Morris became Bolcom’s third wife in The connection with Milhaud was also personal, 1975, and – having developed programmes based on and they remained close for the rest of the senior the history of American popular song – they are still composer's life. Bolcom became almost like family, performing together to this day. having been introduced to Milhaud’s son Daniel, a He recalls, ‘When I finally met Joan we had this painter, in 1960. That friendship lasted until Daniel’s wonderful romance, but I didn’t want to destroy it by death in 2014, and on a trip to Europe this summer the working together. Both of my previous wives had had Bolcoms went and stayed with his widow Nadine in artistic ambitions, and I was a little afraid that if Joan Paris. Daniel had revisited the United States not long


William Bolcom’s opera McTeague, premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1992. Top: Catherine Malfitano, Ben Heppner, Timothy Nolen and Emily Golden. Bottom: Director Robert Altman during rehearsal. Photos © Tony Romano




Billy, the Opera Kid William Bolcom talks to John Allison (continued)

love with Blake and read all I could get my hands on. I was lucky that at university they allowed me into the poetry class. I didn’t pretend to become a poet, but I learnt how to write it, to understand how it’s made. That made me more sensitive in Bolcom’s magnum opus is surely setting it.’ Blake’s diverse forms his Songs of Innocence and are matched here in musical styles Experience, settings of William including jazz and reggae, rock and Blake made between 1956 and country. But the poetry had a much 1981 and labelled a ‘musical wider influence on Bolcom, who illumination’. The score was hailed, admits that it shaped his whole with justification, by the Boston musical personality. ‘My polystylism Globe as ‘the largest and the came, if anything, from Blake. I was greatest achievement of synthesis driven to it because of the poems. in American music since Porgy and I realised it was the progenitor of Bess.’ Grove Dictionary categorises a lot of my attitudes. I’ve always it as a stage work, but it is equally disliked the barriers we’ve imposed music theatre of the mind and was on music. We have become too written for the huge forces of a stratified in our notions about what music school such as the University makes music classical or popular. of Michigan’s. ‘I used the Michigan Classical music has been far too forces as a kind of template for successful in separating itself. Even my orchestration – the brass and Composer Darius Milhaud (1892–1974) the avant-garde spent much of percussion bias is typical of a the second half of the twentieth Midwestern university. I write for century dealing with nineteenthperformers, for a violinist, not a violin. One of the big century “isms” taken to extremes. We’ve been through lies of the world is that one size fits all. You can’t write a long mannerist period, and maybe it was necessary. music like that – it would all sound generic.’ But now we’re on to the next step, the kind of fusion which I think Blake taught me.’ Countless composers have set poems from these Blake cycles, but none more systematically than Bolcom, Up until his death in 2005, Arnold Weinstein – who who was drawn to them already as a teenager. ‘I fell in liked to refer to himself as a ‘theatre poet’ rather before his death when Bolcom organised a concert performance of Milhaud’s magnum opus, L’Orestie d’Eschyle, at the University of Michigan, where he himself taught composition from 1973 to 2008.

William Bolcom’s opera A View from the Bridge, premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1999. Left to right: Juliana Rambaldi, Gregory Turay, Kim Josephson, Catherine Malfitano. Photo © Dan Rest


William Bolcom’s opera A Wedding, premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2004. Photo © Robert Kusel

than librettist – was Bolcom’s close collaborator. They even owed their mutual introduction to Milhaud, who encountered and admired Weinstein’s A Comedy of Horrors in Florence, where the poet was on a Fulbright Scholarship, but, feeling that it was too American for his own use, passed it on to Bolcom. The result was the anti-war satire Dynamite Tonite, followed by Greatshot (1966) and Casino Paradise (1990). For Bolcom, who says ‘I never thought I’d do a grand opera’, these works led to four large-scale operas, the first three of them written with Weinstein, sometimes in collaboration with others. This series of big operas began with McTeague, which Weinstein co-authored with Robert Altman, also the stage director of the premiere at Chicago Lyric Opera in 1992. For A View from the Bridge (1999), based on the Arthur Miller play, Weinstein and Bolcom worked together with Miller, and they collaborated again with Altman on The Wedding (2004). All had their premieres in Chicago, and Bolcom notes that this makes him something of a record-holder among modern composers for having enjoyed three consecutive commissions from the same major opera house. He also notes how the first was adapted from a novel, the next from a play and the third from a film. ‘A play or film gives ready-made structure, though of course for opera one has to pare down the ancillary characters. Adapting a novel is harder since there is little spoken dialogue – in McTeague, Arnold had to create the characters from scratch.’ Dinner at Eight, which was premiered at Minnesota Opera last year, saw Bolcom working not only with a new opera company but a new writer, the prolific librettist Mark Campbell. ‘Mark was a lot easier to work

with than Arnold! And you could say that this fourth big opera of mine was from a play from a movie. Years ago I already knew the movie. But here I had to look back at the original play because the estate wouldn’t allow us to work from the film. That was just fine – I love the movie, but the play is tougher and more truthful. Nobody is reconciled.’ Are there still more operas in the pipeline from this instinctive composer of the theatre? ‘Well, Arnold had this idea of doing Dynamo, the Eugene O’Neill play that flopped. But then he died. I had music in mind – especially the need for two choruses – but it will take a lot of work. I’m still looking for a commissioning venue. I also have a libretto from Mark for a small piece.’ Opera companies ought to take note, for Bolcom is also speaking like a true professional when he says, ‘Ira Gershwin was asked, which comes first, the words or the music? His reply was, “The contract!”.’

JOHN ALLISON is editor of Opera magazine and music critic of The Daily Telegraph. He was born in South Africa and completed his PhD while playing the organ at Cape Town cathedral. He has written for publications around the world, authored books, contributed chapters to several volumes and served on the juries of many international competitions. He co-founded the International Opera Awards in 2013.






Opera in three acts Libretto by Gaetano Rossi and Marco Marcello based on the play La Vénitienne by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois, which was in turn based on James Fenimore Cooper’s novel The Bravo. Sung in Italian First performed at La Scala, Milan, Italy, 9 March 1839 The performance will last approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes. There will be a 20-minute interval after Acts 1 and 2. A short introductory talk will take place in the Jerome Hynes Theatre one hour before the performance. Speaker: ROBERTO RECCHIA Vocal Score Reconstructed by Giuseppe Affilastro & Fabrizio Villa Music edited by Jonathan Brandani & Eleonora di Cintio 27 October performance live streamed on RTÉ’s digital culture platform: rte.ie/culture

Il bravo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RUBENS PELIZZARI Pisani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ALESSANDRO LUCIANO Foscari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GUSTAVO CASTILLO Luigi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SIMON MECHLIŃSKI Teodora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . YASKO SATO Violetta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EKATERINA BAKANOVA Cappello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOSÉ DE EÇA Marco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TONI NEŽIĆ Un Messo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RICHARD SHAFFREY Michelina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IOANA CONSTATIN-PIPELEA Supernumeraries . . . . . . . . . . . SUSAN ANDERSON, SEAN BANFIELD,


Conductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JONATHAN BRANDANI Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RENAUD DOUCET Set & Costume Designer . . . . ANDRÉ BARBE Lighting Designer . . . . . . . . . . PAUL HACKENMUELLER Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . ELLIE WILLIAMS Assistant Director . . . . . . . . . . . KATHLEEN STAKENAS Costume Design Assistant . . . CATHERINE BUYSE Set Design Assistant . . . . . . . . LUCA DALBOSCO Répétiteurs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DANIELA PELLEGRINO, ANDREA GRANT Surtitles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ELIZABETH DRWAL Chorus of Wexford Festival Opera ERROL GIRDLESTONE Chorus Master

Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera FIONNUALA HUNT Concertmaster

Production built by Silvano Santinelli Scenografie, Pesaro, Italy SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER – 5 P.M. | WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. SATURDAY 27 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. | TUESDAY 30 OCTOBER – 8 P.M. FRIDAY 2 NOVEMBER – 8 P.M.


Brenda and Lochlann Quinn 27 OCTOBER PERFORMANCE SPONSOR

Terry and Marjorie Neill

Presented with the support of the IL BRAVO CONSORTIUM.




Port of Saverio Mercadante (1795–1870), composer of Il bravo. Painting by Andrea Cefaly.


Synopsis – Il bravo ACT I A group of ruffians gather in the square of the Holy Apostles in Venice. They have been summoned by Foscari, a Venetian patrician, who arrives and promises them a great reward. He plans to free a young Genoese girl who is held hidden in the house of old Maffeo. Foscari is in love with this young girl whom he has met in the company of Teodora. The girl is Violetta, and her song interrupts Foscari’s speech. Foscari is all the more determined to carry the girl off and to take his vengeance on Maffeo who has denied him access to the house and rejected his gifts. In his room, the Bravo gives vent to his sadness. He had once been happy, but then he stabbed his wife Violetta with a dagger, suspecting her of infidelity. Accused of treason together with his father, the Bravo is obliged to act as an assassin and carry out the vengeance of the Council of Ten who in return have spared the life of his father, held in prison as a hostage. Pisani, a young man, enters the Bravo‘s room, asking for shelter for the night. Pisani tells his story: in exile in Genoa, he fell in love with a young girl who is now in Venice. To exact his vengeance, he is looking for the

Bravo. When the latter reveals his identity, Pisani asks for his mask and dagger for two days. The Bravo agrees to his request, and Pisani swears to return when the two days have elapsed. In St Mark’s Square, the people applaud the Doge and his retinue. When the crowd has dispersed, the Bravo appears, dressed as a Dalmatian nobleman. Foscari is also in the square. The Bravo, not recognised in his disguise, warns Foscari to stay away from Violetta. He knows that Foscari had Maffeo murdered by his thugs. A crowd of people bursts onto the scene, calling for vengeance. Maffeo’s dead body has been found, and the Bravo is held responsible for the murder. Violetta appears, accompanied by ladies. She is not seeking vengeance, just a place where she can withdraw from the world and spend the rest of her life. The Bravo offers to protect her and to be a father to her. Foscari attempts to oppose this solution, but Violetta accepts the Bravo‘s offer. As the two men argue Pisani appears on the Palace steps, dressed as the Bravo. The crowd steps back in horror and moves away. Foscari is led away by his men and Pisani withdraws into the palace.

ACT II Teodora has had no news of Violetta for two days and asks her servant Michelina to go to Maffeo’s house. Her servant informs her that Maffeo has been murdered and that an unknown man has adopted the girl. Only the Bravo can trace the girl, and when Teodora has admitted that the girl is her daughter she has the Bravo sent for. Pisani, dressed as the Bravo, enters. He promises that he will bring the girl back to Teodora. In his home, the Bravo tells Violetta his life story and reveals to her that he had accepted the blackmail of the Ten when he saw his father on the scaffold. He leaves to visit his imprisoned father. Violetta shares his sorrow and recalls her lost love for Pisani, but now Pisani enters and takes off the mask. He has been called upon to take Violetta back to her benefactress,

who is none other than her mother. The Bravo returns, and Violetta withdraws. Pisani tells the Bravo that Violetta is Teodora’s daughter and asks him to allow him to take her back to her mother. The Bravo tells him that he will take her back and that Pisani can ask Teodora for her daughter’s hand the following day. A feast is taking place in the house of Teodora. The Bravo arrives, disguised as a Greek, and with him Violetta, hidden under a veil. When mother and daughter recognise each other the company is taken aback, but then the guests all mock Teodora’s sentiments. Teodora responds to their insults first with a motherly request and then with vengeance, setting the house on fire. She leads her daughter away by the hand.

ACT III Teodora asks her daughter’s forgiveness. The Bravo and Pisani arrive. The Bravo asks Teodora to prove the girl is her daughter. Teodora tells him that the only person who could have proved this was Maffeo. Hearing these words, the Bravo realises that he is standing in front of the wife that he thought he had killed. The two now recognise each other. The Bravo is Carlo Ansaldi, and Teodora is his wife who was once called Violetta too. The two rejoice with their daughter, but Pisani now claims Violetta. The Bravo tells him to return at midnight when Pisani will give back the dagger and the mask. In a remote place, we see guards and sentries on patrol. They have brought the Bravo an order, commanding him to kill a stranger. Carlo, Teodora and

Violetta arrive. Pisani steps out of the shadows. As he gives back the mask, Teodora realises that the Bravo is her husband, while Violetta sees her promised husband in Pisani. Carlo reveals that Pisani, who has been condemned to death by the Council, must lead the women to safety. Carlo and Teodora bless the young couple as they leave for their gondola. The Bravo takes out the order sent by the Council which tells him to kill Teodora. The Bravo wishes to disobey this order, but Teodora takes her own life. A messenger arrives, announcing that the Bravo’s father has died in prison and that the Bravo is now free of the dreadful pact imposed by the Council of Ten. It is to no avail. Carlo collapses onto Teodora’s body.




Mercadante and Il bravo


n 1835, Saverio Mercadante accepted a commission for an opera from Rossini, then director of the ThéâtreItalien in Paris. It was an invitation that Mercadante was surely hoping for: Bellini and Donizetti, both a little younger, had already composed new operas for the French theatre earlier that year. Mercadante was fortyone years old, with over forty operas behind him since his career had begun in Naples in 1819. He had composed for many of Italy’s most prestigious opera houses including those of Naples, Milan, Rome, Venice and Turin, as well as lengthy stints abroad in Madrid, Cádiz and Lisbon. More recently, courtesy of an appointment in 1833 as the maestro di cappella at the cathedral in Novara, he had been able to slow his hectic pace of operatic composition and produce works less frequently. Paris, the operatic capital of Europe, celebrated for its lavish productions and innovative stage practices, offered untold opportunities for an Italian composer. Mercadante thought the company at the Théâtre-Italien ‘the best one could desire’; indeed, his new opera would be written for four of the very best Italian singers who had already created Bellini’s I puritani to great acclaim: Giambattista Rubini, Giulia Grisi, Antonio Tamburini and Luigi Lablache. And Mercadante was carefully assessing the Parisian approaches to opera, as he attempted to convey to his librettist, Felice Romani: ‘Here people like above all delicate things, Romanze, Canzoncine, beautiful Songs, etc. Music that is too declamatory [parlante] doesn’t succeed and is not understood. Beautiful Choruses, some fine concertati’. All, then, promised well.


the drama rather than obscuring it with too many formal conventions. As Mercadante’s letter demonstrates, the first of those ‘reform operas’ had been Il giuramento for La Scala in 1837: it became his most popular opera. Two others followed, both achieving largely positive receptions: Le due illustri rivali (Venice, 1838) and Elena da Feltre (Naples, 1839). Shortly after the latter opened on 1 January, Mercadante found himself at La Scala, Milan, preparing the production of Il bravo, ossia La Veneziana for its first night on 9 March.

Il bravo On this occasion, too, there had been difficulties over the libretto. The choice had fallen on an adaptation of Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois’s play La Vénitienne, drawn from Fenimore Cooper’s novel, The Bravo. The source had been suggested by Antonio Bindocci, who was initially tasked with writing the libretto but failed to deliver it on time. Mercadante thus turned to Gaetano Rossi. His relationship with Rossi dated back to 1821 with their Maria Stuarda; more recent collaborations had produced Il giuramento and Le due illustri rivali. Marco Marcelliano Marcello, then a pupil of Mercadante, claimed that he too was roped into the writing of the libretto (although his name did not appear on the final version); Romani also was approached for his advice.

I have continued the revolution begun with ‘Il giuramento’ – varied the forms, abolished trivial cabalettas, exiled the crescendos: concision, less repetition, some novelty in the cadences; due regard paid to the dramatic side; the orchestration richer, without swamping the voices; long solos in the concerted numbers avoided, as they obliged the other parts to stand coldly by, to the harm of the dramatic action; not much big drum, and very little banda [onstage brass bands].

Set in Venice, the opera plays into the ‘dark legend’ of the Republic’s past, which since the imposition of Austro-Hungarian rule in 1815 had become an increasingly prevalent narrative of corruption and intrigue skilfully undercutting the earlier image of La Serenissima’s proud self-governance. From an operatic perspective, the plot offered designers the opportunity to impress with the newly realistic approach to scenery through the use of well-known locations such as the Piazza di San Marco. The central quartet of characters inhabiting this murky fictional world was played by an accomplished cast. The title role was sung by Domenico Donzelli (1790–1873), who had created the role of Pollione in Bellini’s Norma in 1831. His heavy tenor voice (Chorley dubbed it ‘mellifluous and robust’) was a precursor of the emerging tenore di forza. Eugenia Tadolini (1809–1872) was the young ingenue Violetta: Donizetti, writing the title role of Linda di Chamounix for her just three years later, commented: ‘She is a singer, she is an actress, she is everything’. Teodora, Violetta’s mother, was sung by Sophie Dall’Occa Schoberlechner (1807–1864), born in Russia but of Italian heritage. Liszt, visiting La Scala in 1837, had admired her as possessing ‘an imperturbable memory, strong lungs, and an equally strong will’. Dramatically, however, she was ‘pedestrian’: ‘In her singing and acting you never encounter that gripping sense of the unexpected, that emotional abandon which is so artfully managed that it transcends art’. The cast was completed by Andrea Castellan, a young tenor who had sung in Il giuramento in a production in Novara the previous year, and the bass Pietro Balzar.

The major feature here was an emphasis on enhancing opera as theatre, with the music focussed on enacting

Moreover, this was a team associated with some of Mercadante’s most successful operas to date. He had

Unfortunately, Mercadante had mistaken Romani’s apparent agreement to supply a libretto; when, after several desperate letters, nothing arrived, the composer was forced to turn in haste to a much less experienced poet, Jacopo Crescini. The resulting opera, I briganti, was an adaptation of Schiller’s Die Räuber (later set by Verdi as I masnadieri). It failed to make the anticipated impression on its opening night on 22 March 1836, partly because it was overshadowed by the furore surrounding Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, staged for the first time just a few weeks earlier. Mercadante returned to Italy, conscious of having achieved only a qualified success. Yet this Parisian experience, introducing Mercadante to different compositional approaches and operatic practices, heralded a new direction in his work. His subsequent works became known as his ‘reform operas’. Mercadante described the nature of those changes in his style to Francesco Florimo in 1838:


Among some of Mercadante’s six operas performed at Wexford Festival Opera: La vestale (top, 2004), photo © Derek Speirs; Virginia (bottom, 2010), photo © Clive Barda ArenaPAL.




Mercadante and Il bravo (continued) already written roles previously for Donzelli, Tadolini and Schoberlechner: Donzelli as Don Alfonso in Caritea, regina di Spagna (Venice, 1826); Tadolini as the eponymous heroine of Emma d’Antiochia (Venice, 1834), and Elvira in Le due illustri rivali (Venice, 1838); Schoberlechner as Elaisa in Mercadante’s previous opera for La Scala, Il giuramento (Milan, 1837). One of the more unusual features of the opera, however, was its cast of two sopranos and two tenors. Curiously, this was something Mercadante had already deployed in Ismalia (libretto by Felice Romani) in 1832. He had moreover just scored a notable success in Le due illustri rivali, in which the duet ‘Là, dal Cielo a cui volasti’, written for Tadolini and Carolina Ungher, had been a striking feature of the production. We might assume that the double pairing of sopranos and tenors in Il bravo emphasises the fact that both the Bravo and Teodora are eventually shown to be of heroic rather than villainous stamp; but Mercadante had also sometimes adopted a less conventional approach to vocal characterisation in his previous operas – in Elena da Feltre, for example, the villain is sung by a tenor and the romantic male lead by a baritone. Nonetheless, Il bravo certainly gives the sense, especially in the final scenes of the opera, that the two younger characters are merely the older ones at an earlier point in their lives. Mercadante’s reforms are much in evidence elsewhere in the opera. The short introduction is one such element: just nine bars of a prelude of ominous drums and shivering chords before the male chorus appears. Although the score is clearly structured in the usual ‘numbers’, there is a palpable sense of continuity with the aim of maintaining dramatic tension. One way Mercadante achieves this is through the advanced musical development of the accompanied recitatives, where the orchestra traces melodic patterns under the singers’ parlante utterances. The most popular item in the work was the final quartet, which was often encored. Indeed, when the opera was reprised at La Scala the following season, the final brutal scene with Teodora’s sacrificial act of suicide was cut, and the opera ended instead with the more comforting image of this quartet of blessing and hope.

Reception Il bravo had a ‘successo di fanatismo’ with the audience, with numerous curtain calls and eleven performances in total. The critics, though, were divided. Most damning was Luigi Prividali of the Corriere dei teatri, while the Figaro on 13 March predicted ominous consequences from Mercadante’s success: ‘Led astray by the arrogance of harmony, Mercadante has achieved miraculous effects with Il bravo; he has done precisely as much as can be done beyond inspiration. Inspiration is melody, melody is song, song is the honour of Italian music. […] Mercadante therefore obtains with Il bravo an enthusiastic success that one hopes will be fleeting, since if this manner of composing should prevail, the sacrifice of our music would be complete: genius, song, Italian art all irredeemably lost.’

Such concerns might seem odd, given that in modern terms the score is melodic from beginning to end. What it lacked, perhaps, was a stand-out aria that audiences would leave the theatre humming. Instead, the score offered passages of more subtle beauty and effect that demonstrate Mercadante’s careful crafting of instrumental detail. Francesco Regli of the Pirata (12 March) had nothing but praise: the music was ‘a great canvas [quadro]’ in which ‘nothing is forgotten, nothing is neglected’, where every musical moment bore ‘an imprint, a character’ in which could be heard ‘the powerful breath of creation’.

Legacy Il bravo was soon making the rounds of Italy’s opera houses: it would receive over a hundred productions during the nineteenth century. Mercadante’s next opera, La vestale, for Naples and considered by some critics his masterpiece, did even better with half as many again; Il giuramento, however, triumphed with around 400 productions. Mercadante would compose a further twelve operas, bringing his total performed works to well over sixty. Despite losing his sight in a stroke in 1862, he was at work on another opera at the time of his death in 1870. Why, given Mercadante’s long and largely successful career, did he subsequently disappear from view? Later in that autumn of 1839, La Scala had staged another new opera: Oberto, the first work of the young Giuseppe Verdi. It had only a moderate success; Verdi’s next opera, Un giorno di regno, was even an outright failure. But with Nabucco in 1842, Verdi caught the public imagination; from then on, he increasingly came to dominate the operatic market in Italy. Moreover, he did so in part by pursuing Mercadante’s more innovative approach to the dramaturgy of opera, his greater attention to instrumental colour, use of foreign sources for libretti, and central characters noted for their internal conflicts. Somehow, in all the later attention given to Verdi’s ‘innovations’, the fact that Mercadante had conceived and executed them first vanished from the debate. For some, like Frank Walker in the early 1950s, it was no great loss that Mercadante’s operas had been largely ‘consigned to oblivion’. Much more recently, however, Mercadante’s works have begun to find new audiences and new champions. The last word should deservedly be left to Thomas Kaufman: ‘would it not be about time to recognise Mercadante as a major composer in his own right, a man who contributed enormously to the growth of Italian opera, and as a man responsible for many compositions of great power, beauty and originality?’

SUSAN RUTHERFORD is Professor of Music at the University of Manchester, and the author of Verdi, Opera, Women (2013).


James Fenimore Cooper’s The Bravo on the International Stage MELISSA GNIADEK


years (the family would return to New York in 1833), hen James Fenimore Cooper left New York Cooper would write other novels set in Europe, and City for Europe in 1826, he was already an he would gather material for the five-volume project international success. Six of his novels had been Gleanings in Europe, published later in the 1830s. published, read, and reviewed on both sides of These volumes are travelogues that offer cultural the Atlantic. His most recent work, The Last of the observations about various European countries as well Mohicans, had been published earlier that same as opportunities to reflect on the US from the outside. year. That novel, set in upstate New York during the But in many ways that project of reflecting on the US French and Indian War, would become Cooper’s most from the outside began years earlier in The Bravo. famous, familiar to generations of later readers through university literature Cooper’s The Bravo is courses and given a firm a lengthy, two-volume place in popular culture narrative of corruption through a 1992 film and drama set in a adaption. One of his five Venice complete with Leatherstocking novels masked and disguised published between 1823 characters, the and 1841, all featuring occasional gondola race, the frontiersman Natty and twisting canals and Bumppo, The Last of the passageways. It operates Mohicans epitomises in the Gothic literary the kind of historical mode; Venice in The romance and national Bravo is a place of both narrative that Cooper is constant revelry and of associated with today. extreme darkness. The As America sought to novel follows three main establish itself on the intersecting plotlines. literary scene, so the One is a romance plot story goes, novels like centred on Don Camillo Cooper’s crafted myths Monforte and Violetta of national origins Tiepolo. Monforte is a grounded in imperial Neapolitan noble who conflict and colonial has been petitioning settler violence, but James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851), photo by Matthew the Venetian senate nevertheless looking Brady, 1850. to have the rights and toward the promising possessions of his future of the US as Venetian ancestors a nation. restored to him. The senate has put off his claims for years. Violetta is an orphaned heiress who is under the But a focus on the American setting and themes of state’s guardianship, the ward of Signor Gradenigo who novels like those of the Leatherstocking Tales obscures is a member of Venice’s secret and supreme authority, the extent to which Cooper, and nineteenth-century the Council of Three. Gradenigo and the council are American literature more generally, was internationally invested in controlling Violetta’s fortune which requires engaged. Cooper was not only the ‘American Walter controlling who she marries, but Monforte and Violetta Scott,’ a nickname given during Cooper’s lifetime manage to secretly marry and eventually escape that emphasises resonances between the Scottish Venice together. author’s novels and some of Cooper’s own; Cooper’s work, much of which is set outside of North America, A second plotline revolves around Antonio, an elderly whether on the oceans (Cooper had spent time as a fisherman (and foster-brother to Signor Gradenigo) who common sailor and in the US Navy), in Europe, or even fought in the service of the Venetian empire, who lost in Antarctica, was also consumed by readers outside of sons in the service of the state, and whose grandson, North America and in turn infected other work across his one remaining family member, has recently been various genres. This fact is emphasised in this autumn’s impressed into fighting for the state. Antonio’s production of Mercadante’s Il bravo (1839) at Wexford appeals for his grandson’s freedom are denied, and Festival Opera. The libretto of Il bravo is based on the when his dissent threatens to inspire others, he is play La Vénitienne (1834) by French playwright Auguste mysteriously killed. After his body is discovered a mob Anicet-Bourgeois. That play itself is loosely based on of fishermen carry it through the city to the senate. Cooper’s 1831 novel The Bravo, set in early eighteenthThis unrest is quieted only through misinformation century Venice and written and published during and redirection orchestrated by the Council of Three. Cooper’s years in Europe with his family. During those




James Fenimore Cooper’s The Bravo on the International Stage (continued)

That misinformation is central to the novel’s third major plot: that involving the Bravo, or assassin, of the title, whose name is Jacopo. Years earlier Jacopo’s father had been arrested, falsely accused of breaking customs laws and essentially stealing from the state. Jacopo was coerced into serving as an agent of the state in exchange for the promise of his father’s freedom (never granted, of course). He was framed into acting the part of the Bravo, an infamous assassin, in order to gather information for the council and cover the state’s crimes. For example, when the fishermen demand justice for Antonio’s death, the Council of Three convinces everyone that the Bravo killed Antonio because the older man beat him in a boat race. At the very end of the novel readers finally discover that Jacopo was not, in fact, an assassin and though a few characters speak this truth, Jacopo is executed anyway in a hasty conclusion.

European empires while celebrating US republicanism as a success. This distinction is clearly part of the novel’s project. But as scholars have also noted, the project of setting the US republic apart from other pseudo-republics inevitably begs the question of US exceptionalism. Cooper was, in fact, concerned that the Whig Party wanted to become a governing aristocracy and anxieties circulated about aristocratic conspiracies to control the world’s true republics from within and without, as literary scholar Robert Levine has demonstrated. In many ways, then, The Bravo also reads as a warning to the young United States. The nation needed to guard against corruption and oligarchical rule if it was to endure.

The Bravo was not a critical success in America, perhaps because of its distance from American settings and perhaps because of a perceived contrast between the populist politics espoused in such a As will be clear from this novel and habits and beliefs summary, The Bravo’s plot is in Cooper’s own life that concerned with characters seemed rather aristocratic to trapped by the schemes of a some critics. Nevertheless, corrupt state. In fact, in the there were a few theatrical novel’s preface and through adaptations of the novel on exposition within the narrative, both sides of the Atlantic in the Cooper makes clear that the nineteenth century, including novel’s goal is to show that Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois’s Venice, a republic during the La Vénitienne. That play and the period when the novel is set, libretto of Il bravo drawn from was a republic in name only. It it largely evacuate the political was ‘in truth, a vulgar, and an focus of the original novel, exceedingly heartless oligarchy.’ though Anicet-Bourgeois’s In the novel, those with money play includes a few lines that and power run the government, highlight tensions between and they will stop at nothing to Costume for the opera’s protagonist ‘Il bravo’ the people and the state. retain their power. The Bravo is (designed for the 1840 Naples production). Other significant changes a novel about greed, politics, include the fact that the Bravo corruption and misinformation. does assassinate people in This all sounds familiar. In many the play and the opera. He is ways, The Bravo is a novel for still coerced by the state, but instead of covering for our time. the state’s crimes he commits them. The character of It was also very much a novel of Cooper’s time. Théodora/Teodora is a new invention. It follows, of Scholars have suggested that Cooper was influenced course, that scenes in the play and opera like those in by contemporary events in Europe including France’s which Teodora sets fire to her palace and later commits July Revolution (1830) and unrest in Poland. Such suicide represent significant departures from Cooper’s events seemed only to strengthen his commitment to novel. These might seem to be additions crafted for the ideals of democratic republicanism on which the the spectacle of the stage, but Cooper’s novel also United States was founded. By setting his portrait of contains dramatic moments. In fact, in his recent oligarchical corruption in a republic already in decline biography of Cooper Wayne Franklin suggests that during the time when the novel’s action occurs (the in The Water-Witch (1830) Cooper may have imitated Republic of Venice would fall to other European the melodramatic style of certain playwrights who forces in 1797), Cooper could issue a warning about had adapted his earlier novels, perhaps seeking to the effects of such aristocratic rule and corruption on


preempt their changes or to prepare for his own stage novel The Spy (1821). Italian composer Luigi Arditi’s adaptation of the novel. Whether or not these were La Spia, for example, premiered in New York in the Cooper’s motivations, it seems clear that he sometimes spring of 1856. While it did not become popular, one wrote in dialogue with contemporary melodrama. song from the opera, ‘Colli nativi,’ took on a life of its As Franklin notes, Cooper own and was performed incorporated a song into the outside the context of text of The Water-Witch and the opera. The Last of the wrote sounds into the novel Mohicans appeared as in a way that evokes popular a ballet in Paris in 1837. theatre. And The Bravo itself And nineteenth-century might have had some of composers such as Schubert its origins in drama. In the and Berlioz are known to novel’s preface Cooper cites have admired Cooper. the work of ‘M. Daru’ (scholar Berlioz retitled one of his Pierre Daru) as the source overtures Le corsaire rouge for much of his information for a London performance about Venetian history, but in the winter of 1851–52, it has also been suggested perhaps as a tribute to that The Bravo had its roots Cooper who had died in in Prussian actor and teacher September 1851. (Cooper’s Johann Heinrich Zschokke’s The Red Rover was titled story Abàllino, der grosse Le corsaire rouge in French Bandit (1793). Zschokke editions. The overture had adapted his tale for the soon lost the adjective Traces of the Council of Ten’s reign of terror can stage, and well-known British and became Le corsaire.) still be found around Venice in the form of bocche Gothic novelist Matthew In 1828 Schubert, on the dei leoni, or ‘lions’ mouths’ – stone letterboxes, ‘Monk’ Lewis adapted it into other hand, sent a note to often carved into the shape of grotesque a story published in both his closest friend from his heads, where informers were once able to post England and America in the deathbed requesting any accusations against their fellow citizens. Crimes early years of the nineteenth Cooper novels that he had could be of any nature or scale, ranging from century. Even before Lewis’s not yet read. This interest in adultery to financial extravagance and beyond – adaptation, however, the Cooper can be attributed and if the accusation proved correct when tested dramatist William Dunlap, to the American author’s under trial, the accuser would be financially with whom Cooper would tremendous popularity in rewarded, with their name kept secret by the eventually become friends, the nineteenth century, Venetian State, to protect their identity. The staged an English-language especially in Europe, a inscription translates: ‘Secret denunciations adaptation in New York vogue that was certainly against anyone who will conceal favours and and this version was not limited to composers or services or will collude to hide the true revenue frequently republished. artists. But the history of The from them’. Bravo and its adaptations, Whether or not Cooper from the novel’s use of encountered this particular European history to meditate tale through Lewis or Dunlap, popular narratives on threats to republicanism to its place in a dramatic about Venetian bandits were circulating in Gothic tradition featuring Venetian banditti or assassins, serves and dramatic modes. Placing Cooper’s novel and the as a reminder of the transnational and intertextual dramatic and operatic adaptations that followed from it dynamics of the nineteenth century across different within these contexts highlights the dynamic interplay art forms. between forms and genres in the early nineteenthcentury Atlantic world. Indeed, this dynamism and the popularity of Cooper’s work meant that many of his novels were adapted as plays, operas, and even ballets MELISSA GNIADEK, PhD, long before The Last of the Mohicans appeared on teaches American literature at the screen. In addition to The Bravo, other novels that were University of Toronto. Her research adapted into operas in the nineteenth century include focusses on literature and culture Cooper’s early, popular of the nineteenth century in particular.





La scala di seta, 2017 Wexford Festival Opera ShortWork. Photo © Paula Malone Carty


Don Pasquale


20, 24, 27, 31 October – 3.30 p.m. 3 November – 3.30 p.m. CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL Opera buffa in three acts Libretto completed largely by Giovanni Ruffini as well as the composer Sung in Italian with English Surtitles First performed on 3 January 1843 by the Théâtre-Italien at the Salle Ventadour in Paris The Festival ShortWorks are made possible by the generous support of The Lord Magan of Castletown


operatic convention. The more cosmopolitan styles that had been practised half a century earlier in Vienna make such labels as ‘the most Mozartian of Donizetti’s operas’ a little misleading here, despite the element of social commentary in Don Pasquale. As the Donizetti scholar William Ashbrook has said, this opera is supremely Donizettian. But Donizetti’s outlook was cosmopolitan, too, and indeed Don Pasquale was composed for the Théâtre-Italien in Paris, with its leading quartet of singers in mind – three of whom had created Bellini’s I puritani. Its premiere in January 1843 marked the start of the composer’s last period of health – before the year was out he began to suffer the mentally crippling effects of his syphilis and he would write only two more operas.

onizetti was sometimes fond of bragging about the speed at which he composed his operas, and Don Pasquale was no exception. Even if this comic masterpiece was not written quite as speedily as he boasted in some of his letters, it was certainly composed in a concentrated spurt of creativity and it sparkles with all the energy that implies. This energy makes it easy to forget that Don Pasquale is very much a late work, written when he had nearly 70 operas under his belt; if his prodigious work list shows his shift towards serious pieces, comedy was never far away from his mind. By neat coincidence, Don Pasquale followed exactly ten years after L’elisir d’amore, and together the two works have remained his most popular.

Don Pasquale

By a small margin, Don Pasquale has the more bitingly cynical satire, but both works are humanised by the composer’s characteristic deep pathos. Don Pasquale represents a musical advance in some respects, not least in its recitatives, accompanied by strings rather than keyboard as per opera buffa tradition. That tradition is an important part of the work’s make-up, for it is steeped in Italian

Stage Manager

Dr Malatesta Ernesto






Music Director


Stage Director


Stage & Costume Designer ANGELA GIULIA TOSO Lighting Designer


Production Manager


Technical Manager


Costume Supervisor




Additional information on our ShortWork operas, including artists’ biographies, can be found in our ShortWorks Daytime Programme Book, available for purchase at each ShortWork venue and our Box Office.




Bernstein à la carte

21 October – 12 p.m., 28 October – 11 a.m. 25 October, 1 November – 3.30 p.m. CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL A Celebration of Bernstein’s 100th birthday The Festival ShortWorks are made possible by the generous support of The Lord Magan of Castletown


exford Festival Opera celebrates American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist Leonard Bernstein. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was ‘one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.’ His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world’s leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works. As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of West Side Story.


Wexford perennial favourite Roberto Recchia will direct this celebration. A group of singers organise a birthday party for Leonard Bernstein. They wait, everything is ready, but the guest of honour is late. While they wait, they play, they sing, they read excerpts from his letters. The result is a colourful musical portrait of one of the best-loved composers and conductors. The programme will include solos and ensembles from Bernstein’s most celebrated musicals, as well some of his lesser-known songs (including the two cycles I hate to sing and La bonne cuisine).

Soprano Soprano Mezzo-soprano










Music Director


Stage Director


Stage & Costume Designer ANGELA GIULIA TOSO Lighting Designer Stage Manager


Production Manager


Technical Manager


Costume Supervisor




Additional information on our ShortWork operas, including artists’ biographies, can be found in our ShortWorks Daytime Programme Book, available for purchase at each ShortWork venue and our Box Office.


La fanciulla del West

23, 26, 30 October – 3.30 p.m. 2 November – 3.30 p.m. CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL Opera in three acts Libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini based on the play The Girl of the Golden West by the American author David Belasco Sung in Italian with English Surtitles First performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, in 1910 The Festival ShortWorks are made possible by the generous support of The Lord Magan of Castletown


ated by Puccini as his greatest work, La fanciulla del West stands apart from Puccini’s main output. Not simply because of its non-existent body-count (here no one dies – doubly odd for a Western), nor because of the feminine ‘softness’ that prevails in most of his operas, in contrast to the unrelentingly masculine atmosphere here. Fanciulla is actually very central to his thinking, so much so that Puccini dubbed it his ‘second Bohème’.

For one thing, there’s the exotic location – gold rush California was as far away from Italy as old Peking or Nagasaki. As in Turandot or Madama Butterfly, he makes use of folk tunes evoking the locale (American music of course also featured in Butterfly). And for all the religious trappings of Tosca or Suor Angelica, Fanciulla is the opera that shows most clearly Puccini’s Catholic upbringing, for the Christian concept of redemption is strongest here. If there is perhaps nothing overtly Catholic about Minnie herself, or her Bible reading scene, it is interesting that Puccini himself chose the text (from Psalm 51) and gave it more prominence than it has in the Belasco play from which the opera is drawn.


More than any of his other operas, it needs singing-actors – and this despite the great stars, including Emmy Destinn and Enrico Caruso, who created it at its premiere at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1910.

Minnie Jack Rance Dick Johnson Nick Ashby Sonora Trin Harry Joe Jim Larkens Wowkie Jake Wallace/Happy José Castro The Pony Express Rider


Music Director


Stage Director


Stage & Costume Designer ANGELA GIULIA TOSO Lighting Designer Stage Manager


Production Manager


Technical Manager


Costume Supervisor




Additional information on our ShortWork operas, including artists’ biographies and director’s notes, can be found in our ShortWorks Daytime Programme Book, available for purchase at each ShortWork venue and our Box Office.





Pianist Sae Yoon Chon

concerts / recitals / lectures


Dr Tom Walsh Lecture



Stephen Higgins

ir Thomas Allen is one of the most renowned lyric baritones of his generation. Known for his commanding stage presence as well as outstanding vocal and acting prowess on the operatic stage, he has mesmerised audiences from across the world for over forty years since his operatic debut in 1969. As an established star of the great opera houses of the world, he has sung over fifty roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; in 2012 he celebrated his fortieth anniversary of his debut with the company. An acclaimed recitalist, he is equally renowned on the concert platform and has appeared with the world’s great orchestras and conductors. We are delighted to announce that – in addition to the traditional lecture format – Sir Thomas Allen will also sing, accompanied by the accomplished conductor, Stephen Higgins. Tea and coffee will be served after the Lecture. St Iberius Church Tickets €15 Saturday 20 October – 10.30 a.m. Kindly supported by Victoria Walsh-Hamer




Lunchtime Recitals


he very popular Lunchtime Recitals provide an insight into the artistic personality of some of the principal singers of the Festival and are a way to ’meet’ them in an informal setting. In the beautiful and acoustically excellent eighteenth-century church of St Iberius in the centre of Wexford in Ireland’s Ancient East, audiences appreciate the musical versatility of solo singers who perform a wide variety of music from across the repertoire, including operatic arias, lieder, oratorio, concert and popular songs. One of the delights of attending a Lunchtime Recital is that the programme is not advertised beforehand, so everyone shares the same degree of anticipation and expectation. Unsurprisingly, the Lunchtime Recitals sell out very quickly. St Iberius Church TICKETS €15 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31 October– 1.05 p.m. 1, 2 November – 1.05 p.m.

20 October Dorothea Spilger, mezzo-soprano Tina Chang, piano 23 October Ekaterina Bakanova, soprano Simon Mechliński, baritone Andrea Grant, piano 24 October Richard Cox, tenor Jessica Hall, piano 25 October Sharon Carty, mezzo-soprano Leslie Dala, piano 26 October Gustavo Castillo, baritone Andrea Grant, piano 27 October Susannah Biller, soprano Leslie Dala, piano 30 October Gemma Summerfield, soprano Jessica Hall, piano 31 October Brett Polegato, baritone Andrea Grant, piano 1 November Francesca Tiburzi, soprano Giorgio D’Alonzo, piano 2 November Joo Won Kang, baritone Tina Chang, piano


concerts / recitals / lectures

Play: Holy Mary


ritten in 2011 by Wexford native Eoin Colfer, and revised in 2018, Holy Mary is the story of two seven-year-old girls on the days leading up to the social occasion of the year: their First Holy Communion. Mary and Majella have been mortal enemies since infants, and things have gotten even worse since Mary’s daddy moved in with Majella’s mammy. Both girls are searching for a way to insult the other, and Majella thinks she has found a weak spot when she realises that Mary’s Communion dress is actually a second-hand dress that she herself donated to the Vincent de Paul. Will Majella use this devastating information to publicly take down her nemesis with a vicious rhyme? Or will she realise that maybe she and Mary are not so different and that maybe they could be allies instead of enemies?

Eoin Colfer

Jerome Hynes Theatre | National Opera House Tickets €25 Friday 26 October – 8.30 p.m. Saturday 27 October – 8.30 p.m. Friday 2 November – 8.30 p.m. Saturday 3 November – 8.30 p.m. Written by Eoin Colfer Produced by Breda Cashe Directed by Aoife Spillane-Hinks Designed by Jack Kirwan Starring Mary Murray and Maeve Fitzgerald




Piano Recital: Sae Yoon Chon


exford Festival Opera is proud to present a piano recital given by the most recent winner of the eleventh Dublin International Piano Competition. This year’s winner is Sae Yoon Chon from South Korea who is the first Asian pianist to win the prize. The Dublin International Piano Competition was established in 1988. Since its foundation, it has grown in stature, and now ranks among the most important piano competitions in the world. It offers a generous prize fund, but perhaps the most important prize is the prestigious list of engagements secured for the winner. These include début concerts in London and New York as well as appearances at international festivals and concertos with leading orchestras. Previous winners have launched highly successful international careers from this springboard. Chaired by John O’Conor, the Competition attracts an enormous international entry. National Opera House Tickets €25 – €30 Saturday 27 October – 11 a.m.

Programme Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 10 No. 2 Brahms – Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 5 —— Dutilleux – Chorale and Variations Debussy – Des pas sur la neige Liszt – Rhapsodie espagnole

concerts / recitals / lectures


Gala Concert


he Gala Concert is one of the highlights of Wexford Festival Opera and features a collection of favourite party pieces from members of the Festival company. All performers generously donate their time and talent for the Gala Concert, and all proceeds go toward supporting Wexford Festival Opera.

O’Reilly Theatre | National Opera House Tickets €50 – €80 Sunday 28 October – 8.30 p.m.

The 2018 Gala Concert is hosted by acclaimed RTÉ lyric fm presenter Liz Nolan.


Liz Nolan




Vocal Recital: Rachel Kelly


ne of the opera world’s most promising rising stars, Irish mezzosoprano Rachel Kelly is a recent graduate of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme. Rachel is accompanied by Fiachra Garvey, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2013 with first class honours and distinction in the MA in Music Performance. This follows a first class honours BA in Music Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2011 and a first class honours DipMus (performance and teaching) from the RIAM in 2008. This recital is kindly supported by Terry & Marjorie Neill

National Opera House Tickets €25 Saturday 3 November – 12 noon

Programme Berlioz – Les Nuits d’été (excerpts): Villanelle Le spectre de la rose Absence L’île inconnue Duparc – Au Pays où se fait la guerre – Extase —— Strauss Op. 27: – Ruhe, meine Seele – Cäcilie – Heimliche Aufforderung – Morgen

Fiachra Garvey

Rossini – Una voce poco fa (Il barbiere di Siviglia)

concerts / recitals / lectures

Chorus and Orchestra Concert

Handel – Dixit Dominus ERROL GIRDLESTONE, CONDUCTOR Dixit Dominus uses the Latin text of Psalm 110 (Vulgate 109), which begins with the words Dixit Dominus (‘The Lord Said’). The work was completed in April 1707 while Handel was living in Italy, and is scored for five vocal soloists (SSATB), five-part chorus, strings and continuo.

Errol Girdlestone

Leslie Dala

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons LESLIE DALA, CONDUCTOR Modern composer Max Richter re-imagines and re-interprets Vivaldi’s four violin concertos (known as The Four Seasons), producing an interpretation that is both extremely familiar, but modern at the same time. National Opera House TICKETS €25 Sunday 4 November – 3 p.m.





Margherita, 2017 Wexford Festival Opera. Photo © Clive Barda/arenaPAL

artist biographies

David Agler

Giorgio D’Alonzo

Dinner at Eight

L’oracolo/Mala vita

previously at wfo: Conductor (Šárka, Fibich, 1996; Si j’étais roi, Adam, 2000; Maria Padilla, Donizetti, 2010).

previously at wfo: Répétiteur (Margherita, Foroni, 2017); Music Director (Rigoletto ShortWork, Donizetti, 2017).

Conductor, USA

previous engagements:

Conductor (A Midsummer Marriage, Tippett, San Francisco Opera; Věc Makropulos, Janáček, Vancouver Opera; Peter Grimes, Britten, Australian Opera).

Répétiteur, Italy

previous engagements:

Répétiteur and continuo (Le donne vendicate, Piccinni, Festival della Valle d’Itria), Répétiteur (Don Pasquale, Donizetti, Teatro Comunale Bologna), Répétiteur (La traviata, Verdi, Festival Verdi di Parma).

forthcoming engagements: Répétiteur and continuo (Il trionfo dell’onore, Scarlatti, Festival della Valle d’Itria).

Ekaterina Bakanova Soprano, Russia

Il bravo previously at wfo:

Barce (Hubička, Smetana, 2010); Serpina (La serva padrona, ShortWork, Donizetti, 2010) previous engagements:

Violetta (La traviata, Verdi, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos – Lisbon, Royal Opera House Covent Garden), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart, Teatro Filarmonico – Verona), Magda (La rondine, Puccini, Teatro del Maggio – Florence, Toulouse Opéra).

forthcoming engagements: Violetta (La traviata, Verdi, Teatro del Maggio – Florence), Leila (Les Pêcheurs de perles, Bizet, Teatre del Liceu – Barcelona), Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Offenbach, National Centre for Performing Arts – Beijing).

Barbe & Doucet

André Barbe, Canada Renaud Doucet, France

Il bravo previously at wfo: Creative Team (Si j’étais roi, Adam, 2000; Pénélope, Fauré, 2005; Thérèse/La Navarraise, Massenet, 2013). previous engagements:

Creative Team (La Belle Hélène, Offenbach, Hamburg Staatsoper; La bohème, Puccini, Scottish Opera/Theatre St Gallen; Il matrimonio segreto, Cimarosa, Innsbruck Festwochen der Alten Musik/Oper Köln).

forthcoming engagements: Creative Team (Don Pasquale, Donizetti, Teatro Carlo Felice – Genova; La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Offenbach, Oper Köln; Die Zauberflöte, Mozart, Glyndebourne Festival).

Sheldon Baxter

Susannah Biller*

Dinner at Eight

Dinner at Eight

Baritone, Canada

previously at wfo: Deuxième Archer (Le Pré aux clercs, Hérold, 2015); Peter (Hansel and Gretel ShortWork, Humperdinck, 2015). previous engagements:

Dancairo (Carmen, Bizet, Semperoper Dresden), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni, Mozart, Szene12), Kilian/Samiel (Der Freischütz, Weber, Immling Festival).

forthcoming engagements: Baritone (Trouble in Tahiti, Bernstein, Semperoper Dresden), Oscar (Cabaret, Kander, Semperoper Dresden).

*Wexford Festival Opera debut

Soprano, USA

previous engagements:

Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus, Strauss, Des Moines Metro Opera), Nanetta (Falstaff, Verdi, Opera Colorado), Norina (Don Pasquale, Donizetti, Minnesota Opera). forthcoming engagements: Madame White Snake (Madame White Snake, Zhou Long, Hong Kong Arts Festival/Beth Morrison Projects), Musetta (La bohème, Puccini, Austin Opera), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart, Opera Theatre of St. Louis).




Jonathan Brandani* Conductor, Italy

Il bravo previous engagements:

Conductor (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Daegu Opera House; Il mondo della luna, Haydn, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia; Don Pasquale, Donizetti, Deutsche Oper am Rhein). forthcoming engagements: Conductor (La bohème, Puccini, Daegu Opera House; Il cappello di paglia di Firenze, Nino Rota, Minnesota Opera), Music Director of the Young Artists Academy of Daegu Opera House.

Catherine Buyse*

Costume Design Assistant, Belgium

Il bravo previous engagements:

Costume Designer (La traviata, Verdi, Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini; Adelson e Salvini, Bellini, Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini; Film: In search of Fellini, Director: Taron Lexton, TXL Films/Spotted Cow). forthcoming engagements: Costume Supervisor (Film: Spiderman – Far from home, Director: Jon Watts, Sony; TV series: Blood and Treasure, Directors: Tawnia McKiernan, Alrick Riley, CBS; Film: The New Pope, Director: Paolo Sorrentino, 360 Degrees Films).

Sharon Carty*

Gustavo Castillo*

Dinner at Eight

Il bravo

previous engagements:

previous engagements:

Mezzo-soprano, Ireland

Dido (Dido and Aeneas, Purcell, Oper Frankfurt); Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck, Landestheater Linz); Dorabella (Così fan tutte, Mozart, Theater Freiburg and Theater Erfurt). forthcoming engagements: Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice, Gluck, Irish National Opera); Amy (The Second Violinist, Donnacha Dennehy/ Enda Walsh, Irish National Opera/Landmark Productions); Marc Antonio (Marc Antonio e Cleopatra, Hasse, Musica Viva Moscow).

Baritone, Venezuela

Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini, Teatro alla Scala Milan); Peter (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck, Teatro alla Scala Milan). forthcoming engagements: Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini, Tuscany tour); Sharpless (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Tuscany tour); Thamar (Ali Babà e i 40 ladroni, Cherubini, Teatro alla Scala Milan).

Tina Chang

Cordelia Chisholm

L’oracolo/Mala vita

L’oracolo/Mala vita

previously at wfo: Répétiteur (Margherita, Foroni, 2017); Music Director (La scala di seta ShortWork, Donizetti, 2017).

previously at wfo: Set and Costume Designer (Vanessa, Barber, 2016).

Répétiteur, Taiwan

previous engagements:

Coach and Répétiteur (Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky, Vancouver Opera; L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti, Vancouver Opera); Pianist (soundSCAPE New Music Festival).

forthcoming engagements: Coach and Répétiteur (La bohème, Puccini, Vancouver Opera; Faust, Gounod, Vancouver Opera).

Set Designer, UK

previous engagements: Set and Costume Designer (La traviata, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; Giulio Cesare, Handel, English Touring Opera), Costume Designer (Inés de Castro, James MacMillan, Scottish Opera). forthcoming engagements: Set and Costume Designer (Agreed, Howard Moody, Glyndebourne Festival; Un ballo in maschera, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; La clemenza di Tito, Mozart, Bergen National Opera).

artist biographies

Benjamin Cho*

Francesco Cilluffo

Mala vita/L’oracolo La fanciulla del West

L’oracolo/Mala vita

Baritone, South Korea

previous engagements:

Valentin (Faust, Gounod, Teatro Luciano Pavarotti Modena), Marcello/Schaunard (La bohème, Puccini, Opera di Firenze, Edinburgh Opera Festival), Blasio (La scuola de’ gelosi, Salieri, Opera di Firenze, Teatro Salieri Legnago). forthcoming engagements: Giorgio Germont (La traviata, Verdi, Teatro Municipale Piacenza).

Conductor, Italy

previously at wfo: Conductor (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017; Guglielmo Ratcliff, Mascagni, 2015). previous engagements:

Conductor (Isabeau, Mascagni, Opera Holland Park; L’italiana in Algeri, Rossini, Opéra de Toulon; Miseria e nobiltà, Tutino, Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa).

forthcoming engagements: Conductor (La Voix humaine/Cavalleria rusticana, Poulenc/Mascagni, Opera Lombardia; Isabeau, Mascagni, New York City Opera; Falstaff, Verdi, Grange Park Festival).

Ioana Constantin-Pipelea

Richard Cox*

Il bravo

Dinner at Eight

previously at wfo: Fenitchka (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017).

previous engagements:

Soprano, Ireland/Romania

previous engagements:

Pamina (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart, Lismore Opera Festival), Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen, Janáček, Royal Irish Academy of Music), Soprano soloist (Symphony No. 4, Mahler, Hibernian Orchestra). forthcoming engagements: Soprano Soloist (Opera Arias, Puccini/Dvořák/Massenet, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra).

Tenor, USA

Loge (Das Rheingold, Wagner, Minnesota Opera, North Carolina Opera), Tenor soloist (Das Lied von der Erde, Mahler, Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Mitch (A Streetcar Named Desire, André Previn, Hawaii Opera Theatre forthcoming engagements: Captain Ahab (Moby‑Dick, Jake Heggie, Opera San José).

Leslie Dala*

Luca Dalbosco

Dinner at Eight, Orchestra Concert

Il bravo

Conductor, Canada

previous engagements:

Conductor (The Overcoat, James Rolfe/Morris Panych, Tapestry Opera; Vancouver Opera; Symphony No. 8, Mahler, West Coast Symphony/Vancouver Bach Choir; Julie, Philippe Boesmans, Canadian Stage/Soundstreams Canada). forthcoming engagements: Conductor (The River of Light, Brian Current, Vancouver Bach Choir/ Vancouver Opera Orchestra; Sea Symphony, Vaughan Williams, Vancouver Bach Choir/West Coast Symphony; La Cenerentola, Rossini, Vancouver Opera).

*Wexford Festival Opera debut

Set Design Assistant, Italy

previously at wfo: Set Designer (La scala di seta ShortWork, Rossini, 2017). previous engagements: Assistant set Designer (Thaïs, Massenet, Minnesota Opera; La bohème, Puccini, Scottish Opera). forthcoming engagements: Assistant Set Designer (La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Offenbach, Oper Köln), Set Supervisor (Il cappello di paglia di Firenze, Nino Rota, Minnesota Opera).




Alexander Dodge*

Gabrielle Dundon*

Dinner at Eight

Dinner at Eight

previous engagements:

previous engagements:

Set Designer, Switzerland

Set Designer (Samson et Dalila, Saint-Saëns, Metropolitan Opera; The Ghosts of Versailles, John Corigliano, Los Angeles Opera; Anastasia, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, Broadway and US, German, and Spanish Tours).

Soprano, Ireland

Musetta (La bohème, Puccini, Northern Ireland Opera), Liu cover (Turandot, Puccini, Northern Ireland Opera), Governess cover (The Turn of the Screw, Britten, Northern Ireland Opera).

forthcoming engagements: Set Designer (The Thirteenth Child, Poul Ruders, Santa Fe Opera; The Flamingo Kid, the Musical, Robert Freedman, Hartford Stage; The Panties, The Partner, and The Profit, David Ives, Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, DC).

Mary Dunleavy*

José de Eça*

Dinner at Eight

Il bravo, La fanciulla del West

Soprano, USA

previous engagements:

Alice Ford (Falstaff, Verdi, Garsington Opera, Opera Omaha), Stepmother (Cinderella, Alma Deutscher, Opera San Jose), Millicent Jordan (Dinner at Eight, William Bolcom, Minnesota Opera).

Tenor, Portugal

previous engagements:

Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart, Festival Internacional de Música de Gaia), Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart, Festival Internacional de Música de Gaia).

Sergio Escobar*

Elisabetta Farris*

L’oracolo/Mala vita

L’oracolo, La fanciulla del West

Tenor, Spain

previous engagements:

Don Carlo (Don Carlo, Verdi, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Radames (Aida, Verdi, Teatro Comunale di Bologna), Don José (Carmen, Bizet, Opera di Firenze). forthcoming engagements: Don Carlo (Don Carlo, Verdi, Ópera de Las Palmas), Arvino (I lombardi alla prima crociata, Verdi, Ópera de Bilbao).

Soprano, Italy

previous engagements:

Mimì (La bohème, Puccini, Teatro Verdi – Trieste), Tosca (Tosca, Puccini, Maribor Slovene National Theatre), Margherita (Mefistofele, Boito, Teatro Verdi – Pisa) forthcoming engagements: Liù (Turandot, Puccini, Osaka Festival Hall), Leonora (Il trovatore, Verdi, Opera in Piazza Festival).

artist biographies

Rodula Gaitanou

Errol Girdlestone

L’oracolo/Mala vita

previously at wfo: Chorus Master (2013–2017 Wexford Festival Opera seasons).

Director, Greece

previously at wfo: Director (Vanessa, Barber, 2016), Associate Director (A Village Romeo and Juliet, Delius, 2012). previous engagements:

Director (William Tell, Rossini, Victorian Opera, Melbourne, Australia; La traviata, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss, Göteborgsoperan, Gothenburg, Sweden).

forthcoming engagements: Director (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, Opera Hedeland, Denmark; Un ballo in maschera, Verdi, Opera Holland Park; La clemenza di Tito, Mozart, Bergen National Opera, Bergen, Norway).

Chorus Master, UK

previous engagements:

Conductor (Concerts in Cabris and Châteauneuf de Grasse, Brahms/Mendelssohn/Delius, Les Heures Musical; Summer Academy in Provence, Poulenc/ Rheinberger/Gershwin, Ristretto), Conductor/ harpsichord (Violoncelles, vibrez ! Gamba sonatas, Sollima/Bach, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice). forthcoming engagements: Conductor (Messiah, Handel, Musique de Chambre, Monaco; Dixit Dominus/Vespers 1610, Händel/Monteverdi, Ristretto).

Andrea Grant

Paul Hackenmueller*

Il bravo

L’oracolo/Mala vita, Il bravo

Head of Music/Répétiteur, Canada

previously at wfo: Head of Music Staff (2012–present), Répétiteur (2007–present). previous engagements:

Répétiteur (Regina, Marc Blitzstein, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Medea, Cherubini, Opera Omaha; Rigoletto, Verdi, Canadian Opera Company).

forthcoming engagements: Répétiteur (Street Scene, Weill, University of Toronto; La finta giardiniera, Mozart, University of Toronto; Fire Shut up in my Bones, Terence Blanchard, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis).

Lighting Designer, USA

previous engagements:

Lighting Designer (Carmen, Bizet, Opera Philadelphia; The Golden Cockerel, Rimsky-Korsakov, Santa Fe Opera; Tosca, Puccini, Boston Lyric Opera). forthcoming engagements: Lighting Designer (Così fan tutte, Mozart, Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Carmen, Bizet, Seattle Opera; Carmen, Bizet, Irish National Opera).

Brenda Harris*

Maria Hughes

Dinner at Eight, Don Pasquale

Dinner at Eight

Soprano, USA

previous engagements:

Carlotta Vance (Dinner at Eight, Bolcom, Minnesota Opera); Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, Verdi, New Orleans Opera); Eleanor (The Manchurian Candidate, Kevin Puts, Austin Lyric Opera).

*Wexford Festival Opera debut

Soprano, Ireland

previous engagements:

Fiordiligi cover (Così fan tutte, Mozart, Northern Ireland Opera), Agrippina (Agrippina, Handel, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Mother (Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck, St Magnus Festival).




Louise Innes

Craig Irvin*


Dinner at Eight

previously at wfo: Sofia Ivanovna (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017).

previous engagements:

Mezzo-soprano, UK

previous engagements: Mercedes (Carmen, Bizet, Royal Opera Covent Garden), Javotte (Manon, Massenet, Royal Opera Covent Garden), Juno (Semele, Handel, London Handel Festival).

Baritone, USA

Dan Packard (Dinner at Eight, William Bolcom, Minnesota Opera), Lt. Horstmayer (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, Atlanta Opera), Frank (Die Fledermaus, Strauss, Des Moines Metro Opera). forthcoming engagements: Valentin (Faust, Gounod, Opera Omaha), Lt. Horstmayer (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, Austin Opera), Baritone Soloist (The Bells, Rachmaninov, Portland Symphony Orchestra).

Anna Jeffers

Joo Won Kang

Mala vita


Mezzo-soprano, UK

previously at wfo: Mother/ Weathers (Dubliners ShortWork, Synnott, 2017), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel ShortWork, Humperdinck, 2015), Third Boy (The Magic Flute ShortWork, Mozart, 2012). previous engagements:

Cretan Woman (Idomeneo, Mozart, Buxton Festival Opera), Mother/ Weathers (Dubliners, Synnott, Opera Theatre Company), Mrs Herring cover (Albert Herring, Britten, Buxton Festival Opera).

Baritone, South Korea

previously at wfo: Corrado (Maria de Rudenz, Donizetti, 2016). previous engagements: Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini, Arizona Opera, Manfredo (L’amore dei tre re, Montemezzi, New York City Opera), Germont (La traviata, Verdi, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis). forthcoming engagements: Papageno (The Magic Flute, Mozart, Utah Opera), Germont (La traviata, Verdi, Minnesota Opera).

forthcoming engagements: Chorus (The Second Violinist, Dennehy, Irish National Opera).

Henry Grant Kerswell

Leon Kim*

Dinner at Eight

L’oracolo/Mala vita

Bass, UK

previously at wfo: Kritzloff (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017), Footman (Vanessa, Barber, 2016), Robin (Guglielmo Ratcliff, Mascagni, 2015), Angelotti (Tosca ShortWork, Puccini, 2015). previous engagements:

Dr Grenville (La traviata, Verdi, Opera Holland Park), Dr Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart, OperaUpClose), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte, Mozart, Grange Park Opera).

Baritone, Korea

previous engagements:

Francesco (I masnadieri, Verdi, Festival Verdi Parma), Lord Enrico Ashton (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, Teatro Verdi Trieste), Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra, Verdi, Teatro Comunale di Bologna). forthcoming engagements: Renato (Un ballo in maschera, Verdi, Teatro Verdi Parma), Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra, Verdi, Teatro Carlo Felice Genoa), Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra, Verdi, Opéra de Montpellier).

artist biographies

Alessandro Luciano*

Ranald McCusker

Il bravo

Dinner at Eight Bernstein à la carte

Tenor, Italy

previous engagements:

Faust (Faust, Gounod, Festival de Opera de Amazonas), Ernesto (Don Pasquale, Donizetti, Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb), Conte d’Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini, Theater Lübeck). forthcoming engagements:

Conte d’Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini, Novosibirsk Opera), Arnold (Guillaume Tell, Rossini, Interlaken Tellspiele), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, Teatro Verdi di Pisa).

Tenor, UK

previous engagements:

Raoul de Gardefeu (La Vie parisienne, Offenbach, Royal Northern College of Music), Lippo Fiorentino (Street Scene, Kurt Weill, Royal Northern College of Music). forthcoming engagements: Tenor Soloist (Messiah, Handel, Three Spires Choral Society), Tenor Soloist (The Armed Man, Karl Jenkins, Doncaster Choral Society)

Simon Mechliński*

Rebecca Meltzer*

Il bravo Don Pasquale

L’oracolo/Mala vita

Baritone, Poland

previous engagements:

Yamadori (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Glyndebourne Opera Festival), Fritz Kothner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Wagner, Poznan Opera), Evgeny Onegin (Evgeny Onegin, Tchaikovsky, Dortmund Opera).

Assistant Director/ Movement Director, UK

previous engagements:

Director (Mansfield Park, Jonathan Dove, Waterperry Opera Festival), Assistant Director (Candide, Bernstein, Iford Arts), Movement Director (Noye’s Fludde, Britten, Blackheath Halls).

forthcoming engagements: Evgeny Onegin (Evgeny Onegin, Tchaikovsky, Opéra de Toulon), Foka (Charodeyka, Tchaikovsky, Opéra de Lyon).

Ashley Mercer

Toni Nežić

Dinner at Eight Don Pasquale

Il bravo Don Pasquale

Bass-baritone, UK

previously at wfo: Luka (The Bear ShortWork, Walton, 2016), German Soldier (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, 2014), Usher (Trial by Jury ShortWork, Sullivan, 2014), Dottore/Barone (La traviata ShortWork, Verdi, 2013). previous engagements:

Blackbeard (Moonfleet, Hepplewhite, Salisbury Playhouse), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, Fulham Opera), Badger/Parson/Harašta (The Cunning Little Vixen, Janáček, Grimeborn Festival).

*Wexford Festival Opera debut

Bass, Croatia

previously at wfo: Un Mujich (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017), Sparafucile (Rigoletto ShortWork, Verdi, 2017). previous engagements:

Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar), Claudio (Agrippina, Handel, Croatian National Theatre).

forthcoming engagements: Bass Soloist (Salut au Monde, Milko Kelemen, Music Biennale Zagreb).




Feilimidh Nunan

Rubens Pelizzari*

Dinner at Eight

Il bravo

Viola, Ireland

previously at wfo: Minardi (Il cappello di paglia di Firenze, Nino Rota, 2013), Harmonica soloist (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, 2014). previous engagements:

WFO orchestra member since 2010, Doctor (TV – The Clinic, RTÉ Television), Irish Chamber Orchestra, Lyric Opera, Orchestra of Saint Cecilia, Irish Film Orchestra, Belgian National Symphony Orchestra.

Tenor, Italy

previous engagements:

Loris Ipanov (Fedora, Giordano, Royal Swedish Opera), Pollione (Norma, Bellini, Grand Théâtre de Genève), Canio (Pagliacci, Leoncavallo, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona). forthcoming engagements: Calaf (Turandot, Puccini), Samson (Samson et Dalila, Saint-Saëns), Don José (Carmen, Bizet).

forthcoming engagements: RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra.

Daniela Pellegrino*

Brett Polegato*

Il bravo Don Pasquale

Dinner at Eight

Répétiteur, Italy

previous engagements:

Répétiteur (Manon Lescaut, Puccini, Liceu Barcelona), Répétiteur/Assistant Conductor, Italian Coach (Un ballo in maschera, Verdi, Bolshoi Theatre Moscow), Répétiteur (Ricciardo e Zoraide, Rossini, Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro). forthcoming engagements: Répétiteur (L’Italiana in Algeri, Rossini, Liceu Barcelona; Don Giovanni, Mozart, Semperoper Dresden).

Baritone, Canada

previous engagements:

Amfortas (Parsifal, Wagner, Festival de Lanaudière), Balstrode (Peter Grimes, Britten, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Celebrant (Mass, Bernstein, Orchestre National de Lille). forthcoming engagements: Howie Albert (Champion, Terence Blanchard, Opéra de Montréal), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Irish National Opera), Rodrigo (Don Carlo, Verdi, Grange Park Opera).

Stephen Powell*

Yasko Sato*

Dinner at Eight

Il bravo

previous engagements:

previous engagements:

Baritone, USA

Soprano, Japan

Germont (La traviata, Verdi, San Francisco Opera), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, Los Angeles Opera), Marcello (La bohème, Puccini, Lyric Opera of Chicago).

Cio‑Cio‑san (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Seattle Opera); Tosca (Tosca, Puccini, Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo); Cio-Cio-san (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino).

forthcoming engagements: Rigoletto (Rigoletto, Verdi, San Diego Opera) Baritone soloist (Requiem, Brahms, St. Louis Symphony), Christus (St. Matthew Passion, Bach, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra).

forthcoming engagements: Aida (Aida, Verdi, Trapani Festival), Cio-Cio-san (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Opéra Royal de Wallonie), Cio-Cio-san (Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Tokyo National Theatre).

artist biographies

Richard Shaffrey

Laura Margaret Smith

Il bravo La fanciulla del West

Dinner at Eight

Tenor, Ireland

previously at wfo:

Il Cancelliere di Rudenz (Maria de Rudenz, Donizetti, 2016). previous engagements:

Chorus (Un ballo in maschera/Roméo et Juliette, Verdi/Gounod, Grange Park Opera), The Officer (Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss, Scottish Opera), Rodolfo (La bohème, Puccini, Rye Arts Festival).

Mezzo-soprano, UK

previously at wfo: La Gobba (Risurrezione, Alfano, 2017) previous engagements:

Mezzosoprano Soloist (Little Match Girl Passion, David Lang, Hamburg Staatsoper, PODIUM Festival), Cenerentola (La Cenerentola, Rossini, Scottish Opera Unwrap), Recital Singer (Various Lieder, Various Composers, Edinburgh International Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre). forthcoming engagements: Mezzo-soprano Soloist (Magnificat, Bach, Thomas Coats Choral Society), Mezzo-soprano Soloist (Various, Graham Hair, Scottish Voices USA Tour).

Dorothea Spilger*

Kathleen Stakenas*

Mala vita

Il bravo, Don Pasquale

previous engagements:

previous engagements:

Mezzo-soprano, Germany

Assistant Director, USA

Tisbe (La Cenerentola, Rossini, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz Munich); Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck, Teatro alla Scala); Siébel (Faust, Gounod, Theater Erfurt).

Director (La traviata, Verdi, Syracuse Opera); Assistant Director (Turandot, Puccini, Vancouver Opera); Production Stage Manager (La bohème, Puccini, Pittsburgh Festival Opera).

forthcoming engagements: Lisa (Die Passagierin, Weinberg, Danish National Opera).

forthcoming engagements: Assistant Director (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart, Glyndebourne Festival Opera).

Gemma Summerfield*

Francesca Tiburzi*

Dinner at Eight Bernstein à la carte

Mala vita

Soprano, UK

previous engagements:

Michal cover (Saul, Handel, Glyndebourne Festival), Rodelinda cover (Rodelinda, Handel, English National Opera), Soloist (Symphony No. 9, Beethoven, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne). forthcoming engagements: Pamina (The Magic Flute, Mozart, Scottish Opera).

*Wexford Festival Opera debut

Soprano, Italy

previous engagements:

Tosca (Tosca, Puccini, Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Teatro del Maggio Fiorentino); Norma (Norma, Bellini, Teatro del Popolo di Castelfiorentino); Pia (Pia de’ Tolomei, Donizetti, Teatro Verdi di Pisa, Teatro Goldoni di Livorno). forthcoming engagements: Manon Lescaut (Manon Lescaut, Puccini, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona); Pia (Pia de’ Tolomei, Donizetti, Teatro del Giglio di Lucca); Maddalena di Coigny (Andrea Chénier, Giordano, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania).




David Radamés Toro*

Victoria (Vita) Tzykun

Dinner at Eight

Dinner at Eight

previous engagements:

previously at wfo: Costume Designer (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, 2014); Scenic Designer (Don Bucefalo, Cagnoni, 2014).

Associate Director, USA

Director (Il Giasone, Francesco Cavalli, Opera NEO), Assistant Director (Il trovatore, Verdi, Central City Opera), Assistant Director (Thaïs, Massenet, Minnesota Opera). forthcoming engagements: Director (The Consul, Menotti, Arbeit Opera Theatre), Director (Brundibár, Hans Krása, Minnesota Opera), Assistant Director (Today It Rains, Laura Kaminsky, Opera Parallèle).

Costume Designer, Ukraine

previous engagements:

Scenic and Costume Designer (Faust, Gounod, Lyric Opera of Chicago), Scenic Designer (The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Mason Bates, Santa Fe Opera) Costume Designer (The Passenger, Mieczysław Weinberg, The Bolshoi Theatre, Ekaterinburg State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Russia).

forthcoming engagements: Scenic Designer (Mass, Bernstein, Ravinia Festival; The Good Swimmer, Heidi Rodewald, BAM Next Wave Festival), Costume Designer (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, Washington National Opera, Austin Opera).

Robert Wierzel*

Tomer Zvulun

Dinner at Eight

Dinner at Eight

previous engagements:

previously at wfo: Director (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, 2014).

Lighting Designer, USA

Lighting Designer (The Barber of Seville, Rossini, Glimmerglass Festival; Rigoletto, Verdi, Los Angeles Opera; Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky, Lyric Opera of Kansas City). forthcoming engagements: Lighting Designer (Ever After, Zina Goldrich/Marcy Heisler, Alliance Theatre Company, Atlanta; The Deep Blue Sea, Bill T. Jones, Park Avenue Armory, New York; Blue, Jeanine Tesori/Tazewell Thompson, Glimmerglass Festival).

Director, Israel

previous engagements: Director (Out of Darkness, Jake Heggie, Atlanta Opera; Silent Night, Kevin Puts, Glimmerglass Festival; Semele, Handel, Seattle Opera). forthcoming engagements: Director (Silent Night, Kevin Puts, Washington National Opera; The Flying Dutchman, Wagner, Houston Grand Opera; Dead Man Walking, Jake Heggie, Israeli Opera).

Medea, 2017 Wexford Festival Opera. Photo © Clive Barda/arenaPAL

*Wexford Festival Opera debut


Chorus of Wexford Festival Opera


Chorus of Wexford Festival Opera

CHORUS MASTER & CONDUCTOR – Errol Girdlestone SOPRANOS Barbara Cole Walton Gabrielle Dundon Maria Hughes Emma Nash Ioana Constatin-Pipelea Isolde Roxby Eliza Safjan

MEZZO-SOPRANOS Kasia Balejko Rosemary Clifford Cecilia Gaetani Louise Innes Anna Jeffers Emma Lewis Laura Margaret Smith

TENORS José de Eça Dominick Felix Chase Hopkins James Liu David Lynn Antonio Mandrillo Andrew Masterson Ranald McCusker Richard Shaffrey

BASSES Elias Benito-Arranz René Bloice-Sanders Owain Browne Henry Grant Kerswell Jolyon Loy Toni Nežić Ben Watkins Jevan McAuley Ashley Mercer Jack Sandison

Stephanie Lam Oliva McCamley Malachi Moore Asgharian Hannah O’Brien

Orna Power Alexander Saunders Grace Saunders Zara Simmons

CHILDREN’S CHORUS MASTER – Elizabeth Drwal CHILDREN’S CHORUS Hazel Brezina Esmé McKiernan Becker Iseult McKiernan Becker Grace Buckley Rebecca Cloney

Aoífe Goodison Molly Kearney Aoibhín Kelly Rachel Kirwan

CHORUS MANAGER Elenor Bowers-Jolley



Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera



1ST VIOLINS Fionnuala Hunt, Concertmaster Lynda O’Connor, Co-principal Lidia Jewloszewicz-Clarke, Co-principal Katrina Lee, Co-principal Annemaire Russell Katie O’Connor Deirdre Reddy Feilimidh Nunan Lara Sullivan Rachel Grimes

DOUBLE BASSES Joe Csibi, Principal Maeve Sheil, Co-principal Paul Stephens Aura Stone

2ND VIOLINS Paul O’Hanlon, Principal Aoife Dowdall, Co-principal Justyna Dabek Emma Masterson Jane Hackett Chris Quaid Robert Mahon Cillian O’Breachain

PICCOLO Marie Comiskey, Principal

VIOLAS Beth McNinch, Principal Andreea Banciu, Principal L’oracolo & Mala vita Nathan Shermann, Co-principal Margaret Lynch Carla Vedres Anthony Mulholland Ed Creedon CELLOS William Schofield, Principal Gerald Peregrine, Co-principal Delia Lynch Aoife Burke Siobhan Lynch

FLUTES Ríona O’Duinnín, Principal Kieran Moynihan, L’oracolo & Mala vita Marie Commisky

OBOES PhIl Harmer, Principal Ruth Berresford COR ANGLAIS Ruth Berresford, Principal CLARINETS Jessie Grimes, Principal Conor Sheil BASS CLARINET Conor Sheil, Principal ALTO SAXOPHONE Brendan Doyle Dinner at Eight BASSOONS Sinead Frost, Principal Cliona Warren CONTRABASSOON Cliona Warren, Principal

HORNS Jocelyn Lightfoot, Principal Joseph Ryan, Principal for Mala vita Peter Ryan Kevin O’Hara Eneko O’Carroll TRUMPETS Robin Torrerdale, Principal Will Palmer Martin Smutny TROMBONES Ross Lyness, Principal Karl Ronan John Clifford BASS TROMBONE Paul Frost, Principal TIMPANI Noel Eccles, Principal PERCUSSION Paddy Nolan, Principal Maeve O’Hare Caitriona Frost HARP Clare McCague, Principal ORCHESTRA MANAGER Joe Csibi ASSISTANT ORCHESTRA MANAGER Carla Vedres LIBRARIAN Sarah Burn

Wexford Festival Opera Tours

Wexford Festival Opera Tours

Johnstown Castle and gardens.


he Wexford Historical Society tours have been an integral part of the Opera Festival since 1951. The tours are organised by Bernard Browne, following in the tradition of George Hadden and Nicholas Furlong who organised the tours for over 60 years. All the tours are free and depart from the car park of the Talbot Hotel promptly at 10.30 a.m. and return by 1.00 p.m. The tours are a wonderful opportunity to explore the hidden gems throughout the town and county and are led by experienced guides. SATURDAY, 20 OCTOBER Explore maritime Wexford on a walking tour along Wexford‘s Quay outlining its maritime history with particular references to Commodore John Barry and the USN Air Station located at Ferrybank during WWI with author and musicologist Liam Gaul. Walking Tour. MONDAY, 22 OCTOBER Marking the centenary of the birth of Brendan Corish T.D. (1918–1990), former Tánaiste of the Irish Republic and Leader of the Irish Labour Party, learn more about the life and times of one of Wexford’s most illustrious and beloved political sons with his niece and tour guide, Helen Corish-Wylde. Walking Tour. TUESDAY, 23 OCTOBER Join naturalist Jim Hurley along the beach and rocky shoreline in the fishing village of Kilmore Quay. The tour examines a 600 million-year-old rock outcrop, St Patrick’s Bridge, an unusual landform allegedly constructed by Ireland’s patron saint, and much more. Round trip 48 km.

WEDNESDAY, 24 OCTOBER An exploration of the medieval town of New Ross, developed by William Marshall and his wife Isabel, granddaughter of Diarmait Mac Murchada in the thirteenth century. New Ross was later known as the ancestral home of the Kennedy family. Brian Matthews, former chairman of Wexford Historical Society, leads the tour. Round trip 60 km. THURSDAY, 25 OCTOBER A visit to the south county village of Our Lady’s Island. Discover the history of this pre-Christian settlement, a place of ancient pilgrimage, which continues today with historian Bernard Browne. Round trip 40 km. FRIDAY, 26 OCTOBER This duo of experienced tour guides, Monica Crofton and local businessman, Ray Corish, provide an insight into the neglected aspects of thirteenth century Norman Wexford Church and State. Walking Tour. SATURDAY, 27 OCTOBER John Edward Redmond (1856–1918), Wexford man and leader of The Irish Parliamentary Party from 1900–1918, was one of the most influential Irish politicians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The tour visits Ballytrent House in South Wexford where he spent his formative years. With Jarlath Glynn, librarian and expert on the Redmond family. Round trip 45 km.




Wexford Festival Opera Tours (continued)

Our Lady’s Island. Photo by Andreas F. Borchert.



Tour the glorious Tintern Abbey and its wandering history from William Marshall, the greatest knight in chivalry, to the Colclough family with Imelda Carroll, librarian and writer. Round trip 60 km.

Begin the Celtic New Year with a visit to Enniscorthy town and explore its multiple layers of history including the wonderful Pugin Cathedral, castle and the heroic story of the 1798 rebellion with Enniscorthy Historian David Hasslacher. Round trip 60 km.

TUESDAY, 30 OCTOBER The village of Taghmon, just outside of Wexford town, was an important early Christian monastic settlement. Native author, dramatist and historian Greg Walsh gives an objective analytical view of the phases of the Christian story, visiting relevant sites in the village. Round trip 25 km.

FRIDAY, 2 NOVEMBER Johnstown Castle and gardens is now in a new and exciting phase in its long history. Peter Millar, Chairman of the Agricultural Museum, Johnstown Castle, takes you on a journey through its historical past and rejuvenated future. Round trip 10 km.



A Halloween treat! Visit the lost town of Carrick, located on the grounds of the Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford and explore the excavations of the buried remains of the first Anglo-Norman fortification, built in 1169, with its General Manager, Maura Bell. Round trip 6 km.

A visit to Bridgetown, a bustling south Wexford village with its canal and railway, a church dedicated to the Welsh St David and a magnificent stained glass window by Edward Burne-Jones at Mulrankin Church is led by Brendan Culliton, Chairman of Wexford Historical Society. Round trip 25 km.


Wexford Festival Opera Tours


My Opera City



Brian Kellow (1959–2018), was a biographer, New York Times best-selling author, music critic, executive editor of Opera News, devoted Friend of Wexford Festival and an indefatigable ambassador for the Festival throughout North America.


n this age of global economics, travellers may have more difficulty than ever seeking out a place that is like no other. For me, one of those places is Wexford, the small town on the south-east coast of Ireland that each autumn is home to Wexford Festival Opera, one of Europe’s most distinctive musical institutions. The festival, founded by Dr Tom Walsh in 1951, has a unique mission: to unearth long-neglected operas, performed by rising young talent. For decades, the festival has admirably resisted any pressure to include more recognisable fare, and the musically curious have flocked there to find out what Marschner’s Der Vampyr, Zandonai’s Conchita, Giordano’s Siberia, Mercadante’s Virginia and Chabrier’s Le Roi malgré lui really sound like. The majority of the Wexford audience, probably suffering from Bohème fatigue, seems to enter overwhelmingly into the festival, understanding that the most precious thing it offers is its voyage of discovery. This October and November, I will make my sixteenth visit to the Wexford Festival. Drop the nearest hat, as Dorothy Parker used to say, and I’ll be happy to reel off some of the performances that have enriched my opera-going life the most: the lush orchestrations of Delius’s A Village Romeo and Juliet and Mariotte’s Salomé; the bracing imagination that Renaud Doucet brought to his production of Fauré’s Pénélope; the thrilling vocalism with which Barbara Quintiliani ignited Donizetti’s Maria Padilla; the way that Stewart Robertson and a brilliant cast brought Richard Rodney

Bennett’s The Mines of Sulphur to exciting life. All of these productions happened during the tenure of David Agler, Wexford’s artistic director from 2005 to the present, during which time the festival has reached new heights of musical and theatrical excellence. And there is the town itself, so inviting that I sometimes have to tear myself away from pavement chats to get to the performances in time. Wexford is a place where you run into old friends and acquaintances, and each year the experience grows deeper: a quick chat in the Opera House during the interval leads to a lively conversation over coffee and dessert at Cappuccino’s café the following year, and perhaps the year after that, to dinner at Cistín Eile, the superb restaurant specializing in locally sourced Irish food. In the Main Street, I always drop into Oxfam to buy Christmas cards or come out of the Book Centre laden down with bags of titles by Irish and British authors that are hard to come by in New York stores. I can catch a memorable performance of a pop standard by one of the locals at the Guinness Singing & Swinging Pub Competition. And where else but the annual rare book sale at the Talbot Hotel am I likely to stumble upon a biography of Margaret Sheridan? I have always loved the word ‘anticipation’, partly because it is onomatopoeic; just saying it makes my pulse quicken. There is no place that I anticipate returning to quite as keenly as Wexford. By early summer, I am thinking about it on a daily basis. By the time the festival begins, I am living in a state of anticipation, from one moment to the next. This article first appeared in the November 2016 issue of Opera.


Ten Years Unrivalled PAUL HENNESSY




t is hard to believe that it is now ten years since Wexford Opera House first opened its doors to an eagerly awaiting public. The response was one of immediate and universal acclamation from artists, patrons, visitors and other commentators. Ireland finally had a world-class, purpose-built opera house. Wexford had a new home worthy of its renowned opera festival, and Irish audiences had the opportunity to enjoy patron experiences that were unique in the country’s performing arts sector. In one of the finest examples of public-private cooperation in the arts in Ireland, the construction of the Opera House was funded by a combination of public funding from the Department of Arts Sport and Tourism and private sources raised by the Wexford Festival Foundation. Together their investment facilitated the creation of a truly world-class facility, and this was duly acknowledged when the building received a succession of major international architectural awards. Operationally the venue was equally feted as its reputation grew with every performance, and it was not long before it was openly referred to as ‘the finest small opera house in the world.’ However, economically the world was in turmoil and managing a new opera house in the teeth of an acute economic recession is an exceptional challenge. Fortunately, it was a challenge that the Wexford team was equal to, and together they steadily built a reputation as a venue which consistently delivers an exceptional experience to its ever-increasing community of patrons. This special bond between the House and its patrons was acknowledged by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys in 2014 when she designated the facility as Ireland’s National Opera House. Further testament to the skills and dedication

of the Opera House team was received when The National Opera House was voted ‘The Best Live Music Venue’ at the 2017 annual I.M.R.O awards. Today the National Opera House is busier than ever. The range of work being presented includes opera, musical theatre, the full spectrum of music performance, theatre, dance, comedy and children’s entertainment. The roll call of companies and artists who grace our stages is now a formidable list, which includes Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and other international award winners, who bring the best of live entertainment to our audiences. It is particularly pleasing that our National Theatre Company, The Abbey, the National Symphony Orchestra and Irish National Opera are now all regular visitors to the National Opera House. And most importantly every autumn it remains our greatest privilege to host the world renowned Wexford Festival Opera. Strategic partnerships with Music Network and Wexford County Council have provided a successful platform for artist residencies, and our alliance with the Irish College of Music Theatre means that our facilities are being regularly used for the education and development of a new generation of Irish talent. The recently launched House Club provides an opportunity for patrons to become more involved in the activities of the house and recognises the continuing growth of our patron community. It has certainly been an exciting and rewarding decade. Ten years of challenge and achievement. Ten years of unwavering commitment, of steady progress and unabated ambition. Paul Hennessy Chairman National Opera House

Golden Wexford

Golden Wexford


ow did I first hear about Wexford? Maybe someone mentioned it, or maybe I read something. Whatever it was, I had a hunch that I might enjoy myself, and how right I was. I was twentythree, working in my first job at a London publisher on a salary of £800 (yes, that was what we were paid then), but Wexford was affordable as Salzburg and Bayreuth would not have been. And so I booked tickets for the operas, railway – through train from Paddington to Fishguard in those days, ferry to Rosslare, another train from the harbour to Wexford – and a room at White’s, then a modest coaching inn on North Main Street. That was 1969, and so I notice with a mixture of pride and alarm that this is my fiftieth Wexford. No doubt there are others who’ve been coming longer, if not that many. Two years ago I wrote here about my dear friend Rodney Milnes, the opera critic of the Spectator and The Times, who’d pipped me by coming to Wexford the year before; like almost all the old faces I remember from my early Wexford years, he has left us, and so my happy memories are tinged with sadness. As I delightedly discovered, Wexford combined serious presentation of opera with a thoroughly informal and frivolous atmosphere when the music stopped. My first Wexford included L'infedeltà delusa, one of a number of Haydn operas which Wexford did so well, with two great favourites, Jill Gomez and Ugo Benelli, but it was the next year that I really caught the spirit of the place, sitting up all night on the stairs of White’s talking, drinking and laughing with the cast of Albert Herring. One of Wexford’s selling points has always been reviving forgotten operas, even if another function is to remind us thereby that forgotten works have sometimes been forgotten with good reason. Then there was the way that Wexford made a virtue of necessity, with what was by international standards a distinctly modest budget. Reviewing the 1978 season, Rodney noted that ‘the sets for the three operas mounted at Wexford this year were built for around £6,500 (which is I suppose roughly what Montserrat Caballé gets for clearing her throat in the wings at Covent Garden)’, and Wexford mastered the knack of inexpensive but ingenious productions. Another of its outstanding gifts has been finding great singers at the start of their careers. Dame Janet Baker in La gazza ladra, when she was almost unknown and no yet one of the most revered and beloved singers of her age, was before even my time, but I can recall the thrill of hearing the great Finnish bass Matti Salminen, huge of frame and of voice, then as young as myself and likewise unknown to most of us, in the title part of Ivan Susanin in 1973. And few


cosmopolitan opera-goers seem aware that Sergei Leiferkus, the Russian baritone would have such a stellar international career, made his western debut in Grisélidis at Wexford in 1982. If I mention earlier memories, it’s because not many people reading this will be able to share them. I think of singers like Christiane Eda-Pierre, the delicious French (though Martinique-born) soprano. We never heard enough of her in London and were the more grateful to Wexford for casting her in four operas, including Lakmé and Les Pêcheurs de perles. Among directors, I recall the courteous but mildly mysterious Bulgarian Michael Hadjimischev, and Wolf Siegfried Wagner, great-grandson of the composer, and at one time a controversial figure in Germany. Too many names I must set down in sorrow. My friend Julian Hope (latterly Lord Glendevon, and Somerset Maugham’s grandson, as it happened) directed three operas here but died of cancer at fifty-nine. By happy contrast David Pountney is still at the helm of the Welsh National Opera, having made his professional debut as a director here with Kát’a Kabanová in 1972. But Maria Björnson, his designer for Kát’a, who later became hugely successful with her designs for The Phantom of the Opera, died at only fifty-three. Just as important in a way as the operas is the town. Over these years I’ve seen Wexford, and Ireland, change more than anywhere else I know. In the 1960s Ireland was visibly poorer than elsewhere in western Europe, whose postwar economic miracle had passed this country by. Over the next thirty years, Ireland was transformed, and Main Street buzzed with new shops. It was bad luck that the opening of the splendid new opera house coincided with the financial dégringolade of 2008, but the National Opera House, as it rightly now is, has survived and prospered along with Wexford and Ireland. So much else fascinating about this place took me a while to learn. Little did I know when I first set foot in Wexford – although who did? – what remarkable nascent literary talent lurked here. Those Wexford men John Banville and Billy Roche, my contemporaries, hadn’t begun writing novels and plays fifty years ago, and Colm Tóibín from Enniscorthy was still a schoolboy here at St Peter’s. When I first came, Brian Dickie was Director of the Festival, but ‘Dr Tom’ was still very much a presence, Tom Walsh, physician, opera-lover and only begetter of this festival, a man of the greatest sweetness and charm. Thanks to him the Theatre Royal was rediscovered and rehabilitated, and the festival begun, and I’m very glad to have known Tom and to have shared his Sunday morning sherry. Over these years the Festival has been run by a number of gifted men, and one woman, Elaine Padmore before she migrated to Copenhagen and then the Royal Opera






Jill Gomez in Thaïs (1974).

Sergei Leiferkus in Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (1984).

The Mines of Sulphur (2008).



Christiana Eda-Pierre in Lakmé (1970).

in London. It was Elaine who introduced the ‘Scenes’ which have become so popular. This is David Agler’s penultimate season at Wexford, but it’s not just valedictory courtesy to say that his tenure has been as distinguished as any, not least his own conducting as well as some of the very best Wexford discoveries of all these fifty years, like Jacopo Foroni’s Cristina, regina di Svezia, and Le Pré aux clercs by Ferdinand Hérold, a particular delight since we heard something rare nowadays, a French opera sung by a French-speaking cast.

I’ve left until last what, or who, make this the happiest of all music festivals, the people of Wexford. Over the half century, I’ve continually enjoyed kindness and generosity of every sort every year from the men and women who live here all the year and who help make the festival what it is. It’s theirs as much as the visitors’ or the musicians’. And by now I like to think I can even count myself something of an honorary Wexfordian. Why, I know who Nicky Rackard was!

Wexford County Council Wish Wexford Festival Opera every success for 2018

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Risurrezione, 2017 Wexford Festival Opera. Photo © Clive Barda/arenaPAL

Supporting Wexford Festival Opera


iving forms the cornerstone of what makes Wexford Festival Opera truly great. Founded in 1951 by a group of individuals who gave freely of their time, talents, and what limited funds they had, the Festival has evolved to be a leader in national and international opera; lauded worldwide by audiences and critics alike. Your invaluable support for Wexford Festival Opera allows us to: • Breathe new life into hidden gems of the operatic repertoire • Discover and promote the most promising emerging national and international artistic talent Our friends and donors provide support because they recognise the cultural and artistic contribution that the Festival makes to Ireland and the international opera community, exemplified by Wexford winning the coveted ’Best Festival’ award at the International Opera Awards in 2017.

Become enchanted with harmony By becoming a Wexford Festival Opera Friend or Benefactor, you are directly underpinning our artistic mission and our artistic initiatives, helping us put on stage what you – our audience – expect from Wexford. We offer a variety of opportunities for you to get involved, and we invite you to consider one of the options below to help us continue producing world-class operatic productions.

Become a Friend of Wexford Festival Opera As a Friend, your contribution directly funds vital elements of the Festival each year, such as the Chorus, Young Artist Bursary, ShortWorks, or one of the mainstage opera performances, to name but a few. As a special thank you to our Friends, we provide exclusive benefits, such as: • Priority access to the best seats • Exclusive recitals in London and Dublin, featuring upcoming Festival artists • Access to an exclusive international opera tour • ‘In Conversation’ lectures in London and Dublin; and many other great benefits • Participation in our European Friends initiative, with members enjoying visits to a number of European cities since its foundation. For details of the various Friends’ levels, their associated benefits, and how they provide much-needed support to the Festival, please see the enclosed Friends’ Membership insert.




Artistic Benefactors


he Artistic Benefactors programme enables Wexford Festival Opera to attract the opera world’s most innovative and exciting singers, directors, and conductors for Wexford’s unique opera productions. Artistic Benefactors receive recognition in the Festival Programme, complimentary Festival tickets, and a lunch or dinner engagement with the artist or creative team member they are directly supporting. Each support level provides a special opportunity for opera lovers to not just support, but also to meet and engage with artists, and gain insight and appreciation for the world of opera from a performer’s perspective. Maestro level €10,000 – you are providing significant support to Wexford Festival Opera which enables us to attract some of the most talented directors, conductors, and producers for our mainstage operas. This level of support also allows you to support a complete choral, orchestral or vocal recital during the Festival.

Principale level €5,000 – you can support either a young/emerging artist or a well-established singer; the choice is yours! At all stages, opera is a vocation that demands intense personal investment. It is very encouraging for a performer to know that someone in the audience is behind them in this most practical way. We have been delighted to see lasting friendships blossom between artists and benefactors since the beginning of this wonderful initiative. Nuala Sheedy would be delighted to speak with you should you wish to obtain more information about this opportunity: Phone: +353 53 916 3525 Email: nuala@wexfordopera.com

2018 Artistic Benefactors MAESTRO

Frank and Ursula Keane

Terry and Marjorie Neill

(Supporting Sharon Carty and Ioana Constantin-Pipelea)

(Supporting Rachel Kelly)

Frank and Ursula are supporting two of the leading sopranos in this year’s Festival. Irish soprano Sharon Carty will make her Wexford debut in the role of Lucy Talbot in Dinner at Eight. IrishRomanian mezzo-soprano Ioana Constantin‑Pipelea will perform the role of Michelina in Il bravo. Ioana won the Gerard Arnhold scholarship offered by the Wexford Festival Opera in 2017. Frank and Ursula have attended the Festival almost every year since 1972, supporting the Festival and Foundation, and are regular participants in the Artistic Benefactor programme. Judith Lawless and Kevin Egan (Supporting Rodula Gaitanou) This year, Judith and Kevin are sponsoring Rodula Gaitanou, the director of L’oracolo and Mala vita. Previously, Rodula directed Wexford’s production of Vanessa by Samuel Barber. Judith has been a member of our National Development Council since its founding, a Bravura Friend, and a keen supporter of the Festival. This is Judith and Kevin’s fourth year participating in the Artistic Benefactor programme.

Terry and Marjorie Neill are sponsoring Irish mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly’s recital on Saturday 3 November. Terry and Marjorie are long-standing Bravura friends and attendees of the festival and are also supporting the Festival by leading Il bravo through a consortium group. Terry is Chairman of the National Development Council which aids and advises the Wexford Festival Opera development team. Mark Villamar and Esther Milsted (Supporting Ekaterina Bakanova) Mark and Esther – who travel from the United States each year to attend the Festival – are supporting Russian soprano, Ekaterina Bakanova who will perform the role of Violetta in Il bravo. She is a winner of the Giulietta Prize as best female singer at Arena di Verona Opera Festival 2015 and was nominated as Best Young Female Opera Singer 2016 by the International Opera Awards in London.

Artistic Benefactors


Mike and Kathy Gallagher

(Supporting Gustavo Castillo)

(Supporting Leslie Dala)

Venezuelan baritone, Gustavo Castillo, will perform the role of Foscari in this year’s mainstage production of Il bravo. He started his musical studies at El Sistema, a Venezuelan music education programme founded in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu, guided by tenor Ídwer Álvarez. Since 2016, he has been part of the Accademia alla Scala lyric opera in Milan. Anonymous (Supporting Simon Mechliński) Young Polish baritone Simon Mechliński will be making his Wexford Festival Opera debut, performing the role of Luigi in Il bravo. In 2014 he won a scholarship from the Accademia Belcanto Competition in Graz and was also a winner 1° Premio Concorso Lirico Internazionale Giacinto Prandelli 2017. Anonymous (Supporting Toni Nežić) Croatian bass Toni Nežić is a graduate of the Vienna State Opera Chorus Academy and winner of the first prize at the 2015 Croatian National Singing Competition in Dubrovnik. Toni has performed at the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb, the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar (Sarastro in The Magic Flute) and the Wexford Festival Opera (Sparafucile in Rigoletto). Toni will perform in the ShortWork Don Pasquale in the title role and on the main stage as Marco Il bravo at this year’s Festival. Noreen Doyle

Mike and Kathy are supporting Leslie Dala, who will be the assistant conductor for Dinner at Eight, conducting the 23 October performance. Mike and Cathy travel from Canada each year to attend the Festival and are also Bravura Friends of the Festival. Leslie Dala is the Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir, Associate Conductor and Chorus Director for Vancouver Opera, and Music Director of the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. Patrick and Evelyn O’Sullivan (Supporting Gemma Summerfield) Patrick and Evelyn will be supporting English soprano Gemma Summerfield, who is performing the role of Paula Jordan in Wexford Festival Opera’s presentation of the European Premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight. Patrick is a member of the Wexford Festival Trust (UK) as well as a Bravura Friend, and a keen supporter of the Festival. This sponsorship is dedicated to the memory of Patrick’s mother, Marie Slowey. Beverly Sperry (Supporting Susannah Biller) Beverly Sperry, a long-standing Friend of the Festival, is supporting American soprano Susannah Biller, who performs the role of Kitty Packard in this year’s production of Dinner at Eight. Beverly and her late husband Martin attended Wexford Festival Opera every year since 1990 and enjoyed many happy times and special memories there. This sponsorship is dedicated to Martin’s memory.

(Supporting Dorothea Spilger) Noreen is supporting German mezzo-soprano Dorothea Spilger, performing the role of Amalia in Mala vita. Dorothea was the winner of the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg 2012, the Competizione dell’Opera 2013, the international Johannes Brahms Competition for Art Song 2013 and international Antonín Dvořák 2014 for opera and song. Noreen is a Bravura Friend and has been attending the festival for many years. This is Noreen's fifth season as an Artistic Benefactor.

Peter and Nancy Thompson (Supporting Joo Won Kang) Peter and Nancy, who live in Hong Kong, are supporting South Korean baritone, Joo Won Kang, performing the role of Cim-Fen in L’oracolo. Peter and Nancy have been coming to Wexford for twenty-three years and have regularly participated in the Artistic Benefactor programme as well as generously supporting our Emerging Artists’ Fund. They make their gift to the Festival in honour of their great friend, the late Jerome Hynes, Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Opera from 1988 to 2005.




Join a Production Consortium This innovative way of supporting Wexford’s large‑scale productions can be a very rewarding experience. By donating to a Production Consortium, you will join with other like-minded patrons of the arts and become part of the journey from score to stage. These groups will be involved throughout the creative process, gaining in‑depth insights as they watch our talented artistic team bring the productions to life. IL BRAVO CONSORTIUM 2018 This Production Consortium is supporting the costs of bringing this year’s production of Il bravo to the stage and enabling it to be presented to Wexford’s world‑class standards. This consortium group is led by the generous leadership donations from Lochlann and Brenda Quinn, and Terry and Marjorie Neill in addition to the further support from the consortium members. L’ORACOLO/MALA VITA CONSORTIUM 2018 This Production Consortium led by our Wexford Festival Trust (UK) is supporting this year’s production of L’oracolo/Mala vita. This consortium group is led by the generous donations from Sir David Davies, Chair of Wexford Festival Trust UK, and Terry and Marjorie Neill.

We would like to express our sincerest thanks to the consortium members for their generosity. This significant support allows our artistic and creative company to bring their vision to life, and create and bring to the stage spell-binding productions to enthral audiences who will come to Wexford from across Ireland and around the world.

President’s Circle By joining the President’s Circle, you help bring extraordinary opera productions to life. Support at this level gives our artistic team the scope to attract exciting and innovative artists and work with other leading international companies on co-productions – raising the artistic bar to new heights. Gifts may be directed towards specific performances and activities central to our artistic mission, including: • Mainstage opera productions • Festival ShortWorks productions • The Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera • The Chorus of Wexford Festival Opera • Festival Education and Community Access Projects • Any other donor-advised performance, project or activity For further information on the President’s Circle, please contact: Ann Marie Dalton, Head of Development Phone: +353 87 901 2925 Email: adalton@wexfordopera.com, or David McLoughlin, Chief Executive Phone: +353 53 916 3521 Email: dml@wexfordopera.com

New Sponsor We extend a warm welcome to Arachas, our new corporate sponsor for 2018. We are very excited to add Arachas to our family of corporate sponsors. The commitment of all our corporate partners to support our work provides an outstanding example of the many possibilities which arise through corporate investment in the arts. We would also like to express sincere thanks to all our funders, sponsors and partners for their continued confidence in, and endorsement of, our Festival. To discuss the many corporate sponsorship and hospitality opportunities offered by Wexford Festival Opera, please contact: Adeline Minchin, Sponsorship Executive Phone: +353 85 708 8031 Email: adeline@wexfordopera.com


Supporting Wexford Festival Opera



Left to right: Ger Lawlor, Chairman of Wexford Festival Opera; Laura Lawlor; Councillor Jim Moore, Mayor of Wexford; Lucy Moore; David McLoughlin, Chief Executive, Wexford Festival Opera.

Legacy Giving SECURING THE FUTURE WITH THE 1951 ENDOWMENT FUND Wexford Festival Opera remains committed to the founding vision and legacy of Dr Tom Walsh, which continues to inform the opera festival we enjoy today. Legacy gifts ensure that Wexford Festival Opera will continue to deliver outstanding productions of some of the world’s finest and least known operatic treasures. By committing a legacy gift to the 1951 Endowment Fund, you will help sustain the Wexford Festival Opera and its dedication to recherché opera well into the future. We were honoured to receive a number of legacy commitments in the past year and would like to extend our sincerest thanks to the individuals involved and their families. If you would like to learn about how you can help us build the 1951 Endowment Fund, we would be happy to have a discreet conversation with you. Your bequest can be directed to benefit a project of your choice and recognised in a manner that suits your wishes. If you wish to have a confidential conversation regarding making a bequest to Wexford Festival Trust, please contact: Ann Marie Dalton, Head of Development Phone: +353 87 901 2925 Email: adalton@wexfordopera.com

Development Structure THE AMERICAN FRIENDS OF WEXFORD OPERA (AFWO) Key international stakeholders are involved in this proactive fundraising and advisory board in North America, which championed Wexford’s previous New York Dinner Galas. THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL Formed in 2014 this select group provides philanthropic leadership, advice, and support, enabling Wexford Festival Opera to continue to thrive. THE WEXFORD FESTIVAL UK TRUST The Wexford Festival UK Trust leads the development of Wexford’s philanthropic leadership amongst current and potential UK-based donors, corporations, trusts and foundations.



Awards and Bursaries PwC Emerging Young Artist Award

Aria Friends’ Bursary Throughout the Festival, the Aria Friends of Wexford Festival Opera have the opportunity to nominate the artist they wish to see awarded the 2018 Aria Friends of Wexford Festival Opera Bursary. The winner of the bursary will be announced by Artistic Director David Agler on the closing night of the 2018 Festival. The 2017 recipient of the Aria Friends’ Bursary was UK bass Thomas Hopkinson.

Maria Hughes, soprano.

Richard Shaffrey, tenor.


exford soprano Maria Hughes and Dublin tenor, Richard Shaffrey, were announced as the 2018 PwC/Wexford Festival Opera ‘Emerging Young Artist’ bursary winners. This initiative, now in its fourth year, serves to support and celebrate Ireland’s Emerging Young Artists from the opera world and helps to contribute towards the many costs associated with furthering their careers. Soprano Maria Hughes from Gorey Co. Wexford is making her third appearance at the Festival. This year she will perform in three main evening operas, L’oracolo by Leoni and Mala vita by Giordano as well as taking on the role of Miss Copeland in the European premiere of Dinner at Eight by William Bolcom. Tenor Richard Shaffrey, a native of Dublin, will perform the role of Un Messo in the Mercadante opera II bravo as well as singing the role of Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West by Puccini, part of the ShortWorks daytime opera programme. Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director, David Agler, said of the two singers, ‘With a reputation as an international festival which attracts audiences and critics from around the globe, Wexford Festival Opera is an important platform in which to showcase the best emerging talent and is a key part of our mission. We are delighted to partner with PwC in the nurturing of young talent. It is my honour to award these two very promising young singers who are making a great contribution to the 2018 Wexford Festival company.’ Also speaking at the announcement, Jean Delaney, Tax Partner, PwC, said, ‘Having the right skills is critical for success and PwC has a strong history of championing talent development. We are proud to partner with Wexford Festival Opera on this exciting initiative.’

Gerard Arnhold Award (Donated by Anthony Arnhold in memory of his father) This award, generously donated by Anthony Arnhold in memory of his father, will be announced on the closing night of the 2018 Festival. Gerard Arnhold, a long-time patron and supporter of Wexford Festival Opera, died in 2010 after a long and fulfilling life. Wexford Festival Opera is most grateful to Anthony, his wife Mayca, and the Arnhold family for providing this award. The 2017 recipient of the Gerard Arnhold Award was Romanian soprano Ioana Constantin-Pipelea.

Liam Healy Bursary (Donated by Eithne Healy in memory of her late husband, Liam) This bursary was founded in memory of the late Liam Healy. Artistic Director David Agler will announce the winner of the bursary on the closing night of the 2018 Festival. Liam and his wife Eithne have been closely associated with Wexford Festival Opera for many years. Liam chaired the successful Wexford Festival Foundation. The bursary, gifted by Eithne Healy, will be awarded to an Irish member of the Wexford Festival Opera Company. The 2017 inaugural recipient of the Liam Healy Bursary was Irish baritone Cormac Lawlor.

Supporting Wexford Festival Opera



Rigoletto, 2017 ShortWork.

Support Wexford Festival Opera with a National Opera House Seat Endowment Endow a seat in the O’Reilly Theatre, the main auditorium of the National Opera House, with a plaque in your own name or that of a loved one. Typically, seats are endowed in memory of a life well lived or as the perfect enduring gift. If you would like to endow a seat, please contact: Nuala Sheedy, Friends’ Development Executive Phone: +353 53 916 3525 Email: nuala@wexfordopera.com

Tax Advantageous Gifts Gifts can be made in a tax advantageous way through our Irish, UK, and US Charitable Trusts: • The tax advantage on gifts given to Wexford Festival Trust by Irish donors directly benefits Wexford Festival Opera, making your gift go even further. • To make your gift through our UK Trust, please make your cheque payable to ‘Wexford Festival Trust’. • To make your gift tax effective in the US, please make your cheque payable to ‘The American Ireland Fund’ and make reference to Wexford Festival Opera.

Get in Touch with Wexford Festival Opera To support Wexford Festival Opera at any of the levels mentioned, or to learn more, please contact one of the development team: MAJOR GIFTS, PRODUCTION CONSORTIUMS, AND LEGACY GIVING Ann Marie Dalton, Head of Development Phone: +353 87 901 2925 Email: adalton@wexfordopera.com Visit wexfordopera.com/support FRIENDS’ MEMBERSHIP, ARTISTIC BENEFACTOR, AND SEAT ENDOWMENTS Nuala Sheedy, Friends’ Development Executive Phone: +353 53 916 3525 Email: nuala@wexfordopera.com Visit: wexfordopera.com/friends CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS AND CORPORATE HOSPITALITY Adeline Minchin, Sponsorship Executive Phone: +353 85 708 8031 Email: adeline@wexfordopera.com Visit: wexfordopera.com/support/corporate




Friends of the Festival


e would like to thank all of our Friends for the extraordinary support they have shown towards Wexford Festival Opera in 2018.

Lifelong Friends Mrs Eithne Healy, Ms Mary V Mullin

Bravura Friends Mr David Agler & Mr Miles Linklater, Mrs Jackie Bolger, Mr & Mrs Breffni & Jean Byrne, Mrs Ann Corcoran, Ms Noreen Doyle, Mrs Kate Dugdale, Mr & Mrs Mike & Kathy Gallagher, Dr James Glazier, Mr Michael Gatley, Mr John A Haines, Mr Malcolm Herring, Mr Harry Hyman, Mrs Geraldine Karlsson, Mr & Mrs Frank A & Ursula Keane, Mr Anthony D Kerman, Ms Judith Lawless & Mr Kevin Egan, Mr David Lemon & Ms Sylivia L’Ecuyer, Mrs Patricia Mellon, Mr & Mrs Terence & Marjorie Neill, Mr & Mrs Patrick & Evelyn O’Sullivan, Miss Eileen Partington, Mr John Schlesinger & Ms Margaret Rowe, Mr & Mrs Dick & Cathy Soderquist, Ms Beverly Sperry, Mr & Mrs Peter & Nancy Thompson, Mr & Mrs Max & Joy Ulfane, Mr Mark Villamar & Ms Esther Milsted

Cabaletta Friends Mr & Mrs Thomas & Monica Agler, Mr & Mrs Ate & Jannie Atema, Mr Alan Bigley, Mr Gareth Hadley, Mr & Mrs John & Yvonne Healy, Mr & Mrs Paul & Angela Hennessy, Mr James McCormick, Mr & Mrs James & Sylvia O’Connor, Ms Mary Pauline Prendergast

Aria Friends Mr Gaby Aghajanian, Mr Rodger Alexander, Ms Valerie Beatty, Mr Anthony Boswood, Mr James Flannan Browne, Mr Paul Cleary, Prof. Pearse & Mary Colbert, Mr Eoin Colfer, Mr & Mrs Michael & Jane Collins, Mr Michael E Corby, Ms Jean Delaney, Ms Cliodhna Dempsey, Prof. Patrick & Dr Grace Dowling, Mr & Mrs Roger & Helen Epsztajn, Mr John Fingleton, Ms Barbara FitzGerald, Mr & Mrs Maurice & Marie Foley, Prof. Roy Foster, Ms Mary Gallagher, Mr Peter Gerrard, Dr & Mrs Alan & Caroline Gillespie, Mr & Mrs Martin & Angela Hanrahan, Mr Dennis Hearn, Dr Heinz J. Hockmann & Marcia MacHarg, Mr Michael P Houlihan, Mr & Mrs Paul & Joyce Kelly, Mr Timothy King, Mr Lyndon MacCann, Mrs Maeve Mahony, Mr Peter Gerald Malone, Prof. & Dr Anthony R & Joan M Manning, Mrs Jean M Marsden, Mr & Mrs Kevin & Yvonne Mays, Dr Oran & Mrs Catherine McGrath, Ms Patricia Meek, Mr & Mrs James & Bee Menton, Mr & Mrs David & Kathleen Mere, Ms Claudine Murphy, Mr & Mrs Con & Eimear Murphy, Prof. Anthony & Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Ms Siobhan O’Beirne, Mr Edward O’Connor, Ms Emer O’Kelly, Mr & Mrs Liam

& Colma O’Luanaigh, Mr & Mrs Finbarr & Mary O’Neill, Mr Gabriel Safdie, Mr Alan Sainer, Rev.  Dr JohnPaul Sheridan, Mr & Mrs John & Margaret Skerritt, Mr Philip Smyth, Ms Vina Spiehler, Ms Carol Stearns, Mr Michael Steen, Mr & Mrs Billy & Ceara Sweetman, Countess Ulrike Walderdorff, Dr Ernst Zillekens

Ensemble + Friends Ms Claire Bailey, Mrs Isla Baring, Mr Desmond Barry, Mr & Mrs Robin & Alice Berkeley, Mr Jean-Jacques Beyer-Weiss, Mr Bryan Birch, Mrs Joan Boggan, Mrs Ann Breen, Mr John Brennan, Ms Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, Mr & Mrs David & Dorothy Byers, Ms Joyce Byrne, Mrs Valerie F Byrne, Miss Jane Caplen, Mr Thomas Carey, Mr & Mrs Sean & Eileen Clancy, Mr Phil Coney, Mr & Mrs Joseph & Breigeen Cosgrave, Mr Antony Cotton, Mrs Violaine De CrouyChanel, Dr Karina Daly, Lord Decies, Mrs Amanda Dixon, Mr Bernard Dunleavy, Mr & Mrs Des & Aine Dunne-Lyons, Mr & Mrs William & Catherine Earley, Mr Frank Egan, Mrs Anne Essex, Dr Judy Fielding, Ms Mary Flynn, Dr Simon Frain, Mrs Valerie E Freeman, Mrs Sue Gaisford, Mr & Mrs David & Chantal Gardiner, Mr & Mrs Raymond & Judith Gay, Mr & Mrs Hugh & Mary Geoghegan, Mr Philippe Gilbert, Mrs Anne Gilleran, Mr & Mrs John & Jane Griffiths, Mr Patrick Groarke, Mr Hans-Heinrich Harding, Mr Charles Harriss, Mr Aidan Hicks, Ms Geraldine Hodgkins, Mr Bob Huddie, Mr Trevor Jacobs, Mr & Mrs Brian & Peggy Joyce, Mr Tom Kavanagh, Dr Eamonn Kennan, Mr John Keogan, Mr Michael Kilroy, Mr Brian Kingham, Mr & Mrs Tommy & Annemie Kontz, Mr & Mrs Kurt & Catherine Kullmann, Sir Peter & Shelley Lane, Mr Martin Larkin, Mr & Mrs Ger & Laura Lawlor, Ms Genevieve Leloup, Mr Thomas Anthony Linehan, Ms Bernadette Madden, Mrs Maeve Magee, Ms Sarah Mason, Mr Joe Mason, Mrs Eleonore Mathier, Mr Alan May, Mrs Margaret McDowell, Mr Paul McGowan, Ms Anne McManus, Ms Brigid McManus, Dr Fiona Murphy, Mr & Mrs John & Theresa Murphy, Mr Liam Murphy, Mrs Mary P Neylon Cody, Mr Jeremiah Nolan, Dr Francis-Xavier & Mr Pat O’Brien, Mrs Malak O’Connor, Ms Siobhan O’Dwyer, Mr Jerry O’Dwyer, Mr Michael O’Gorman, Mr Senan & Ms Catherine O’Reilly & O’Connor, Mr Paul Oslizlok, Mr Brian Otridge, Dr Eileen Ouellette, Mr John C Pearson, Mr Richard Poynter, Mr & Mrs Peter & Madeleine Prendergast, Mr Michael Francis Reid, Ms Judith Ann Rice, Prof. Sarah C F Rogers, Mr Lionel Rosenblatt, Mrs Barbara Ross, Mr & Mrs Jim & Frances Ruane, Mr Wolfgang Schmid, Mr & Mrs Stephen & Patricia Shaw, Dr Anthony Smoker, Mrs Anne St John-Hall, Mr & Mrs Jonathan & Gillian Staunton, Mrs Gillie Stormonth Darling, Prof. Roger Taylor, Ms Mary Tubridy, Mr & Mrs Brendan & Valerie Twomey, Mrs Ann Wetzel, Mr Emilio Venturi, Dr Mark Whitty, Mr William Wisniewski, Mr & Mrs Nicholas & Fiona Woolf

Friends of the Festival

Ensemble Friends A Dr Ken Abraham, Mr & Mrs John & Pamela Aldrich, Mr Patrick Allen, Mr Patrick Annesley, Mrs Marie Auchincloss B Mrs Jacqueline Bacon, Ms Catherine Bainbridge, Ms Karen Banks, Mr Victor L & Anthea M Barley, Prof. Terry Barry, Mrs Rosemary Bartholomew, Mr & Mrs Paul & Janet Batchelor, Mr Richard Bates, Prof. Ray Bates, Ms Valerie Beamish, Sir David Bean, Mr & Mrs Michael & Sheelah Bennett, Mr & Mrs William & Anne Bennett, Ms Gretta Bergin, Mrs Michèle Bernstein-Rumney, Ms Paula Best, Mr David Bewers, Mses Caroline & Jane Blunden, Fr Matthew Boggan, Mr John Bourke, Mr Martin P Bourke, Mrs Mary Bowe, Ms Diane Boylan, Dr Margaret P Brady, Mrs Patricia Brennan, Mrs Myriam Broadhead, Mrs Maria Broderick, Mrs Rita Brown, Mr Declan Browne, Mr John Browne, Mr David Buchler, Mr Noel Buckley, Mrs Jane Buckley, Ms Rosemary Buckley, Dr Anita Bunyan, Mrs Aileen Bunyan, Ms Mary Margaret Bunyan, Mr Derek Burke, Mr David Burn, Mrs Noreen Butler, Dr Michael & Patricia Byrne, Mr Daniel Byrne C Mr Dermot Cahillane, Ms Jennifer Caldwell, Ms Maz Campbell, Prof. Bruce M S Campbell, Ms Veronica Canning, Mrs Margaret Cannon, Dr Sylvia A Carlisle, Mr Peter Carpenter, Mrs Eileen Carroll Mackie, Dr James Frederick Carson, Ms Doreen Carty, Mr Francois Casier, Mr & Mrs David & Ann Charles, Mr Mark Charnock, Mrs Frances Chisholm, Mr Tom Clancy, Mrs Heather Clarke, Mrs Noreen Clarke, Mr John Clarkson, Mr Patrick Cleary, Mr Peter Clifton Brown, Mrs Ellen & Mary Cody, Mr John Coleman, Mr Trevor Collins, Mr & Mrs Louis & Cara Collum, Dr & Mrs Paul Colton, Mr Seamus Concannon, Ms Jackie Connolly, Mr William Considine, Mr Michael Conway, Ms Anne Cooke, Mr Andrew R Cooper, Ms Yvonne Copeland, Mr Bernard Corbally, Mrs Sally Corcoran, Mrs Antoinette Corrigan, Ms Aine Cosgrove, Ms Finola Costello, Dr Jerome Cotter, Mr Colin Craig, Mr Thomas Cranfield, Mr & Mrs Graham & Patricia Crisp, Mr Jeremy Crouch, Mr Ciaran Culleton, Mrs Joy (Marion) Cunningham, Mr Brian Dean Curran, Dr & Mrs David & Ann Marie Curtis, Ms Mary Rose Curtis, Dr Tom Curtis

Donoghue, Mr James Doolan, Mr Frank Dowling, Ms Dorothy Dowling, Dr Kevin Doyle, Mrs Geraldine Doyle, Mrs Nancy Doyle, Ms Helen Doyle, Ms Ruth Doyle, Mr Peter Druee, Mrs Sarah Drury, Ms Lindy Duff, Mr Joseph Dundon, Ms Elizabeth Dunne, Ms Robyn Durie E Ms Mary Egan, Mr Graham Eklund, Ms Kathleen Elliott, Dr Gary Ellison F Mr Robin Farquharson, Mr Ronald Farrants, Mr Matt Farrelly, Ms Helen Faulkner, Mr & Mrs Arnold & Eleanor Fear, Dr G. S. Feggetter, Ms Maura Fennell, Mr & Mrs Nial & Maedbhaine Fennelly, Ms Mary Finan, Mrs Christine E Fiske, Mr John Fitzgerald, Sir Adrian Fitzgerald, Mr Giles Fitzherbert, Mrs Ann Fitzsimons, Mr Aubrey Flegg, Dr Noeleen Foley, Mrs Gwen Foley, Dr Andrew Foot, Mr Dominic Forde, Mrs Barbara Forde, Mr & Mrs Joseph & Brenda Fox, Mr & Mrs Peter & Noreen Fox, Prof. & Dr John & Catherine Fraher, Mrs Deirdre Frame, Dr Richard France, Mr Kieran Furlong, Mr Philip Furlong G Ms Delia Gaffney, Ms Ann Gallagher, Mr & Mrs John & Maeve Gallagher, Ms Louise Gallagher, Mrs Shelly Galvin, Mr John Gannon, Mr Brian Gardom, Mrs Mary Geoghegan, Ms Zoe Giltrap Mac Court, Ms Jo Golden, Mrs Janet Gooberman, Mr & Mrs Paul & Eileen Good, Ms Patricia R Gordon, Mrs Catherine A Gough, Dr Dermot Gowan, Mr & Mrs Ron & Valerie Graham, Ms Josephine Grant, Ms Margaret Grant, Dr David Grey H Ms Dympna Hackett, Mr & Mrs Robert & Avril Harvey, Mr Keith Hatchick, Mr & Mrs Ciaran & Anne Hearne, Dr John Hegarty, Ms Maura (Margaret) Hegarty, Ms Luise Hennen, Ms Nadine Hennessey, Linda Lee Henriksen, Ms Hilary Henry, Ms Eileen Herlihy, Mr & Mrs Declan & Joan Hickey, Mrs Pamela Jean Hickey, Dr Alan Hoaksey, Mr A. Robin Hodgson, Mr Michael Horgan, Mr Noel Horgan, Mr David Howarth, Mr & Mrs Ted & Mary Howlin, Mr Brendan Howlin TD, Dr Sheila Hunt, Mr J Peter Hunt, Mr Gerard Hurl, Dr Mary Hurley, Ms Gemma Hussey, Mr James Hutchinson, Mrs Alma Hynes, I


Dr & Mrs Peter & Judith Iredale, Mr David Isaacs

Ms Ursula Daly, Mrs Liz D’Arcy, Mrs Anne Caroline Daszewska, Dr Deirdre D’Auria, Mr Alan Davis, Mr Colin Davis, Mrs Francoise Davison, Mr Michael de Navarro, Ms Mary DeGarmo, Mrs Cathleen Delaney, Ms Ann Dixon, Ms Diana Donnelly, Ms Veronica

J Ms Beryl Jameson, Mr Marcus Jamson, Mrs Irene Patricia Jeffares, Mrs Marilyn Jeffcoat, Mrs Mary Jennings, Mr Derek Johns, Mr David Jones, Ms Jennifer Josselyn




Friends of the Festival (continued) K


Ms Reet Kana, Mrs Ann Kavanagh, Ms Rosario Kealy, Ms Elizabeth Keane, Ms Ada Kelly, Ms Avril Kelly, Prof. Deirdre Kelly, Mrs Maire Kelly, Dr Mary Kelly, Mr Paul Kennan, Mr & Mrs John & Mary Kenny, Mr Courtney Kenny, Mr Ramon Kerrigan, Dr Lisbet Kickham, Mr Patrick & Sara Kickham, Mrs Mary Kilcoyne, Mr Lee Kinsella, Lauren Knoblauch, Mr Peter Knowles,Mr & Mrs Uwe & Mary Kuhn, Dr Iain M Kyles

Mr & Mrs Robert & Mary Neill, Ms Mealla C Ni Ghiobuin, Mr Robert Niven Baird, Dr Maire Nolan, Mr John Nolan

L Mr Eamonn Lacey, Mr & Mrs Eamon & Heather Lalor, Mr Michael P Lambarth, Ms Deirdre Lamont Doyle, Mrs Daphne E. Lane, Mr Robert Laporte, Mrs Carole Lavelle, Ms Barbara Law, Mrs Maura Leavy, Mr Richard Lee, Anne Leech, Mr & Mrs Colm & Marroussia Lennon, Mr & Mrs Geoffrey Lewis, Mrs Sarah Lewis, Mr Antony Lewis-Crosby, Mr Barry D S Lock, Ms Maria Loomes, Mr & Mrs Donald & Elizabeth Love, Ms Vickie Love, Ms Bernice Lynch, Mr Robert Lyness, Mr & Mrs David & Gillian Lyons, Dr Kathleen Mac Lellan M Mr & Mrs James & Ann Macdonald, Ms Caitriona MacKernan, Mrs Orla MacLean, Mr Brian MacManus, Ms Mary Maggs, Dr Paul Magnier, Mr & Mrs Martin & Celia Maguire, Mr & Mrs James & Mary Maguire, Mrs Betty Maher-Caulfield, Mr Alexis Maitland Hudson, Ms Anne Makower Fitz-Simon, Mr Gerald Mallon, Mrs Catherine Malone, Dr & Mrs Martin & Elizabeth Mansergh, Ms J Maskell, Ms Sandra Mathews, Mr Edward Maxwell, Ms Elizabeth McBratney, Mr & Mrs Terence & Ann McCabe, Mrs Breda McCabe, Mr & Mrs Roderick & Ann McCaffrey, Mrs Geraldine McCarter, Mr Gerald McCarthy, Ms Annette McCarthy, Mr Denis McDonald, Ms Mary McDonald, Ms Petria McDonnell, Mr Ciaran McGahon, Mrs Mary McGarry, Ms Trudie McGee, Mr John McGerty, Ms Helen McGovern, Mr Peter D McGuire, Mr Ian McHardy, Mr & Mrs Michael & Margaret McIntyre, Mr & Mrs Paul & Patricia McKee, Mr Anthony McKeon, Dr & Mrs Patrick & Eileen McKiernan, Mrs Elizabeth McKiernan, Mr James McLoughlin, Ms Deirdre McMahon, Mr Raymond McSherry, Mr John McVittie, Mr Kenneth Mealy, Dr John Patrick Meehan, Ms Margaret Mellor, Mr & Ms Stephen & Barbara Mennell, Mrs Kathleen Mernagh, Mr David M. Mitchell, Mrs Lois Moderate, Mr & Mrs Michael & Valerie Moloney, Mr & Mrs John & Helen Molony,Mr & Mrs Barry & Niamh Moore, Mr & Mrs David & Lynda Moore, Ms Sara Moorhead, Mr David Morris, Ms Dorothy Morrissey, Ms Lisa Mulcahy, Ms Mary Ellen Mulcahy, Mr Manuel Muñoz Moya, Dr Helen Murphy,Mr Michael Murphy, Mr & Mrs Cyril & Liz Murphy, Mr & Mrs James & Gladys Murphy, Mr & Mrs Joseph & Louise Murphy, Mr & Mrs Oliver & Joanna Murphy, Mrs Caitriona Murphy, Ms Marie Murphy, Rev John Murphy, Ms Lucette Murray, Mr Anthony Myer

O Mr & Mrs Conall & Maura O’Brien, Ms Theresa O’Brien, Mrs Colette O’Callaghan, Mrs Deirdre O’Callaghan, Mrs Helen O’Cearbhaill, Mrs Marie O’Connell, Mr & Mrs Matt & Pipa O’Connor, Mr Bernard O’Connor, Mr Brian J O’Connor, Ms Anne O’Dea, Dr John Rory O’Donnell, Mr & Mrs John & Dympna O’Donnell, Ms Margaret O’Donnell, Ms Maureen O’Donovan, Dr Frances O’DonovanColeman, Mr Séamus O’Flaherty, Mr Peter O’Grady, Ms Deirdre O’Grady, An tAthair Deasun O’Grogain, Mr Brian O’Hagan, Dr Patricia O’Hara, Mr & Ms Francis & Deirdre O’Keeffe, Ms Ann O’Kelly, Mr Denis O’Leary, Mr & Mrs John & Amelia O’Leary, Ms Eva Oliveti, Mr Stefan Olsson, Ms Ursula O’Mahoney, Mr & Mrs Anthony & Elaine O’Mahony, Mr James O’Mahony, Mrs Patricia O’Mahony, Mrs Terry O’Rahilly, Mr & Mrs Brian & Valerie O’Riordan, Dr Hilda O’Shea, Mr & Mrs Stephen & Oonagh O’Shea, Mr Kevin J. O’Sullivan, Ms Catriona O’Sullivan, Ms Liosa O’Sullivan P Mr & Mrs Michael & Eileen Pagett, Mr Richard Parish, Mr Andrew Parkes, Mr Richard Parry, Mrs Joyce Parsons, Mrs Mary Louise Pearce, Mr & Mrs Bill & Cel Phelan, Ms Caroline Phelan, Mr Alan Pike, Ms Melanie Pine, Mr & Mrs Randall & Carol Plunkett, Ms Louise Pomeroy, Mr Brendan Power, Mr & Mrs Tony & Helen Prendergast, Mr & Mrs Patrick & Susan Prenter, Mr Seamus Puirseil Q Mrs Margaret Quigley, Mr Tony Quinlan, Dr & Mrs Kevin & Marian Quinn R Ms Philomena Rafferty, Mrs Eleanor Rashleigh Belcher, Mr Peter Raven, Mr Mark Redmond, Mr Philip Regan, Mr & Mrs John & Sinead Reynolds, Mrs Gillian Reynolds, Mr Anders Rottorp, Mr David Rowe, Mrs Jean Ruddock, Dr Angela Ryan S Mr & Mrs Jurgen & Helga Sassmannshausen, Mrs Eithne Scallan, Mrs Anne Tobin & Mr Tom Schnittger, Mr & Mrs Joe & Selina Scott, Mr William Scott, Mr & Mrs John & ErneSt Shackleton, Ms Linda Shaughnessy, Mr Edward Shaw, Dr Sheila Sheerin, Mary Sherry Archer, Mr & Mrs John & Nancy Sherwood, Mrs Marie Sherwood, Mr Nigel Silby, Mr & Mrs David & Mairead Sinnott, Ms Geraldine Skinner, Ms Anna Skrine, Mr David A C Smith, Mr Michael D Smith, Dr Beatrice Sofaer-Bennett, Mr Richard Southwell QC, Mrs Wendy Spackman, Mr & Mrs Trevor & Sheila

Friends of the Festival

Spalding, Mr John Sparks, Dr Reggie Spelman, Miss Susan Spencer, Mrs Beryl Stracey, Mrs Alison Swabey, Prof. & Ms Edward & Joyce Sweeney & Byrne, Ms Rosemary Sweetman, Mr John Dean Symon T Ms Peta Taaffe, Dr Peter Tatham, Miss Susan Taylor, Mr Simon Taylor, Mrs Alison Thorman, Mr & Ms Brian & Frances Thornburgh & Hill, Mr & Mrs Eamon & Niamh Tierney, Mrs Mary Tierney, Mrs Margaret Tinsley, Mr Kieran Tobin, Mr Colm Tóibín, Mr Henry Toner, Mr Volker Tosta, Mr Alan Townend, Ms Mary Tucker, Mr John D Turley & Gerard M Lawler, Mrs Curzon Tussaud, Mr & Mrs Brendan & Patricia Twomey, Mr & Mrs James & Heather Tyrrell, Ms Sheila Tyrrell U Mr Michael Udal V Mr & Mrs Francis & Janet Valentine, Mrs Caroline Valls, Mr & Mrs Peter & Lola Vardigans, Mr & Mrs Michael & Olive Veale, Prof. Graham Venables W Ms Anne Wallace, Mr Anthony J Walsh, Mr Paul Walsh, Mrs Maureen Walsh, Mrs Winefrid Walshe, Mrs Victoria Walsh-Hamer, Baroness Diana Warwick, Kenneth Watters & Robin Wilkinson, Mr Michael Waugh, Ms Brenda Weir, Mr & Mrs Conor & Jean Whelan, Mr & Mrs Enda & Maura Whelan, Mr John Whelan, Ms Janet Whitaker, Ms Eithne White, Mr Paul White, Dr Robert J Wilkins, Mr Jolyon Wilkinson, Mr William Wilks, Mr & Mrs Simon & Pearl Willbourn, Mrs Marie Williams, Mr Gareth & Mike WilliaMs & Penn, Mrs Valerie Willoughby, Mr James Woods, Ms AnneMarie Woods, Mr Laurence Wrenne, Mr Christopher C. Wright, Mrs Bernie Wright, Dr & Mrs Peter & Camilla Wykes, Mr Gordon Malcolm Wyllie Z Mrs Sybella Zisman

Chorus Friends Ms Elizabeth Charles, Mr Jerry Cowhig, Ms Elizabeth Davies, Mr Robert Lee, Mrs Betty O’Brien, Ms Elizabeth Rose-Browne

Prelude Friends Ms Louise Beegan, Ms Angelique Corry, Mr Simon Courtauld, Mr Matthew Dillon, Mrs Yvonne Doyle Curtis, Mrs Miriam Dubas, Mr John Fisher, Ms Laura Griffin, Ms Clara Hamer, Mr Thomas Heeney, Ms Anna Hickey, Ms Anna Maria Husca, Ms Sarah Hyman, Mr Feargal Hynes, Ms Karin Kelly, Ms Sarah Loomes, Mr Mark Mahoney, Mr Ruben Marcus, Ms Clara McDonald, Ms Ruth McKeon, Ms Deirdre Mulhall, Mr Neil Murphy, Mr James Murphy, Mr Barry Murphy, Mr Neil Murphy, Mr Stephen Murphy, Ms Jill O’Driscoll, Ms Simone O’Neill, Mses Roisin & Sinead O’Reilly, Ms Aimee Smyth, Miss Harriet Smyth, Miss Michelle Thomas




Friends of the Festival (continued)


Thank You

Thank You

Risurrezione, 2017 Wexford Festival Opera. Photo © Clive Barda/arenaPAL

Giuseppe Affilastro & Fabrizio Villa, Il bravo vocal scores

Mairead Hurley, DIT


V Reverend Aodhán Marken, Administrator, The Parish of Wexford

The Ark, Temple Bar

Marlowes Cleaners

Bargy Castle

The Merrion Hotel

Paula Best

Reverend Canon Arthur Minion, St Iberius' Church, Wexford

Colman Doyles Haberdashery Noel Eccles Fennessy Consulting Services, Boston Eithne Fitzpatrick Physiotherapy Fondazione Toscanini, Parma Richard Browne Builders, School Street The Gate Theatre, Dublin Hertz Paul Hunt, National Concert Hall Peter Jordan Simon Lambert and Sons Lowneys of Castlebridge

T. Morris, Wexford Eimer Murphy, Abbey Theatre, Dublin Suzanne O’Leary & Sinead Reck, Wexford School of Ballet & Modern Dance H.E. Adrian O’Neill, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom Opposuits Roger Pines, Lyric Opera of Chicago Robertinos Simon Taylor, National Concert Hall, Dublin Wild West Props




Repertoire by Year: 1951–2018 1951



The Rose of Castile – Balfe

Otello – Rossini

Tiefland – d’Albert

Roméo et Juliette – Gounod

Il mondo della luna – Haydn

1952 L’elisir d’amore – Donizetti 1953 Don Pasquale – Donizetti 1954 La sonnambula – Bellini 1955 Der Wildschütz – Lortzing Manon Lescaut – Puccini


The Two Widows – Smetana

La clemenza di Tito – Mozart


La Jolie Fille de Perth – Bizet

L’amore dei tre re – Montemezzi

L’equivoco stravagante – Rossini

La vestale – Spontini


Crispino e la comare – Ricci Brothers

L’infedeltà delusa – Haydn


Luisa Miller – Verdi

Edgar – Puccini

1970 Albert Herring – Britten

Orlando – Handel Of Mice and Men – Floyd


Lakmé – Delibes


La Cenerentola – Rossini

L’inganno felice – Rossini

Martha – Flotow

Il giovedì grasso – Donizetti

I gioielli della Madonna – WolfFerrari



La figlia del reggimento – Donizetti

Les Pêcheurs de perles – Bizet

L’Italiana in Algeri – Rossini

La rondine – Puccini


Il re pastore – Mozart

Sakùntala – Alfano

1958 Anna Bolena – Donizetti


I due Foscari – Verdi

Oberon – Weber

1959 La gazza ladra – Rossini Aroldo – Verdi 1960 Theatre closed for reconstruction 1961 Ernani – Verdi Mireille – Gounod

Zaide – Mozart Un giorno di regno – Verdi

L’isola disabitata – Haydn Grisélidis – Massenet

Il pirata – Bellini


Kát’a Kabanová – Janáček

Hans Heiling – Marschner

1973 Ivan Susanin – Glinka

La vedova scaltra – Wolf-Ferrari Linda di Chamounix – Donizetti

The Gambler – Prokofiev


L’ajo nell’imbarazzo – Donizetti

Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame – Massenet

1974 Medea in Corinto – Mayr Thaïs – Massenet

Le astuzie femminili – Cimarosa The Kiss – Smetana


Der Barbier von Bagdad – Cornelius


L’amico Fritz – Mascagni


Ariodante – Handel

I puritani – Bellini

Eritrea – Cavalli


Le Roi d’Ys – Lalo

Don Pasquale – Donizetti

La pietra del paragone – Rossini

La Gioconda – Ponchielli


The Siege of Rochelle – Balfe 1964 Lucia di Lammermoor – Donizetti

La Wally – Catalani The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny – Weill 1986 Königskinder – Humperdinck

Giovanna d’Arco – Verdi

Tancredi – Rossini

The Merry Wives of Windsor – Nicolai

Mignon – Thomas

Il Conte Ory – Rossini

The Turn of the Screw – Britten


Much Ado About Nothing – Stanford


La cena delle beffe – Giordano


Orfeo ed Euridice – Gluck

Don Quichotte – Massenet

Triple Bill:

La traviata – Verdi

Il maestro di cappella – Cimarosa

La finta giardiniera – Mozart

La serva e l’ussero – Ricci

1966 Fra Diavolo – Auber Lucrezia Borgia – Donizetti

Hérodiade – Massenet

La serva padrona – Pergolesi

La straniera – Bellini Cendrillon – Massenet 1988 The DevIl and Kate – Dvořák Elisa e Claudio – Mercadante Double Bill: Don Giovanni Tenorio – Gazzaniga Turandot – Busoni

Repertoire by Year: 1951–2018




Der Templer und die Jüdin – Marschner

Orleanskaya deva – Tchaikovsky

La Cour de Célimène – Thomas

Si j’étais roi – Adam

Maria – Statkowski

Mitridate, re di Ponto – Mozart

Conchita – Zandonai

Gianni di Parigi – Donizetti



Alessandro Stradella – Flotow

L’Arlesiana – Cilea

Zazà – Leoncavallo

Jakobín – Dvořák

Le Roi malgré lui – Chabrier

The Rising of the Moon – Maw

Sapho – Massenet

A Village Romeo and Juliet – Delius



Il giuramento – Mercadante

The Duenna – Prokofiev 1990

La Dame blanche – Boieldieu 1991 L’assedio di Calais – Donizetti

Mirandolina – Martinů

Il cappello di paglia di Firenze – Rota

La Rencontre imprévue – Gluck

Manon Lescaut – Auber

Double Bill:

Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung – Goetz


1992 Il piccolo Marat – Mascagni Gli equivoci – Storace Der Vampyr – Marschner 1993 Cherevichki – Tchaikovsky Il barbiere di Siviglia – Paisiello Zampa – Hérold 1994 The Demon – Rubinstein La bohème – Leoncavallo Das Liebesverbot – Wagner 1995 Saffo – Pacini

Die Drei Pintos – Weber/Mahler María del Carmen – Granados Švanda dudák – Weinberger 2004 La vestale – Mercadante Eva – Foerster Prinzessin Brambilla – Braunfels 2005 Maria di Rohan – Donizetti Pénélope – Fauré Susannah – Floyd 2006 Don Gregorio – Donizetti Transformations – Susa

Mayskaya noch’ – Rimsky-Korsakov


Iris – Mascagni

Der Silbersee – Weill

1996 Parisina – Donizetti L’Étoile du nord – Meyerbeer Šárka – Fibich 1997 Elena da Feltre – Mercadante Rusalka – Dargomïzhsky La fiamma – Respighi 1998 Fosca – Gomes Šarlatán – Haas I cavalieri di Ekebù – Zandonai

Double Bill: Pulcinella – Stravinsky

Cristina, regina di Svezia – Foroni 2014 Salomé – Mariotte Don Bucefalo – Cagnoni Silent Night – Puts 2015 Koanga – Delius Guglielmo Ratcliff – Mascagni Le Pré aux clercs – Hérold 2016 Herculanum – David Vanessa – Barber Maria de Rudenz – Donizetti 2017 Medea – Cherubini Margherita – Foroni Risurrezione – Alfano 2018

Rusalka – Dvořák

L’oracolo – Leoni

2008 Snegurochka – Rimsky-Korsakov The Mines of Sulphur – Bennett Tutti in maschera – Pedrotti 2009 The Ghosts of Versailles – Corigliano Double Bill: Une Éducation manquée – Chabrier La cambiale di matrimonio – Rossini Maria Padilla – Donizetti

Die Königin von Saba – Goldmark


Siberia – Giordano

La Navarraise – Massenet

Arlecchino – Busoni

1999 Straszny dwór – Moniuszko

Thérèse – Massenet

Virginia – Mercadante The Golden Ticket – Ash & Sturrock Hubička – Smetana

Mala vita – Giordano Dinner at Eight – Bolcom Il bravo – Mercadante




Repertoire by Composer: 1951–2018 Adam Si j’étais roi – 2000 d’Albert Tiefland – 1978 Alfano Sakùntala – 1982 Risurrezione – 2017 Ash & Sturrock The Golden Ticket – 2010 Auber Fra Diavolo – 1966 Manon Lescaut – 2002 Balfe The Rose of Castile – 1951 The Siege of Rochelle – 1963 Barber Vanessa – 2016 Bellini La sonnambula – 1954 I puritani – 1962 Il pirata – 1972 La straniera – 1987 Bennett The Mines of Sulphur – 2008 Bizet La Jolie Fille de Perth – 1968 Les Pêcheurs de perles – 1971 Boieldieu La Dame blanche – 1990 Bolcom Dinner at Eight – 2018 Braunfels Prinzessin Brambilla – 2004 Britten Albert Herring – 1970 The Turn of the Screw – 1976 Busoni Turandot – 1988 Arlecchino – 2007 Cagnoni Don Bucefalo – 2014 Catalani La Wally – 1985 Cavalli Eritrea – 1975 Cherubini Medea – 2017

Chabrier Une Éducation manquée – 2009 Le Roi malgré lui – 2012

Floyd Of Mice and Men – 1980 Susannah – 2005

Cilèa L’Arlesiana – 2012

Foerster Eva – 2004

Cimarosa Il maestro di cappella – 1977 Le astuzie femminili – 1984

Foroni Cristina, regina di Svezia – 2013 Margherita – 2017

Corigliano The Ghosts of Versailles – 2009

Gazzaniga Don Giovanni Tenorio – 1988

Cornelius Der Barbier von Bagdad – 1974

Giordano La cena delle beffe – 1987 Siberia – 1999 Mala vita – 2018

Dargomïzhsky Rusalka – 1997 David Herculanum – 2016 Delibes Lakmé – 1970 Delius A Village Romeo and Juliet – 2012 Koanga – 2015 Donizetti L’elisir d’amore – 1952 Don Pasquale – 1953 & 1963 La figlia del reggimento – 1957 Anna Bolena – 1958 Lucia di Lammermoor – 1964 Lucrezia Borgia – 1966 Il giovedì grasso – 1970 L’ajo nell’imbarazzo – 1973 Linda di Chamounix – 1983 L’assedio di Calais – 1991 Parisina – 1996 Maria di Rohan – 2005 Don Gregorio – 2006 Maria Padilla – 2009 Gianni di Parigi – 2011 Maria de Rudenz – 2016 Dvořák The DevIl and Kate – 1988 Jakobín – 2001 Rusalka – 2007 Fauré Pénélope – 2005 Fibich Šárka – 1996 Flotow Martha – 1956 Alessandro Stradella – 2001

Glinka Ivan Susanin – 1973 Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice – 1977 La Rencontre imprévue – 1991 Goetz Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung – 1991 Goldmark Die Königin von Saba – 1999 Gomes Fosca – 1998 Gounod Mireille – 1961 Roméo et Juliette – 1967 Granados María del Carmen – 2003 Haas Šarlatán – 1998 Handel Orlando – 1980 Ariodante – 1985 Haydn L’infedeltà delusa – 1969 Il mondo della luna – 1978 L’isola disabitata – 1982 Hérold Zampa – 1993 Le Pré aux clercs – 2015 Humperdinck Königskinder – 1986 Janáček Kát’a Kabanová – 1972 Lalo Le Roi d’Ys – 1975

Repertoire by Composer: 1951–2018

Leoncavallo Zazà – 1990 La bohème – 1994 Leoni L’oracolo – 2018 Lortzing Der Wildschütz – 1955 Mariotte Salomé – 2014 Marschner Hans Heiling – 1983 Der Templer und die Jüdin – 1989 Der Vampyr – 1992 Martinů Mirandolina – 2002 Mascagni L’amico Fritz – 1962 Il piccolo Marat – 1992 Iris – 1995 Guglielmo Ratcliff – 2015 Massenet Don Quichotte – 1965 Thaïs – 1974 Hérodiade – 1977 Grisélidis – 1982 Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame – 1984 Cendrillon – 1987 Sapho – 2001 Thérèse – 2013 La Navarraise – 2013

Mozart La finta giardiniera – 1965 La clemenza di Tito – 1968 Il re pastore – 1971 Zaide – 1981 Mitridate, re di Ponto – 1989 Nicolai The Merry Wives of Windsor – 1976 Pacini Saffo – 1995 Paisiello Il barbiere di Siviglia – 1993 Pedrotti Tutti in maschera – 2008 Pergolesi La serva padrona – 1977 Ponchielli La Gioconda – 1963 Prokofiev The Gambler – 1973 The Duenna – 1989 Puccini Manon Lescaut – 1955 La rondine – 1971 Edgar – 1980 Puts Silent Night – 2014 Respighi La fiamma – 1997

Maw The Rising of the Moon – 1990

Ricci La serva e l’ussero – 1977

Mayr Medea in Corinto – 1974

Ricci Brothers Crispino e la comare – 1979

Mercadante Elisa e Claudio – 1988 Elena da Feltre – 1997 Il giuramento – 2002 La vestale – 2004 Virginia – 2010 Il bravo – 2018

Rimsky-Korsakov Mayskaya noch’ – 1995 Snegurochka – 2008

Meyerbeer L’Étoile du Nord – 1996 Moniuszko Straszny dwór – 1999 Montemezzi L’amore dei tre re – 1979

Rossini La Cenerentola – 1956 L’Italiana in Algeri – 1957 La gazza ladra – 1959 Il Conte Ory – 1964 Otello – 1967 L’equivoco stravagante – 1968 L’inganno felice – 1970 La pietra del paragone – 1975 Tancredi – 1986 La Cambiale di matrimonio – 2009 Rota Il Cappello di paglia di Firenze – 2013

Rubinstein The Demon – 1994 Smetana The Two Widows – 1978 The Kiss – 1984 Hubička– 2010 Spontini La vestale – 1979 Stanford Much Ado About Nothing – 1964 Statkowski Maria – 2011 Storace Gli equivoci – 1992 Stravinsky Pulcinella – 2007 Susa Transformations – 2006 Tchaikovsky Cherevichki – 1993 Orleanskaya deva – 2000 Thomas Mignon – 1986 La Cour de Célimène – 2011 Verdi I due Foscari – 1958 Aroldo – 1959 Ernani – 1961 La traviata – 1965 Luisa Miller – 1969 Giovanna d’Arco – 1976 Un giorno di regno – 1981 Wagner Das Liebesverbot – 1994 Weber Oberon – 1972 Weber/Mahler Die Drei Pintos – 2003 Weill The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny – 1985 Der Silbersee – 2007 Weinberger Švanda dudák – 2003 Wolf-Ferrari I gioielli della Madonna – 1981 La vedova scaltra – 1983 Zandonai I cavalieri di Ekebù – 1998




Personnel David Agler

David McLoughlin




Rosetta Cucchi Associate Artistic Director

Ann Marie Dalton Head of Development

Errol Girdlestone Chorus Master

Nora Cosgrave Director of Artistic Administration

Adeline Minchin Sponsorship Executive

Andrea Grant Head of Music

Nuala Sheedy Friends’ Development Executive

Nicky Kehoe Company Manager

Roisin Hynes Development Assistant

Tina Chang Giorgio D’Alonzo Andrea Grant Jessica Hall Daniela Pellegrino Répétiteurs

Artistic Director

Sheldon Baxter Assistant Company Manager Joe Csibi Orchestra Manager Elenor Bowers-Jolley Chorus Manager Anne Thomas Accommodation Manager Alessandro Ambrosini Artistic Intern OPERATIONS & FINANCE Aisling White Head of Operations Denise Kavanagh Financial Controller Caroline Whelan Accounting Administrator Anne-Marie O’Brien Box Office Manager Geraldine O’Rourke Anne Wilde Senior Box Office Staff Richella MacCarvill Executive Assistant Caroline Doyle Administrative Assistant Fiona Grant Phyllis McCarthy Eoin O’Connor Terry White Stage Door

Chief Executive

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Tracy Ryan Marketing Manager Paraic Cullen Marketing Executive Remee Cunningham Marketing Intern Elizabeth Rose-Browne Media Relations Manager Teffia Hendrick Media Relations Intern O’Doherty Communications Irish Media Consultants Joanna Townsend London Press Officer Claudine Murphy Press Office Liaison John Allison Features Editor Miles Linklater (24pt Helvetica) Graphic Designer Managing Editor Clive Barda Festival Photographer

Elizabeth Drwal Children’s Chorus Mistress PRODUCTION David Stuttard Technical Director Aisling Fitzgerald Production Stage Manager Eimear Reilly Production Assistant Nicky Pender Facilities Manager STAGE MANAGEMENT Colin Murphy Theresa Tsang Ellie Williams Stage Managers Hannah Williams Katy Taylor Rebecca Thornton Emma Ryan John Nicoll Harriet Kennedy Assistant Stage Managers Megan Bly Gordon Bell Clive Welsh ShortWorks Stage Managers





Michael Lonergan Production Manager

Barbara Ryan Head of Wardrobe

Elena Colombo Head of Properties

Sean Wright Master Carpenter

Anne Reck Wardrobe Mistress

Jennifer Ryan Assistant Master Carpenter

Claire Nicolas Costume Supervisor, L’oracolo and Mala vita

Martin Cahill Caoimhe Dunn David Redmond Props Assistants

Graeme Doyle Flyman Max Tolland Assistant Flyman Paul Allen Steve Anderson Oliver Boardman Sam Court Tom Knight Martin Wallace Stage Technicians Peter Boyle Scenic Carpenter ELECTRICS Douglas Finlay Chief Electrician Pip Walsh Deputy Chief Electrician Eoin McNinch Lighting Programmer Paul Hinchcliffe Eddie McCarthy Emma Russell Stage Electricians Ollie Dempsey Audiovisual/Sound Technician Sara Jane Williams* Lir Intern

Jeni Roddy Costume Supervisor, Dinner at Eight

Maureen Beguin Props/Design Assistant SURTITLES

Corinna Bohren Costume Assistant, Dinner at Eight

Elizabeth Drwal

Lauren Murphy Assistant Costume Supervisor, Il bravo

Carla Vedres Technical Supervisor

Nora Fischer Costume Assistant Hannah Fitzgerald Sarah Fanning Melissa O’Brien Wardrobe Assistants Elaine McFarland Costume Craft/Dyeing Assistant


SHORTWORKS Conor Mullan ShortWorks Production Manager Stephen Crean ShortWorks Technical Manager Johann Fitzpatrick ShortWorks Lighting Designer

Leanne Vaughey Wardrobe Intern

Angela Giulia Toso ShortWorks Stage & Costume Designer


Frances White ShortWorks Costume Supervisor

Carole Dunne Head of Wigs & Makeup Steffi Metzner Claire McCaffery Paula Melián Wigs & Makeup Assistants Ana Caballero Wigs & Makeup Intern

** in partnership with the LIR (National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College Dublin)




Volunteers BAR


Manager: Lorraine Foley

Manager: David Lynch

Assisted by: Susan Eustace, Marie Hayes, Michael Kavanagh

Nick Bowie, Sinead Casey, Thomas Conway, Brian Dempsey, Denise Fanning, Martin Flynn, Paddy Foley,

Philip Broaders, Marian Campbell, Grainne Cooney, Maria Cullen, Sarah Culleton, Michael Cushen, Rita Cussen, Breda Devoy, Margaret Donnelly, Eunan Doyle, Mary Doyle, Aine Doyle, Philomena Flood, Frank Foley, Lorraine Foley, Angela Gaynor, Collete Gilligan, Graham Grant, Sandra Harris, Marie Hayes, Rosemary Hayes, Bernadette Horohan, David Kavanagh, Katie Kavanagh, Michael Kavanagh, Lorna Kearney, Sheila Kissane, Brian Lally, Catriona Lawlor, Fintan Lawlor, Lolo Lazaro, Bernadette Leahy, Elaine McMahon, Bobby Modler, Shannen Mooney, Marianne Moran, Laura Murphy, Tom Murphy, Vivian Murphy, Zarha Murphy, Kathleen O’Callaghan, Trish O’Callaghan, Donal Ó’Murchu, Susan O’Neill, Mary O’Neill, Ken Paige, Philomena Payne, Lesley Power, Berna Rackard, Edna Rothwell, Brid Ryan, Helen Scahill, Selina Scott, Clare Tierney, Eileen Wickham, Joe Wickham CLOAKROOM Managers: Liz D’arcy, Anne Fitzharris Pamela Aldrich, Odile Le Bolloch, Maureen Bertman, Helen Bruen, Patricia Bent, Crona Carew, Antonette Carley, Susan Crosbie, Sandra Dempsey, Yvonne Doris, Eithne Fitzpatrick, Catherine Gill, Sindy Jones, Kathy Kane, Mary Kerr, Antoinette Mitchell, Alison Morris, Eileen Murphy, Kay O’Reardon, Helen O’Riordan, Claire Rahilly, Grainne Ryan, Ann Sills, Clare Storan, Niamh Tierney, Marie Tobin, Mary Tynan, Siobhan Tynan, Helen White

Philip Hatton, Ray Heffernan, Peter Hussey, Ger Keeling, Mary Kuhn, Terry McCabe, Michael McGinley, Pat Morrin, Joe Murphy, John Rackard, Joe Ryan, David Sherwood, Eamon Tierney FESTIVAL HISTORICAL TOURS Manager: Bernard Browne Maura Bell, Imelda Carroll, Ray Corish, Helen Corish-Wylde, Monica Crofton, Liam Gaul, David Hasslacher, Jarlath Glynn, Jim Hurley, Brian Matthews, Peter Miller, Greg Walsh FRIENDS’ HOSPITALITY Manager: Alma Hynes Ann Barrett, Pauline Breen, Caroline Carson, Brian Coulter, Eithne Coulter, Anne-Marie Curtis, Eileen Doyle, Mary Doyle, Kate Doye-Elliott, Eithne Fitzpatrick, Colette Furlong, Anne Gubbins, Rosemary Hayes, Mary Horan, Ted Howlin, Marie Hussey, Peter Hussey, Mary Kerr, Carmel Quinn, Mary Heldsinger, Bernie Lloyd, Phil Lynch, Catherine Malone, Sandra Mathews, Pat Moore, Louise Murphy, Clare Murphy, Seamus McMenamin, Anne O’Brien, Betty O’Brien, Annie O’Lionán, Christine Roche, Kate O’Donnell, Eileen Paget, Selina Scott, Dairine Sheridan, Mairead Sinnott, Eamon Tierney, Niamh Tierney, Kate Whitty, Marie Williams FRONT OF HOUSE Manager: David Maguire Assisted by: Albert Lacey, Padraic Larkin, John Mullins, John McCormack

Tom Banville, Ann Barrett, Gavin Blake, Vincent Brady, Antoinette Broaders, Joe Campbell, Pat Carberry, Paul Cleary, Michael Conway, Brian Coulter, David Curtis, Francoise Davison, Philippe D’Helft, Edel Fitzmaurice, Seamus Flood, Paddy Foley, Johnny Furlong, Orla Gallagher, John Galvin, Lorraine Galvin, Oliver Gargen, Patricia Gilhooley, Mary Grant, Gordon Gray, Marion Greene, Gerard Hartigan, Liam Healy, Marie Hussey, Peter Hussey, Olga Hussey, Simon Hussey, Ian Huxtable, Tony Hynes, Karol Jackson, Niamh Kehoe, Sylvia Kehoe, Denise Kehoe, Ruth Kelly, Uwe Kuhn, Frank Lally, Claire Larkin, Padraic Larkin, Ray Lehane, Kevin Lewis, Bernie Lloyd, Phil Lynch, Andrew Maguire, Colette Mahon, James Maloney, Brian Matthews, Brian MacGonagle, Eric McClintock, Luke Maguire, Mary Murphy, Conall O’Brien, Frank O’Brien, Geraldine O’Brien, Patrick A (Tony) O’Brien, Cathal O’Gara (Jnr), Ciara O’Grady, Senan O’Reilly, Mary O’Shea, Eileen Paget, Sheila Phillips Byrne, Colin Polden, Philip Quigley, Jack Quinn, Pat Reck, Liam Riordan, Joe Ryan, Catherine Stack, Peter Scallan, Joe Scott, David Sinnott, Dom Stafford, Billy Sweetman, Greg Walsh, Michael Ward, Ian Wardlaw, Eddie Whelan, Gabrielle Willis, Michelle Winters, David Whitty GREEN ROOM Manager: Liz Foley Joan Bolger, Kate Bolger, Brenda Byrne, Mary Cadogan-Burke, Jean Callaghan, Irene Carty, Margo Coombe, Aine Cosgrave, Helen Cunningham, Angela Cunningham, Fiona Dempsey, Joan Doyle, Eamonn Foley, Lorraine Foley, Mary Fox, Ann Gartland, Margo Gaul, Sandra Harris, Marion Hillis, Verona McEvoy, Mary McGillick, Mary Morris, Theresa Morris, Barbara O’Neill, Susan O’Neill, Kitty Roche, May Sadler, Kathy Shortle, Catherine Whelan


Left to right: David Maguire, Head of Volunteers; Albert Lacey, Front of House volunteer and recipient of the 2017 Ecclesiastical/Wexford Festival Opera Volunteer of the Year award; David Lane, Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Ireland; Ger Lawlor, Wexford Festival Trust Chairman.




Manager: Laura Nolan

Managers: Phil Lynch, Elizabeth Murphy

Manager: Rosemary Hayes

Mags Bolger, Nuala Byrne, Catherine Carmody, Ruth Chapman, Una Doherty, Mary Doyle, Mary G Doyle, Olivia Dunne, Aileen Fisher, Belle Fitzgerald, Martina Flynn, Stasia Fortune, Irene Furlong, Carol Goodison, Clare Kehoe, Geraldine Kelly, Ruth Kelly, Majella Lambert, Ann Logan, Mary Lynch, Helen McGuire, Tom Molloy, Wendy Moxley, Helen Mullins, Kay Nixon, Anne Roche, Gabrielle Roche, Eleanor Ryan, Ethna Ryan, Monica Shiggins, Hilda Stafford, Mary Walsh, Eleanor White

Ann Barrett, Helen Burrell, Nora Byrne, Joe Campbell, Marian Campbell, Finola Costello, Mary Cotter, Moira Cowman, Susan Crampton, Francoise Davison, Eamon Dundon, Robbie Fitzpatrick, Mary Furlong, Helen Gaynor, Jean Goold, Anne Gubbins, Lynda Harman, Brigid Ann Hayes, Eileen Herlihy, Bernadette Honohan, Evelyn Howell, Karen Lynott, Moira Martin, Niall McGuigan, Mary McGuigan, Ann McMorris, Marjorie Mulligan, Pauline Norrison, Anne O’Brien, Betty O’Brien, Kate O’Donnell, Ann O’Neill, Susan O’Neill, Michael O’Reilly, Anne O’Sullivan, Elizabeth O’Sullivan, Eileen Paget, Colin Polden, Madeline Prendergast, Patti Roche, Ethna Ryan, Daniela Simmons, Joe Sinnott, Kate Whitty, Marie Williams, Ann Young

Francoise Davison, Helen Doyle, Eithne Fitzpatrick, Robbie Fitzpatrick, Peter Hussey, Brian MacGonagle, Peter Scallan, Billy Sweetman, Eamon Tierney WARDROBE Manager: Marie Brady Manon Cooke, Grace Hall, Evelyn Hassett, Dolores Kavanagh, Evelyn Kinsella, Michelle O’Kennedy, Sarah O’Leary, Anne Reck, Sinead Reck, Jacinta Roche, Bride Tynan, Frances White



Proud to support

Credit Suisse are proud to sponsor the Wexford Festival Opera. We believe supporting the arts and music is one of the best investments we can make.

Insurance partners of choice for business, high net worth individuals, and corporate Ireland.

It all starts with a conversation... David Jermyn

Call: 087 255 6398 Email: david.jermyn@arachas.ie


Tel: 01 213 5000

Patrick Dalton

Call: 087 915 5674 Email: patrick.dalton@arachas.ie


Tel: 021 427 0505

Bruce Low

Call: 087 366 9770 Email: bruce.low@arachas.ie


Tel: 051 877 700

www.arachas.ie Arachas Corporate Brokers Limited trading as Arachas, Capital IM is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Centuries of heritage. Decades of experience. Months of planning. Outstanding performance.

This is what it comes down to. People with passion, energy, imagination and dedication to deliver a truly outstanding performance. Every time.

Best wishes to the Wexford Festival Opera from Andrew Owen and staff at Bank of Ireland Wexford.

Contact us on 1890 365 121 Visit boi.com/premier Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


Serving the ICT needs of successful organisations, Datapac is proud to be the Festival’s exclusive IT and Communications Partner.




The Volvo XC60 Hybrid delivers uncompromising power, effortless Scandinavian design, and world-leading safety technology – because your journey counts. And with lower CO2 emissions, every journey you make in the Volvo XC60 Hybrid counts even more. Join us in making the switch. For a limited time only, receive a luxury digital pack worth €3,230 for only €699* Front and Rear Park Assist Rear Parking Camera Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System Smartphone integration with USB Hub CONTACT VOLVO CARS WEXFORD TO ARRANGE A TEST DRIVE. SEE VOLVOCARSWEXFORD.IE *Offer available on all new XC60 cars ordered from 1st October 2018 to 31st March 2019. Terms and conditions apply. Excludes delivery and related charges. Model is shown for illustrative purposes only. Fuel consumption for the Volvo Range in l/100km (mpg): Urban 5.3 (53.3) – 9.4 (30.1), Extra Urban 3.9 (72.4) – 7.1 (39.8), Combined 4.4 (64.2) – 7.9 (35.8) CO2 Emissions 117 – 189g/km. All new Volvo cars come with a 3 year warranty and 3 years’ roadside assistance (standard with Volvo on Call)

Volvo Cars Wexford

Ferrybank, Wexford Town.

Ph: 053-9180790



In tune with business

Pwc is delighted to support Wexford Festival Opera Š 2018 PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the Irish member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

Reeds Restaurant at Ferrycarrig Hotel

Dine overlooking the majestic Slaney River Where Perfect Taste Flows 053 91 20999 reedsdining@ferrycarrighotel.ie

Wexford comes alive with culture, music & arts this autumn & Clayton Whites Hotel is in the heart of it all

Events at Clayton Whites Hotel

• Host of ShortWork Operas from 20th October - 3rd November • Host of Wexford Light Opera Society from 30th October - 1st November • Art & Craft Exhibition from 19th October - 4th November Wine & Dine at Clayton Whites Hotel

• HomemadetreatsserveddailyintheCoffeeDock • Carvery lunch & evening barfood menu in the Library Bar • Table d’hôte & à la carte dining at the Terrace Restaurant 3 minutes walk from the National Opera House

Book Now Clayton Whites Hotel, Abbey Street, Wexford +353 53 912 2311 info.whites@claytonhotels.com claytonwhiteshotel.com

THE KELLY’S EXPERIENCE... ...is made of moments that rely on a time, a place or a person, but guaranteed to make you wish to return again and again. A choice of fine dining, championship golf or beautiful Spa, everything you would expect from a luxury resort. Regular visitors to Kelly’s Resort Hotel have long known that they can count on enjoying the very finest foods beautifully prepared by experienced chefs at two of the top restaurants in Wexford - La Marine Bistro and Beaches.

THE SEA OF SENSES AWAITS YOU... SeaSpa is the perfect way to unwind from the hassles and strains of everyday life. Here, healing seawaters, heat and steam experiences blend with a therapeutic lighting and textured surrounds will help service the body and mind. Full & Half day packages. Special Midweek offers available.

VOUCHER FOR ALL OCCASIONS. For further information visit www.kellys.ie | Rosslare, Co Wexford. T: (053) 9132114 E: info@kellys.ie

Opera Festival Pop-Up Sale 79 North Main Street, Wexford Open daily 12pm - 6pm, 19th Oct - 4th Nov w w w. c e a d o g a n . i e | + 3 5 3 5 1 5 6 1 3 4 9 | i n f o @ c e a d o g a n . i e

AIB is proud to support the Wexford Opera Festival

Donnybrook Gardens is an exclusive collection of 86 spacious dual-aspect two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses divided among five architecturally designed buildings. These stunning buildings are enhanced by meticulously landscaped tree-filled gardens, which offer an oasis of calm in a location just minutes away from Dublin City Centre. Expected release in 2018. Register your interest now at www.CairnHomes.com

Designed for Living. Built for Life.

EXCLUSIVE MIDWEEK HOTEL PACKAGES If you haven’t already booked your tickets, why not consider three exclusive midweek opera packages with our partner hotels, the 4-star Ferrycarrig Hotel, the 4-star Clayton Whites Hotel and the 4 star Talbot Hotel? FERRYCARRIG HOTEL

FERRYCARRIG HOTEL ‘OPERA PACKAGE’ FROM €220 PPS The package includes Bed & Breakfast with dinner and a glass of Prosecco in the award-winning Reed’s Restaurant. Complimentary Shuttle to the National Opera House. To book please contact the Ferrycarrig Hotel directly on www.ferrycarrighotel.ie or call +353 53 912 0999.

CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL ‘FESTIVAL FEAST’ FROM €219 PPS The package includes Bed & Breakfast, a glass of prosecco and dinner in the Terrace Restaurant. 5 minute walk to the National Opera House. To book please contact Clayton Whites Hotel directly on www.claytonwhiteshotel.com or call +353 53 912 2311.

5 Star Country House Rathaspeck, Co Wexford Tel: 053 914 1672 E: info@rathaspeckmanor.ie


These all-inclusive overnight packages include main stage opera tickets, accommodation, dinner and more. Dress up in your finery and enjoy a rare experience. CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL


OPERAS/DATES FOR THE FERRYCARRIG HOTEL AND CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL: Tues 23 October Dinner at Eight (8 p.m.) Wed 24 October Il bravo (8 p.m.) Sun 4 November Dinner at Eight (8 p.m.) Tues 30 October Il bravo (8 p.m.) Wed 31 October Double Bill L’oracolo/Mala vita (8 p.m.) Closing Night – Sun 4 November Dinner at Eight (8 p.m.)

THE TALBOT HOTEL ‘NIGHT AT THE OPERA PACKAGE’ FROM €295 PPS 2 Nights Bed & Breakfast with a 4 Course Gourmet Meal in the Oyster Lane Restaurant on one night of your choosing. To book please contact The Talbot Hotel Wexford directly on www.talbotwexford.ie or call +353 53 912 2566.


The Bullring, Wexford 053 9122687 | www.corcoransmenswear.ie

S H O E S T Y L E I N T E R N AT I O N A L THE BULLRING WEXFORD “I used to c ome for the opera and get a pair of shoes... Now I c ome for the shoes and take in an opera” - Opera festival customer

Irish National Opera


AIDA 24, 27, 29 NOVEMBER & 01 DECEMBER 2018 BORD GÁIS ENERGY THEATRE TIME 7.30PM TICKETS €15/€36/€51/€66/€86 BOOKING bordgaisenergytheatre.ie 0818 719 377



Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens

Bespoke B&B serving Organic dining in the evening. Indulge in a leisurely swim in the indoor heated pool. Aromatherapy, jacuzzi, sauna, gym & tennis court.

Gardens & Café open 10am to 5pm. Walled & Woodland Garden. Fairy village with Monks, Vikings and Normans - all presented to weave their intriguing story.

Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens, Great Island, Campile, Y34TH58, Co. Wexford (15km south of New Ross) T: 051 388109 • E: stay@kilmokea.com • www.kilmokea.com

Marlfield House is long established as Wexford’s most charming country house, renowned for its luxurious surroundings and delicious food. Filled with beautiful paintings and antiques it is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Enjoy Sunday lunch or dinner in the Conservatory Dining Room with its frescoed walls or a lighter lunch or afternoon tea in the elegant library. We continue our long association with the Wexford Festival Opera and offer special Wexford Opera Packages.

The Duck Terrace Restaurant, opened in 2015, is located in restored courtyard buildings including a coach house and potting shed situated on the grounds of Marlfield. The space comprises a relaxed restaurant with blazing fire, café bar and glasshouse with views of the manor house and garden and terrace for coffees, cocktails, lunch or dinner. The food is modern fusion and Italian and is best described as delicious and moreish. Light dishes including antipasta, sharing boards, flatbreads, salads, steaks, fish and much more. The Duck is open every day excluding 22nd and 23rd October during the Wexford Opera Festival for morning coffee, lunch, cocktails and dinner.

Gorey, Co Wexford | Tel: 053 94 21124 | Fax: 053 94 21572 Email: info@marlfieldhouse.ie | www.marlfieldhouse.com


Open ‘til 5pm 6 days a week (053) 912 3909 info@wexfordcreditunion.ie www.wexfordcreditunion.ie

Take a guided tour at the world’s oldest intact working Lighthouse

• • • • •

Hook Lighthouse is a gem on Ireland’s Ancient East located on the tip of the Hook Peninsula in Wexford, Ireland.

Open all year Enjoy the Cafe and Gift Shop Free parking and an extensive picnic area Free Wifi Relax by the Sea and look out for seals, dolphins and even whales!

For information & bookings:

051 397 055 / 051 397 054


Named ‘The Flashiest Lighthouse in the World’ by

MEMBERS EXPERIENCE MORE Together our members make up a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, with a shared love of music and culture. Their collective enthusiasm and engagement enhances the work of NCH. We invite you to become a part of this remarkable group of music lovers. Become a Friend from €115* Friends enjoy exclusive membership benefits, such as: • • •

up to 30% discount on concert tickets priority booking on selected concerts a dedicated booking line

• •

special events access to bespoke cultural tours at home and abroad.

Join as a Friend today by calling the NCH Box Office on 01 417 0000. Email friends@nch.ie or visit nch.ie for more information. *€115 direct debit; or €125 cash, cheque or credit card

G 9 IN 01 EN G 2 OP N RI SP

Estate, Museum & Gardens

Today you can meander through beautiful grounds, take lakeside walks, visit the Irish Agricultural Museum, or just soak in the exquisite atmosphere of this historic place. The Castle will open to the public in 2019 for tours and trails, family events and a new visitor centre, cafĂŠ and shop. The grounds are open all year round, please check our website for admission times and special events. Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford.

Email: johnstowncastle@irishheritagetrust.ie or visit www.johnstowncastle.ie IRISH HERITAGE TRUST Bringing Places to Life




Book your next staycation at Maldron Hotel Wexford 2 night




per room

1 night packages

The cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East • • • •



per room

Full use of leisure centre which includes swimming pool & gym Free carparking Newly refurbished bedrooms Sign up to Make it Maldron to receive a further €10 off every booking per night +353 53 9172000 sales.wexford@maldronhotels.com maldronhotelwexford.com

OPEN SUNDAYS & BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 48 The Bull Ring, Wexford. Telephone: 053-9122175 dianadonnelly@eircom.net

OPEN SUNDAYS & BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 48 The Bull Ring, Wexford. Telephone: 053-9122175 dianadonnelly@eircom.net

OPEN SUNDAYS & BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 48 The Bull Ring, Wexford. Telephone: 053-9122175 dianadonnelly@eircom.net



















For updates visit


www.westcorkmusic.ie Image: Viviane Hagner [Photo: Koelln]

Killiane Castle Country House & Farm, Drinagh, Wexford. T: +353 9158885 E: info@killianecastle.com






The Yard, restaurant partner to Wexford Festival Opera.



Enjoy Wexford’s most stunning views at The Riverbar. Extensive menu available from midday to 10pm

Tel. 053 9123611 www.riverbankhousehotel.com


DAILY OPERA (MENU) PROGRAMME FROM 12PM Lobsters, Oysters, Mussels, Crab, Prawns, Shrimps, Smoked Salmon, Fresh Salmon, Trout, Dover Sole, Turbot, Bass, Monktail, Scallops and lots more for the Landlubbers FOR DIRECTIONS – FOLLOW THE CROWD

Rosslare Harbour

Tagoat Wexford




Sunday Lunch: 12.00 – 4.00pm

Carnsore Point

Carne, Co. Wexford, Ireland Phone: 053-9131110 Fax: 053-9131401

For information or to make a booking, visit www.sebz.ie

Wednesday to Saturday: 12.30 – 9.00pm


S TA N V I L L E , B A R N T O W N , C O. W E X F O R D 053 913 4016 info@sebz.ie SEBZ.IE

Open Daily for Opera Festival Lunch & Dinner

BOOKING ESSENTIAL - 053 912 1616



Festival Calendar Friday 19 October

Wednesday 24 October

Opening Ceremony

1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital

3.30 p.m. Don Pasquale

8 p.m. L’oracolo/Mala vita

Post Opera Friends’ Party Saturday 20 October

10 a.m. Friends’ Welcome Reception

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. Il bravo

Thursday 25 October

10.30 a.m. Dr Tom Walsh Lecture

1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital

1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital

2.15 p.m. Friends’ Lunch

3.30 p.m. Don Pasquale

3.30 p.m. Bernstein à la carte

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. Dinner at Eight

8 p.m. L’oracolo/Mala vita

Sunday 21 October

Friday 26 October

1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital

10 a.m. Meet the Creators: Conversation with composer and librettist of Dinner at Eight

11 a.m. Festival Service, St Iberius Church

12 p.m. Bernstein à la carte

4 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

5 p.m. Il bravo

Monday 22 October No performances

3.30 p.m. La fanciulla del West

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. Dinner at Eight

8.30 p.m. Play: Holy Mary Post Opera Friends’ Party* Saturday 27 October

10 a.m. Friends’ Welcome Reception

11 a.m. Piano Recital

Tuesday 23 October

1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital

1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital

3.30 p.m. Don Pasquale

3.30 p.m. La fanciulla del West

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. Il bravo

8 p.m. Dinner at Eight

8.30 p.m. Play: Holy Mary

Festival Calendar

Sunday 28 October

Friday 2 November

11 a.m. Festival Mass, Bride Street Church

1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital

11 a.m. Bernstein à la carte

3.30 p.m. La fanciulla del West

2 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

3 p.m. L’oracolo/Mala vita

8 p.m. Il bravo

8.30 p.m. Gala Concert Monday 29 October No performances Tuesday 30 October 1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital 2.15 p.m. Friends’ Lunch 3.30 p.m. La fanciulla del West

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. Il bravo

Wednesday 31 October 1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital 3.30 p.m. Don Pasquale

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. L’oracolo/Mala vita

8.30 p.m. Play: Holy Mary Post Opera Friends’ Party Saturday 3 November

10 a.m. Friends’ Welcome Reception

12 p.m. Recital – Rachel Kelly 3.30 p.m. Don Pasquale

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. L’oracolo/Mala vita

8.30 p.m. Play: Holy Mary Sunday 4 November

3 p.m. Chorus & Orchestra Concert

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. Dinner at Eight

Thursday 1 November 1.05 p.m. Lunchtime Recital 3.30 p.m. Bernstein à la carte 5.15 p.m. Friends’ Buffet

7 p.m. Pre-Opera Talk

8 p.m. Dinner at Eight





Index of Advertisers AIB 116

Johnstown Castle


Arachas 100

Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa


Artramon Farm

Inside Back Cover

Killiane Castle


Bank of Ireland


Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens


Blackwater Valley Opera Festival


The King is Back



The Lobster Pot


Cairn – Donnybrook Gardens


Maldron Hotel


Ceadogán Rugmakers


Marlfield House


Cístín Eile


Brian McGuire Exhibition


Clayton Whites Hotel


The Merrion Hotel

Corcoran’s Menswear


National Concert Hall


The Creative Hub


National Opera House


Credit Suisse



PwC 106

Danone 72

Rathaspeck Manor


Datapac 102

Riverbank House Hotel


Diana Donnelly

RTÉ lyric fm


Ecclesiastical 73

Sebz Restaurant


Elavon 70

Shoe Style International


EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)


The Silk Connection



Talbot Hotel Wexford

109 139

Fáilte Ireland

133, Back Cover

Ferrycarrig Hotel


Talbot Suites

Friends of Chester Beatty


Visa 74

Gas Networks Ireland


Volvo 104

Greenacres 114

West Cork Chamber Music Festival


Hook Lighthouse


Westgate Design


Independent News & Media


Wexford County Council


Insight Vacations


Wexford Credit Union


Ireland’s Ancient East


Wexford Fringe


Irish National Opera


The Yard


Italian Institute of Culture




»Don Schufro«Suite





Round off your opera experience at Artramon. Countess Walderdorff’s grade I listed manor house with its three suites, two double rooms, and a single room is only 6 km from the National Opera House.

Golf courses, the sea bass fishing and the autumn game hunting on Artramon Estate. We offer the ideal opportunity for your individual holiday. To find out more, please contact our booking office in Germany: +49(0)4532 21500

We will provide you a free shuttle service for evening performances. For further information and ticket pre sale take a look at www.wexfordopera.com

Artramon-Farm Y35 PNF7 Castlebridge Co. Wexford, Rep. of Ireland Phone: 053 9159395 We look forward to your visit.

Ireland and Artramon-Farm, Castlebridge, are worth a visit in any season. Enjoy the unique Curracloe Beach, the exquisite

»Sophia Gloria«

»Don Schufro«




OPEN SUNDAYS & BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 48 The Bull Ring, Wexford. Telephone: 053-9122175 dianadonnelly@eircom.net

OPEN SUNDAYS & BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 48 The Bull Ring, Wexford. Telephone: 053-9122175 dianadonnelly@eircom.net

OPEN SUNDAYS & BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 48 The Bull Ring, Wexford. Telephone: 053-9122175 dianadonnelly@eircom.net

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Wexford Festival Opera Programme Book  

Official programme book for 2018 Wexford Festival Opera (October 19 – November 4, 2018).

Wexford Festival Opera Programme Book  

Official programme book for 2018 Wexford Festival Opera (October 19 – November 4, 2018).