Wexford Festival Opera announces 2023 season

Women and War
70 events, 13 days
24 October – 5 November 2023

The programme for the 72nd Wexford Festival Opera has been announced by Artistic Director
Rosetta Cucchi. Centring around the theme of Women and War, the three mainstage operas have
been confirmed at Zoraida di Granata by G. Donizetti 1822; L’aube rouge by Camille Erlanger 1911;
La Ciociara by Marco Tutino 2015.

Each chosen work highlights a different aspect of the struggles which women face; in wars, fighting
prejudice and in making women’s voices heard.

Zoraida di Granata by G. Donizetti 1822
A modern premiere, Zoraida di Granata follows the experience of a woman drawn into war against
her will, in a battle to save her love. Irish soprano Claudia Boyle will sing the title role with Konu Kim
singing Almuzir. Bruno Ravella will direct with Diego Ceretta conducting the Orchestra of Wexford
Festival Opera.

Donizetti wrote two versions of this opera, one in 1822 and the second in 1824, (the only existing
recording of the Zoraida di Granata by Opera Rara (1990) gives an idea of the two versions). Zoraida
di Granata will be presented as a co-production with the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo who plan to
stage the 1824 version of the work in 2024.
24, 27, 31 October, 3 November 2023, National Opera House.

L’aube rouge by Camille Erlanger 1911
A respected composer while alive, Camille Erlanger was the winner of the Prix de Rome and a
student of Léo Delibes. Over time however his work has been neglected.

This tragic opera follows the story of Olga, who strives to save her nihilistic and blinkered partner
Serge, who believes that change comes only through violence. Their inevitable fate plays out against
a beautifully nuanced score.

Giorgi Manoshvili, who sang Calibino in La Tempesta (WFO 2022), will sing Kouraguine. Ella
Marchment will direct with conductor Guillaume Tourniaire in the pit.
25, 29 October, 1, 4 November 2023, National Opera House.
La Ciociara (Two Women) by Marco Tutino 2015
Premiered in 2015, commissioned by San Francisco Opera, La Ciociara is based on true events at the
end of the Second World War. The orchestration will be revised for the Wexford Festival Opera by
composer Marco Tutino.

Based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, the film version entitled La Ciociara (1960), directed by
celebrated Italian director Vittorio De Sica starred Sophia Loren. A contemporary opera depicting the
devastating impact of the end of the second world war in Italy, La Ciociara follows a mother trying to
shield and protect her daughter from the horrors of war in the aftermath of the Battle of Monte
Cassino. Mother and daughter will be sung by Na’ama Goldman and Jade Phoenix (Wexford Factory
alumni), respectively. WFO Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi will direct with WFO Principal Guest
Conductor Francesco Cilluffo, leading the orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera.
26, 28 October, 2, 5, November 2023, National Opera House
L’italiana in Algeri by Rossini 1813

The 4th iteration of the Wexford Factory will commence September 2023, when the singers and
repetiteurs from this year’s Factory will embark on their second year of this professional
development academy, nurturing young Irish and Irish-based artists. The Factory will once again be
sponsored by PwC. The Factory artists will perform L’italiana in Algeri by Rossini in WFO 2023.
In this popular opera L’italiana in Algeri, a strong woman outwits her kidnapper with both her
intelligence and charm.
28 October, 2 November 2023, National Opera House
POCKET OPERA | Opera Beag 
Both pocket operas in 2023 continue the theme of women and war. As part of the Festival’s
commitment to nurturing a new generation of creative artists, WFO has invited applications from
young directors and set designers. Two directors and one set designer (who are Irish or based in
Ireland) will be chosen to develop innovative stage concepts for the two pocket operas.

  • La fille du régiment by Gaetano Donizetti 1840
    This well-loved comic opera follows the story of an orphan girl ‘adopted’ by a regiment of soldiers.
    25, 27, 31 October, 2, 4 November 2023, Jerome Hynes Theatre.
  • Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini 1918
    Puccini’s beautiful score tells of one woman’s ultimate sacrifice when caught in circumstances
    enforced upon her by both her family and society.
    26, 28, 30 October, 1, 3 November 2023, Wexford Arts Centre.

Community Opera
Wexford Festival Opera was founded by local volunteers and even today the local community are
hugely involved in so many aspects of the festival. In 2023 the Festival will present a promenade
community opera where non-professional people from the local area will have the chance to work
and perform with professional artists. Full details and how to apply to be part of it, will be
announced in the coming months.  

WFO is delighted to announce that Conor Mitchell will return to Wexford in 2023 in his second year
as Artist-in-Residence. This will include the presentation of a newly commissioned chamber piece.

Lunchtime Recitals
There will be 10 lunchtime recitals highlighting artists from the Festival.

Gala Concert
Details to be released in 2023.
29 October 2023, National Opera House.
Choral Concert
Continuing the collaboration which began earlier this year when they performed as part of the WFO
Stabat Mater concert at the NCH, the New Dublin Voices will feature in a special Festival choral
29 October 2023, National Opera House.
Impossible Interviews
Michael Dervan’s next Impossible Interview will be with Florence Nightingale.
Dr Tom Walsh Lecture
Lecture to be given by Emer O’ Kelly.
Pop-up Events
A daily programme of free and entertaining Pop-Up Events will take the festival to the people. 
Performances featuring music, drama and dance will be presented in eclectic and unexpected
settings across Wexford town.

Box Office 2023 Festival:
Priority booking opens on 26 th April, with Friends booking opening on 3 rd May.
Public booking opens on 10 th May 2023
www.wexfordopera.com / +353 53 912 2144