Wexford Festival Opera 2023

Public Booking for 72nd Wexford Festival Opera opens on 10 th May 2023
70 events, 13 days from 24th October to 5th November 2023

General booking for Wexford Festival Opera opens on Wednesday 10th May. The 2023 festival promises a packed programme comprising of three mainstage opera rarities, two pocket operas, the Wexford Factory opera, 11 lunchtime recitals, an immersive community opera – a first for WFO, a choral recital with New Dublin Voices, the annual gala concert of festival favourites, film screenings, an impossible interview, the Dr Tom Walsh lecture which asks Are Women Peacemakers?, a myriad of joyous free pop-up events all around the town and an exuberant opening night.

  • The programme for the 72nd festival centres around the theme of Women and War, with each chosen work highlighting a different aspect of the struggles women face; in conflict, fighting prejudice and in making their voices heard

The three mainstage operas are:

  • A modern premiere of Zoraida di Granata by G. Donizetti 1822 in co production with the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo
  • French rarity L’Aube rouge by Camille Erlanger 1911
  • La Ciociara 2015, in a new orchestration for WFO by original composer Marco Tutino
  • The return of the Wexford Factory – including performances of  L’italiana in Algeri
  • Pocket Operas/ Opera Beag: La fille du régiment by Gaetano Donizetti 1840and Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini 1918
  • For the first time WFO will present an opera which features a professional and community cast, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, set in Wexford and performed in the Grain Store, Wexford.
Claudia Boyle (c) Mark Stedman

Zoraida di Granata by Gaetano Donizetti 1822

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 on its 200th anniversary in 2024.

24, 27, 31 October, 3 November 2023, O’Reilly Theatre, National Opera House.

Creative Team includes:  

Conductor                                                           Diego Ceretta
Stage Director                                                     Bruno Ravella
Set & Costume Designer                                  Gary McCann
Lighting Designer                                               Daniele Naldi

Cast includes:       

Almuzir                                                                 Konu Kim
Almanzor                                                              Julian Henao Gonzalez
Zoraida                                                                 Claudia Boyle
Abenamet                                                            Matteo Mezzaro
Ines                                                                       Rachel Croash
Ali Zegri                                                                Matteo Guerzè

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 and this staging will be a rediscovery of Erlanger’s work.

This tragic opera, set in France and Russia, follows the story of Olga, who strives to save her blinkered partner Serge, who has abandoned morality and supports the violent nihilists, believing that change can be forced through bloodshed. The lovers inevitably meet a tragic fate.

Americantenor Andrew Morstein will make his WFO and Irish debut singing Serge with Giorgi Manoshvili, who sang Calibano in La Tempesta (2022), singing fellow nihilist, Kouraguine. Ella Marchment will return to WFO to direct with conductor Guillaume Tourniaire, who conducted Le Songe d’une nuit d’été in 2021, in the pit.

25, 29 October, 1, 4 November 2023, O Reilly Theatre, National Opera House.

Creative Team includes:               

Conductor                                                       Guillaume Tourniaire
Stage Director                                                 Ella Marchment
Assistant Conductor                                      Christophe Manien
Set & Costume Designer                              Holly Piggott
Choreographer                                               Luisa Baldinetti
Lighting Designer                                           Daniele Naldi

Cast includes:

Olga                                                                 Andreea Soare                 
Natacha/Soeur Therese                                Emma Jüngling
Sonia                                                                Ava Dodd
La Comtesse/Soeur Marthe                        Dominica Williams
Serge                                                                Andrew Morstein
Kouraguine                                                      Giorgi Manoshvili
Pierre de Ruys                                                Philippe-Nicolas Martin
Le Grand duc Gregorief                                Rory Musgrave
Vassili/ Un chanteur Napolitan                  Thomas Birch
Dame 1                                                            Ami Hewitt
Dame 2                                                            Leah Redmond
Dame 4                                                            Judith Le Breully
Tatiana                                                             Hannah O’Brien
Le General Lovarof                                        Thomas Bennett
Un Capitaine/ Un Interne                             Andril Khariamov
Danilo                                                               Rory Lynch

La Ciociara (Two Women) by Marco Tutino 2015

Premiered and commissioned by San Francisco Opera in 2015, La Ciociara will be performed in a new and revised orchestration for WFO by original composer Marco Tutino.

The opera is based on a novel following true events by Italian Alberto Moravia, Tutino’s contemporary opera follows a mother trying to shield her daughter from the horrors of warfare in the aftermath of the Battle of Monte Cassino at the end of the Second World War. The iconic 1960 film adaptation, which was directed by celebrated Italian director Vittorio De Sica and starred Sophia Loren in an Oscar-winning portrayal, will be screened on the day of each performance.

Mother and daughter will be sung by Na’ama Goldman, who returns to the festival after singing Salome in 2014 and Jade Phoenix (Wexford Factory alumni) who sang Ariele in La Tempesta in 2022. WFO’s Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi will direct with WFO Principal Guest Conductor Francesco Cilluffo, conducting the Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera.

26, 28 October, 2, 5, November 2023, O’Reilly Theatre, National Opera House.

Two Women film screenings: 26, 28 October, 2, 5, November 2023, Jerome Hynes Theatre, National Opera House.

Creative Team includes:  

Conductor                                                            Francesco Cilluffo
Stage Director                                                      Rosetta Cucchi
Assistant Director                                               Stefania Panighini
Set Designer                                                        Tiziano Santi
Costume Designer                                            Claudia Pernigotti
Lighting Designer                                                Daniele Naldi 

Cast includes:       

Cesira                                                                    Na’ama Goldman
Rosetta                                                                  Jade Phoenix
Michele                                                                 Leonardo Caimi
Giovanni                                                              Devid Cecconi
Fedor Von Bock                                                  Alexander Kiechle
John Buckley                                                       Allen Boxer
Pasquale Sciortino                                             Conor Prendiville
Maria Sciortino/Una donna fuori scena      Erin Fflur
Lena                                                                      Karina Demurova
Un Ragazzo del Popolo                                     Julian Henao Gonzalez
Una Popolana                                                     Arlene Belli
Uomo Fiori Scena                                              Jack Dolan
Soldato Marocchino 1                                      Will Frost
Soldato Marocchino 2                                      Thomas Bennett
Soldato Marocchino 3                                      Jack Dolan


The 4th iteration of the Wexford Factory will commence September 2023, when the singers and repetiteurs will embark on their second year of this professional development academy which nurtures young Irish and Irish-based artists.  The Factory will once again be sponsored by PwC.

L’italiana in Algeri by Gioachinio Rossini 1813

The members of the Wexford Factory will perform Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri as part of WFO 2023.

In this popular opera L’italiana in Algeri, a strong woman outwits her kidnapper with both her intelligence and charm. The role of Isabella will be shared by Factory artist Deirdre Arratoon and Marta Pluda, with former factory artist, Georgi Manoshvili, singing Mustafa, along with other current Factory members.

28 October, 2, 5 November 2023, O’Reilly Theatre, National Opera House.

Creative Team:

Music Director                                 Giuseppe Montesano
Stage Director                                  Conor Hanratty

Isabella                                              Deirdre Arratoon / Marta Pluda
Lindoro                                              Víctor Simón Jiménez Moral / Chris Mosz
Taddeo                                               Eoin Foran / William Kyle
Mustafa                                             Georgi Manoshvili
Elvira                                                  Hannah O’Brien / Leah Redmond / Ami Hewitt
Zulma                                                Sarah Luttrell / Emily Hogarty
Haly                                                   Peter Lidbetter

POCKET OPERA | Opera Beag 

Both pocket operas in 2023 continue the female theme. 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, who are Irish or based in Ireland, to develop stage concepts for the two 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, 26, 28, 30 October, 1, 3, 4 November 2023, Jerome Hynes Theatre, National Opera House.

Creative Team:                              

Director                                             Heather Hadrill
Designer                                            Lisa Krugel          


Marie                                                 Isabel Garcia Araujo/Corina Ignat
Tonio                                                  Chris Mosz
Sergeant sulpice                             James Wafer
The Marquise of Berkenfield       Karina Demurova
Hortensius                                         Thomas Bennett
A Corporal                                         Meilir Jones
A peasant                                          Stephen Walker

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.

25, 27, 29, 31 October, 1, 2, 4 November 2023, Jerome Hynes Theatre, National Opera House.

Creative Team:                              

Music Director                                 Giorgio Alonzo
Director                                            Grace Morgan
Designer                                           Lisa Krugel


Suor Angelica                                   Emma Walsh
La Zia principessa                           Grace Maria Wain
La Badessa                                        Dominica Wlliams
La Suora Zelatrice                           Emma Jüngling
La Maestra delle novizie               Erin Fflur
Sour Genoviveffa                           Jennifer Lee
Suor Osmina                                    Deirdre Higgins
Sour Dolcina                                     Zita Syme
La Suora Infermiera                       Arlene Belli

Community Opera – Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini 1918

WFO reflects the town in which we live and work, through audiences, artists, and the stories we tell. This year we have developed a new community production based on Puccini’s ever popular short opera Gianni Schicchi.

A group of local people will take part in a series of skills-building workshops throughout the year and, together with artists of the Wexford Factory, will create and present a performance for the non-theatrical space of The Grain Store at Stonebridge, just off Wexford’s Quay front. This new version of Gianni Schicchi has been developed with dialogue written by Timothy Knapman, who so skilfully recreated the dialogue for Lalla-Roukh in 2022. The much-loved opera will be presented as an immersive performance and the audience will move with the action, experiencing the opera by being a part of it themselves. 

24, 27, 30 October & 3 November 2023. The Grain Store at Stonebridge, Wexford.

Creative Team:                                         Wexford Collective


Gianni Schicchi                                         Rory Musgrave
Lauretta                                                    Federica Raja
Zita                                                           Deirdre Aratoon / Emily Hogarty / Sarah Luttrell
Rinuccio                                                    Conor Prediville
Gherardo                                                   Vladimir Sima
Nella                                                         Hannah O’Brien / Ami Hewitt / Leah Redmon / Corina Ignat
Betto di Signa                                           Billy Kyle
Simone                                                      Peter Lidbetter
Marco                                                        Eoin Foran
La Ciesca                                                    Emily Hogarty / Sarah Luttrell

Gala Concert

The unmissable Gala Concert will feature artists from the 2023 festival; a highlight of each year the concert features favourite party pieces from members of the festival company conducted by and performed by the Wexford Festival Orchestra.

Performance date: 29 October 2023, O’Reilly Theatre, National Opera House.

Choral Concert

New Dublin Voices is a leading Irish chamber choir founded in 2005 by conductor Bernie Sherlock. Presenting innovative and exciting concert programmes that range in style and period from medieval to contemporary. The Concert, held at will include Jonathan Dove’s The Passing of the Year and Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir.

Performance date: 30 October 2023, Rowe Street Church, Wexford.

Lunchtime Recitals

There will be 11 lunchtime recitals across two locations, St Iberius Church and the National Opera House, highlighting individual artists from the festival. Programme details to follow.

Performance dates:

25, 26, 27, 28, 31 October & 2 November 2023 | St Iberius Church

29, 30 October & 1, 3, 4 November2023 | O’Reilly Theatre, National Opera House.

Impossible Interview with Michael Dervan

British nurse, statistician, and social reformer who was the foundational philosopher of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, spent hours in the wards tending to wounded soldiers. Her nightly rounds established her image as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’.

Michael Dervan hosts another impossible interview with the woman whose efforts formalised nursing education and the establishment of the first scientifically-based nursing school.

Date: 31 October 2023, Jerome Hynes Theatre, National Opera House.

Dr Tom Walsh Lecture with journalist Emer O’Kelly

Are Women Peacemakers?

Journalist Emer O’Kelly will explore the question, does equality require women to accept the same tasks as men, including going to war? Or does the “home front” work better in the service of peace?

Date: 3 November 2023, Jerome Hynes Theatre, National Opera House.

Pop-up Events

Our dynamic and serendipitous Pop-Up Events are now some of the most popular treats of Wexford Festival Opera, gifts to the town that involve WFO artists in spontaneous music and theatrical moments in unexpected locations around Wexford.

An essential part of the festival experience. Admission is free to these events with a pop-up calendar published at the beginning of the Festival.

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