Wexford Opera Festival
Founded in 1951, and now in its 62nd year, this intimate opera festival, dedicated to producing rarely performed or unjustly neglected opera repertoire, is a chance to hear talented young singers who are not yet well known on the international stage. It offers an innovative programme, bringing lesser-known works to a wider audience, and in 2008 sold more than 29,000 tickets.
Held over the course of 12 days, it features three evening opera productions and a host of daytime performances such as ShortWork operas, recitals, concerts and talks.
Until 2008 the festival was held in the Theatre Royal, but the new Wexford Opera House opened in October 2008. The modern Opera House, with a seating capacity of 772, is built on the site of the old Theatre Royal and integrated into the town's medieval centre. Its copper-clad fly tower, which jostles with the spires of neighbouring churches, has made a dramatic impact on the Wexford skyline. Wexford Opera House has also won several Architectural Awards including ones from the RIAI, RIBA & AIA.
The main auditorium, which has been designed specifically for opera, is inspired by the curved form of the cello. From the foyer, opera-goers can enjoy views over Wexford Harbour and bridge.