Opera Gold as Wexford Festival Awarded Best Re-Discovered Work at International Opera Awards

Award Image 1

Cristina, regina de Svezia, by Jacopo Foroni

Named Best Re-Discovered Work

(Tuesday, 8 April, 2014) Wexford Festival Opera received a major international award for Best Re-Discovered work for their 2013 critically acclaimed production of Cristina, regina de Svezia at the International Opera Awards, held last night at a Gala Ceremony in London.  In what is considered The Oscars of the Opera World, Wexford Festival Opera further established its position among the world’s most recognised opera institutions, being short-listed with other finalists such as The NY Metropolitan Opera, The Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, and Glyndebourne, to name but a few.

Winning the coveted Best Re-discovered Work Award underlines and recognises, by its global peers, what Wexford is fundamentally all about – bringing rare operatic gems back to life for the enjoyment and enrichment of Wexford’s local, national and international audiences.

Accepting the Award on the night, Artistic Director David Agler commented, “It is a distinct honour that Wexford Festival Opera has been recognised for what it is has done faithfully for 63 years in presenting rediscovered operas to the world by winning this award.”

Cristina, regina de Svezia was composed by Italian-born but Swedish-resident, Jacopo Foroni (1825-1858) in 1848 and was successfully performed during Foroni’s lifetime but fell into neglect after the composer’s early death from cholera at the age of thirty-four.  Had he lived, critics agree that Foroni would have rivalled Verdi.  The opera was brought back to life a few years ago by Swedish musicologist Anders Wiklund, who edited the work and arranged for its performance at a festival in Vadstena.  It was recorded by Göteberg Opera in 2007.  Wexford Festival Opera’s production in 2013 was the first staging of the opera outside Sweden and attracted many opera enthusiasts from abroad.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Osmp_wLbs  Critics were equally as enthusiastic.

“…Cristina, regina di Svezia proves the hit of the festival and one of the most worthwhile rediscoveries in its long history.”           – John Allison, Daily Telegraph and Editor of Opera Magazine

Wexford was also nominated in three other categories including, Best Festival, Best Chorus and Best Young Singer – Soprano Helena Dix for her performance in the title role of Cristina, regina de Svezia;  the awards going to Aix-en-Provence, Bayreuth and Jamie Barton, respectively.  A complete list of Award Recipients can be found at www.operaawards.co.uk or #operawards

General booking is now open for the 2014 Wexford Festival Opera which runs for 12 days from 22nd October – 2nd November. Artistic Director David Agler’s exciting programme will include three main stage operas, three daytime ShortWorks operas, a gala concert, as well as lunchtime recitals, concerts and a film.

The Festival will open with Salomé by Antoine Mariotte (1875-1944) a rarely-performed operatic version of Oscar Wilde’s perceptive play about Hérod’s dysfunctional family.  First produced in Lyon in 1908, Mariotte’s Salomé is infused with his impassioned and intense dramatic music, revealing in its subtle harmonies the influence of Debussy.

To balance the drama of the opening production, Don Bucefalo by Antonio Cagnoni (1828-1896) is also on the programme.  This is a delightfully good-humoured 19th century comic opera – an opera within an opera – reminiscent of Rossini and Donizetti.

Marking the centenary of the Great War, Silent Night by Kevin Puts (b. 1972), will receive its European premiere at Wexford this October.  Originally commissioned by Minnesota Opera and first performed in 2011 to great critical acclaim, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2012. The opera’s librettist Mark Campbell was inspired by the 2005 film Joyeux Noël, about the spontaneous 1914 Christmas truce between enemy combatants in the First World War.

With something to appeal to those discovering the festival for the first time or opera lovers who return year-after-year, Wexford Festival Opera is the event to plan for this autumn. Tickets for evening main stage operas start at €25 each, with tickets for daytime performances starting at just €10.

Come to Wexford to Discover and Re-Discover!

The 63rd Wexford Festival Opera is grant-aided by the Arts Council, Fáilte Ireland, Wexford County Council and Wexford Borough Council.