24, 27, 30 October, 2 November For booking information visit www.wexfordopera.com A behind the scenes look at the upcoming production of L'arlesiana by Franceso Cilèa at the 61st Wexford Festival Opera with behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with David Angus (Conductor), Rosetta Cucchi (Director), Dmitry Golovnin (Federico), Mariangela Sicilia (Vivetta) and Christopher Robertson (Baldassarre). Love pervades this story of a young man, Federico, and his family and friends in the countryside near Arles in the south of France. But this is no rural idyll, this is real life. The passions and emotions of Federico, his mother Rosa, Vivetta, who has always loved him, and Metifio, his rival in love, have a powerful universal resonance. Cilèa’s 1897 opera depicts the superstitions surrounding a handicapped child, Federico’s obsessive love for a mysterious woman, his jealousy of Metifio, his mother’s all-consuming love for him, and the shy Vivetta, who loves Federico and suffers agonies of misery over him. At the centre of it all is l’Arlesiana, the woman from Arles. She never appears but – unwittingly, perhaps – pulls the strings as they all dance to her tune.+ More details
Some behind the scenes footage from week 2 of rehearsals of Wexford Festival Opera 2012 24 October - 4 November 2012 www.wexfordopera.com+ More details
A quick glimpse behind the scenes as the company completes it's first full week of rehearsals for Wexford Festival Opera 2012.+ More details
Best Available Seating 25 October - Booking on www,wexfordopera.com A behind the scenes look at the upcoming production of Le Roi malgrè lui at the 61st Wexford Festival Opera; with behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with Jean-Luc Tingaud (Conductor), Thaddeus Strassberger (Director), Liam Bonner (Henri de Valois), Mercedes Arcuri (Minka), Luigi Boccia (Comte de Nangis) and Nathalie Paulin (Alexina). Being king isn’t easy but it’s even harder when you are a dissolute French aristocrat sent by your domineering mother – Queen Catherine of Medici, no less – to rule over an unwelcoming foreign populace! Feeling exiled in Poland, Henri, our reluctant king, is consumed by nostalgia for all things French. The frigid weather, the dreary fashion, the drab palace – none of it is to his liking! As he attempts not to be crowned King of Poland the production takes a rapturous ride through all things French, from Louis XVI’s glittering royal court at Versailles to the long sultry summers of St Tropez and the sophisticated nightlife of Monte Carlo in the 1960s. Written in 1884, Le Roi malgré lui (‘The King in Spite of Himself’) had an ill-starred stage history, but its lively and melodic musical score was a success from the outset and was greatly admired by Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky. With vocal fireworks, comedic cunning, an exuberant chorus and lively dances, all driven by a clever orchestral score, this production captures the essence of Chabrier’s satirically witty comic opera. Tickets: €25 - €130+ More details
Wexford Festival Opera, 22, 28, 31 October, 4 November. www.wexfordopera.com An old tale with contemporary relevance: a father who wants power and wealth rather than a happy marriage for his son tries to change the course of events through murder. True love that reaches beyond death and outwits evil. Roman Statkowski is regarded as one of the most important Polish composers before Szymanowski. He was a composition teacher in Warsaw when he entered a competition in 1903 to compose an opera inspired by Antoni Malczewski’s 1825 epic Romantic poem Maria (Ukrainian Tale). Statkowski wrote his own libretto as well as composing the music, and won the competition with Maria. Although it was successfully performed in Warsaw in 1906 it has been performed only a few times since then. The music is in the grand symphonic style of the 19th century Russian masters, but with an almost Wagnerian use of leitmotif that connects characters, action, emotion and memory. Statkowski studied with Rubinstein at St Petersburg and was influenced by Mussorgsky, Richard Strauss and Pfitzner. The love that Maria and her husband Waclaw share is opposed by Waclaw’s father who causes Maria to be murdered in order that Waclaw may marry a woman of much greater wealth and status. This is contrasted with the love that Maria’s father has for his child. Waclaw determines to kill his father for ordering his wife’s death, but Maria’s ghost appears, to stay his hand. Waclaw kills himself instead, and musically this enabled Statkowski to transform the gothic ‘Ukrainian Tale’ of the original poem into an operatic Liebestod, with Waclaw dying for love.+ More details
Treasure is found in the most unlikely places…. For sixty years now many hundreds of thousands of people have made a pilgrimage to Wexford Festival Opera in search of buried operatic treasure. Wexford is a charming seaside town on Ireland’s southeast coast and since 1951 this town has hosted what has become known as one of the world’s most remarkable festivals. Wexford Festival Opera prides itself in giving new life to unjustly neglected operas, introducing artists and audiences to the forgotten masterpieces. And it does this in high quality productions which annually delight both critics and audiences alike. But far from being satisfied with presenting three productions each year, also on offer is a packed programme of morning events, lunchtime concerts, afternoon ShortWorks and recitals and late night revues. As if this wasn’t enough, a vibrant Fringe Festival offers everything from art exhibitions through to singing and swinging pubs And throughout all this, there is the remarkable camaraderie engendered by the warmth and intimacy of Wexford town itself. From the brand new Wexford Opera House seating just over 770, the 350 strong volunteer corps ready to welcome you to Wexford, to the hotels, bars and restaurants along the High, Main, and side streets of this Viking town, Wexford is a town which is truly taken over by the Festival. There’s something in the air that quickens everyone’s pulse – a common heartbeat of expansive good feeling and heightened sensibility that brings people back to Wexford again and again. The Wexford Festival Opera has been running since 1951, playing a central role in the cultural life of Ireland, in the world of Opera and Arts internationally. From small and humble beginnings it has achieved world-wide success and critical acclaim by demonstrating passion, innovation and a willingness to lead audiences and artists into neglected territories to explore the rich vein of operatic work worldwide.+ More details
Since David Agler’s appointment as Artistic Director in 2005, he has set out to achieve three major artistic goals: the formation of the Wexford Festival Orchestra, established in 2006, the opening of the Wexford Opera House in 2008 and the establishment of a Wexford Festival Chorus, made up of rising young talent from Ireland and across Europe. Commenting on his latest artistic development, David Agler said, “I am particularly satisfied that the Festival will now have a chorus to call its own. Singers, directors and conductors come and go. The musical backbone of any fine opera house is its chorus and orchestra. We have now achieved this goal in Wexford and I would like to think that the establishment of the Wexford Festival Chorus and Orchestra will be my lasting contribution to the Festival.”+ More details
26, 29 October, 1, 4 November Booking info at www.wexfordopera.com A behind the scenes look at the upcoming production of A Village Romeo and Juliet by Frederick Delius at the 61st Wexford Festival Opera with behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with Rory McDonald (Conductor), Stephen Medcalf (Director), Jessica Muirhead (Vreli), John Bellemer (Sali) and David Stout (The Dark Fiddler). Written between 1899 and 1901, A Village Romeo and Juliet was the fourth of Delius’s six operas and is generally regarded as his finest. Sali and Vreli, his Romeo and Juliet, have the misfortune to live in a small village community in Switzerland, the children of farmers who are at loggerheads over the ownership of a worthless piece of land that by rights should belong to a man known as the Dark Fiddler. Forbidden by their feuding fathers to marry each other, Sali and Vreli are forced to run away together. The Dark Fiddler tries to persuade them to join him and his friends and live together freely. They reject this lifestyle but their guilt at betraying their families leads them to choose a brief, glorious, moment of love, which culminates in their exultant acceptance of death. Delius’s passionate engagement with the story inspired him to compose rapturous, rhapsodic music that depicts the defencelessness and innocence of the lovers, their youthful idealism and the intense expression of their love. The opera includes the celebrated orchestral interlude, The Walk to the Paradise Garden.+ More details
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