Wexford Festival Opera Named Best in World

Wexford Festival Opera. Photo: Patrick Redmond
Wexford Festival Opera. Photo: Patrick Redmond

By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
June / July 2017

Ireland’s famed Wexford Festival Opera won the prestigious “Best Festival” prize at this year’s International Opera Awards at the London Coliseum, home of the London Opera, in May. The festival, held every fall and now in its 66th year, beat out other shortlisted international festivals like Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Lyon Festival in France; Festival Verdi in Parma, Italy; Garsington Opera in the U.K.; and Spoleto Festival in the U.S.

The International Opera Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in world opera and attracts all leading opera professionals from around the globe.

“A group of opera enthusiasts from the rural seaside town of Wexford started out with a clear, ambitious, but risky vision 66 years ago to put on a festival that explored the neglected and often obscure opera repertoire,” Wexford Festival Opera artistic director David Alger, who took over the position in 2005, said when accepting the award.

“With the unstinting support from the local community, as well as the Arts Council of Ireland, the festival has grown from strength to strength and now performs in a new state-of-the-art theater, the National Opera House, which allows us more scope and opportunity. This award validates the founders conviction and determination; a winning combination of a shared vision, artistic quality and a warm welcome, truly second to none.” ♦

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