The spirit of the 2013 Wexford Festival Opera and its three fabulous productions was inspirational in influencing the imagination of window dressers throughout the town.  Sponsored by Wexford Credit Union, this annual Festival Windows Competition was open to all businesses.  Wexford Chamber organised the event and was delighted with the support it received and the innovative approach taken by the contestants.  Wexford Festival Opera also sponsored this year’s competition by offering winners tickets for their chosen theme. 

The overall winner this year was Sue Ryder shop in Henrietta Street.  This window display captured all the elements of Therese, was historically accurate and made excellent use of props and effects.

Congratulations to everybody who brought their collective talents together and who created a window display that was commended by all the judges in this year’s competition.  Sue Ryder shop took possession of the highly treasured Caroline Thomas Memorial Trophy.

The most popular theme this year was Il Cappello de paglia di Firenze‘The Florentine Straw Hat’ by Nino Rota.  A nervous young bridegroom is out riding before his wedding when his horse eats a straw hat belonging to a lady dallying with her lover. The winner in this category was Vincent’s of Wexford who captured all the elements of this opera from the straw hat to the wedding dress.  Good use of recorded music – they literally made the window sing.  The runner up was Carraig Donn for their imaginative use of shop products and good use of elements of the festival which, in the judge’s opinion, enticed the shopper to browse.  Highly commended in this category was the ‘John Barry’ pub.  Original artwork and good use of the inside and outside of the pub was much admired by the judging panel.

Christina, Regina di Svezia  also enjoyed a big entry.  Composed by Jacopo Foroni this opera tells the story of events leading up to the abdication of the Queen of Sweden.  An absolutely beautiful production which has stolen the hearts of all who have seen it.  For excellent use of costume, good musical elements including a violin which again made their window sing, 1st prize was awarded to NCBI situated on South Main Street.  Runners up in this category was newly opened Vintage Belle for a neat and thoughtful display of vintage costume and props reflecting the character of Christina.

Therésè / La Navarisse proved to be the most challenging theme in terms of window dressing.  Written by Jules Massenet this opera is set during the French Revolution.  Sue Ryder in Henrietta Street captured all the elements of Therésè which earned this window display the prize in this category.

“The effort put into this project by Wexford businesses really is the icing on the cake during what is a truly wonderful Wexford experience” said Madeleine Quirke of Wexford Chamber. “Congratulations to all winners and runners up.  The originality, imagination, quality of construction, humour and interpretation of Wexford Festival Opera’s three productions this year made for some wonderful window displays.  Maybe next year we will use musicals and short works to theme our competition.”