Treat yourself to the joys of Wexford Festival Opera

For the perfect autumn treat, combine the delights of the world’s most important festival of rare opera with the charms of a beautiful Viking harbour town.

This autumn, the Wexford Festival Opera (25 October – 5 November) will once again transform a charming harbour town in Ireland’s Ancient East into a musical paradise.

The renowned festival, now in its 72nd year, will this year explore the theme of Women and War, with each performance highlighting a different aspect of the struggles women face – in conflict, fighting prejudice and in making their voices heard.

Wexford’s state-of-the-art National Opera House will stage the three main operas: a modern premiere of Zoraida di Granata by G Donizetti (1822); a rare French opera L’Aube Rouge by Camille Erlanger (1911); and a new orchestration of La Ciociara (2015).

There will also be two Pocket Operas: La fille du régiment by Gaetano Donizetti (1840) and Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini (1918), which unusually has an all-female cast.

For the first time the festival will present an opera that features a combined professional and community cast, enabling local people to be part of the performance. They will perform Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in the Grain Store near the town’s quay.

Another first will be a performance by New Dublin Voices, a leading Irish chamber choir who will present Jonathan Dove’s The Passing of the Year and Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir.

Lalla-Roukh, Wexford Festival Opera 2022, Co Wexford.

Festival favourites, including lunchtime recitals in St Iberius Church and the National Opera House, also make a return as do the popular pop-up events. These involve festival artists appearing in spontaneous music and theatrical moments in unexpected locations around Wexford.

A highlight of the festival each year is the Gala Concert, which features a collection of favourite party pieces from members of the Festival Company.

Alongside the music there will be a programme of talks, lectures, film screenings and the exuberant opening night fireworks on Wexford’s river front.

With its maze of medieval streets, Wexford is a picturesque and fascinating town to visit. And beyond the town, there is much more to explore in County Wexford including gorgeous beaches, imposing stately manors and castles, ancient islands and the immersive Irish National Heritage Park.

Booking for Wexford Festival Opera is now open.