Music and Magic to fill the National Opera House
from 21 October – 6 November 2022

Public Booking will open on Tuesday 5 April for the 71st Wexford Festival Opera (WFO)
which will run for 17 wonderful days and nights from 21 October – 6 November 2022. The
festival is once again looking forward to welcoming audiences to experience for themselves
the magic of Wexford Festival Opera in the stunning National Opera House this Autumn.
Priority booking for the Friends of Wexford Festival Opera is already open.
Public booking will be via www.wexfordopera.com / +353 53 912 2144
Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi’s 2022 programme is built around the theme of Magic &
Music and will feature three main stage operas, La tempesta, Lalla Roukh and Armida each
of which will be performed over four nights; a production of Cinderella written by 17 year
old composer Alma Elizabeth Deutscher; two Pocket Opera|Opera beag: The Master based
on the award-winning novel by Colm Tóibín and The Spectre Knight by Alfred Cellier. In
addition the programme also includes, The Selenites a newly commissioned opera by the
WFO 2022 Artist-in-Residence Conor Mitchell, a Gala concert with orchestra by celebrated
Mezzo Soprano Daniela Barcellona, a special treat with a Concert featuring Barry Douglas,
an exciting series of Recitals and Pop-Up Events at various locations around the town and
the III° edition of the Wexford Factory professional development academy.
This year’s theme of magic and music is evident throughout the programme. Over the past
two years we have come to realise more than ever that we are more than the reality we
see, that there is something hidden. With magic all around us, from fairytales to spectres –
imagined or real, music is intrinsically linked to this. As you “shut your eyes and see” you
can imagine the magic of Wexford being brought to life through opera and music.
The opening production on 21 October in the O’Reilly Theatre, will be La tempesta (1850),
composed by Fromental Halévy, with a libretto by Eugene Scribe after Shakespeare’s The
Tempest. First performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre London in June 1850, this production will
be sung in Italian and Conducted by Francesco Cilluffo and Directed by Roberto Catalano.

Set Design by Emanuele Sinisi, Costume Design by Ilaria Ariemme with lighting design by
D.M. Wood.

Cast includes:
Prospero: Nikolay Zemlianskikh
Miranda: Hila Baggio
Calibano: Giorgi Manoshvili
Fernando: Andrew Morstein
Ariele: Jade Phoenix
Alonzo: Rory Musgrave
Stefano: Conor Prendiville
Antonio: Richard Shaffrey
Sicorace: Emma Jüngling
The survivors of a shipwreck — including the King of Naples and Prospero’s treacherous
brother Antonio — are tormented by a storm conjured up by the magician Prospero himself
with help from his spirit-servant Ariel. But Prospero’s resentful slave Caliban plots against
him. Ariel is summoned to protect the young lovers Miranda (Prospero’s daughter) and
Ferdinand (the king’s son), but Caliban succeeds in abducting Miranda. Drinking with
shipwrecked sailors, Caliban enlists their help but is thwarted when they find Ferdinand and
recognise him as their prince. With the wave of his wand, Ariel transforms the scene into a
palace hall where Miranda and Ferdinand celebrate their wedding. In a happy ending, all
except Caliban prepare to sail back to Naples.
Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra
Wexford Festival Opera Chorus
A co-production with Teatro C. Coccia Novara Italy.
Performance dates: O’Reilly Theatre 21, 24, 29 October and 3 November 2022.
Lalla Roukh (1862) composed by Félicien David, with a libretto by Michael Carré and
Hippolyte Lucas. First performed at the Opéra-Comique on 12 May 1862 Lalla Roukh will be
Conducted by David Angus and staged by the Irish director Orpha Phelan. Set & Costume
design by Madeleine Boyd with lighting design by D.M. Wood.
Cast includes:
Lalla-Roukh: Karen Garde Azabal
Nourreddin: Pablo Bemsch
Narrator: Lorcan Cranitch
Baskir: Ben McAteer
Bakbara: Emyr Wyn Jones
Kaboul: Thomas D Hopkinson
Mirza: Niamh O’Sullivan
The Indian princess Lalla Roukh has been promised in marriage to the King of Bukhara and
departs there in a caravan with her confidants. But on her way to meet her future husband

at his summer palace, she becomes captivated by the mysterious singing of a minstrel
Nourreddin, so much so that she falls in love with him and resolves not to marry the king.
The new couple meet at night and Lalla Roukh declares that she will rather live in a simple
cottage in Kashmir with Nourreddin and promises to confess all this to the king when they
arrive at their destination. Unbeknown to her, and wanting to test his bride, the king had
disguised himself as the minstrel and intercepted the caravan. All is revealed upon arrival,
and they live happily ever after …
Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra
Wexford Festival Opera Chorus
Performance dates: O’Reilly Theatre, 22, 25, 30 October and 4 November 2022.

Armida (1904) Composed by Antonín Dvořák, with a libretto by Jaroslav Vrchlický was first
performed at Prague’s National Theatre on 25 March 1904. This production will be
Conducted by Norbert Baxa and Directed by Dmitry Bertman. Set & Costume design by
Hartmut Schörghofer with lighting design by D.M. Wood.
Cast includes:
King Hydraoth: Jozef Benci
Armida: Jennifer Davis
Ismen: Stanislav Kuflyuk
Petr: Jan Hnyk
Bohumir: Rory Dunne
Rinald: Gerard Schneider
Sven: Josef Moravec
Muezin: Sean Boylan
Gernand: Andrii Kharlamov
Siren, Nymph: Libuse Santorisova
In Damascus, news of an approaching Frankish army puts the royal court on alert, but the
prince Ismen tries to dissuade the King Hydraoth from dispatching an attacking force.
Instead, he suggests sending the King’s daughter Armida (with whom Ismen is in love) to
sow dissent. Armida initially refuses, but changes her mind when Ismen uses his magical
powers to conjure up an image of the camp, where she recognises Rinald as the knight of
whom she has just dreamt. In the crusaders’ camp, Armida and Rinald become lovers before
escaping back to her garden. Though it appears that Armida’s powers of sorcery are
stronger than Ismen’s magic, with the help of Rinald’s fellow knights they lure him out of the
palace, which collapses amid Armida’s grief. Rejoining the crusaders, Rinald advances on
Damascus, where he kills Ismen and — unwittingly — Armida. She dies in his arms.
Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra
Wexford Festival Opera Chorus
A co-production with Pilsen Theatre (Czech Republic).
Performance dates: O’Reilly Theatre, 23, 28 October and 2, 5 November 2022.

Cinderella (2015), composed by 16-year-old Alma Elizabeth Deutscher will be performed by
members of the Wexford Factory and sung in English. At the age of ten, Alma Elizabeth
Deutscher wrote her first full-length opera. At twelve she premiered her first piano
concerto. Cinderella had its European premiere in Vienna in 2016 conducted by Zubin Mehta
and it’s U.S. premiere a year later at Opera San José. It was also released on DVD by Sony
Classical. At the age of 12, Deutscher premiered her first piano concerto and made her
debut at Carnegie Hall in 2019. Conducted by Giuseppe Montesano, the Stage Director will
be Davide Gasparro with Set Design by Eleonora Rossi and Costume Design by Frances
White.
Cast: Megan O’Neill, Ami Hewitt / Corina Ignat, Hannah O’Brien /Leah Redmond, Emily
Hogarty / Sara Luthrell, Michael Bell, Peter Lidbetter and Deirdre Arratoon.
Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra
Performance dates: O’Reilly Theatre, 26, 29, 31 October and 4 November 2022.

Wexford Festival Opera is delighted to present a new opera commission from the WFO
Artist-in-Residence 2022 Conor Mitchell, a chamber piece entitled The Selenites exploring
the bizarre world of 20th Century film pioneer Georges Méliès. On 26 Oct and 6 Nov there
will be a chance to meet and ask questions in a ‘Meeting The Composer’ event.
Audiences can also enjoy two exciting daytime Pocket Opera | Opera Beag which will
include:
● The Master (2016) composed by Alberto Caruso, based on the novel of the same
name by Colm Tóibín who also wrote the libretto. Sung in English, The Master will be
performed in the Jerome Hynes Theatre. Directed by Conor Hanratty with Set &
Costume design by Lisa Krugel.
● The Spectre Knight (1878) (a fanciful farsa) composed by Alfred Cellier, with libretto
by James Albery, which was first performed at the Opéra-Comique, London 9 Feb

  1. Performed at Wexford Arts Centre, The Spectre Knight will be sung in English.
    Directed by Sinéad O’Neill with Set & Costume design by Lisa Krugel.
    An unmissable Gala with Orchestra will feature the celebrated Mezzo Soprano Daniela
    Barcellona, with the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra conducted by Alessandro Vitiello in
    the O’Reilly Theatre 27 October.
    The ever popular Gala Concert will take place on 1 Nov in the O’Reilly Theatre while the
    Lunchtime Recitals will be performed at St Iberius Church and in the O’Reilly Theatre. The
    festival will come to a rousing conclusion with a final concert on 6 November performed at
    the piano and conducted by the acclaimed Barry Douglas and the Wexford Festival Opera
    Orchestra.

The Tom Walsh lecture, (27 October, Jerome Hynes Theatre) Shakespeare’s Rough Magic,
will be delivered by Patrick Spottiswoode (Founder, Globe Education and Senior Research
Fellow Shakespeare’s Globe and former President of the Shakespeare Theatre Association).
An exciting and eclectic programme of Pop-Up Events will take place during the
festival. Free pop-up, multi-disciplinary performances featuring music, drama, singing and
dance which will be performed in non-traditional settings in various locations around
Wexford town.
The III° edition of the Wexford Factory will see a new group of artists start the two-year
professional development academy, which enables young singers to develop and learn from
some of the best artists and coaches in the world. Wexford Festival Opera has a long history
of being a springboard for many young singers at the beginning of their careers, helping
them move onto the international stage. The Wexford Factory, which is open to young Irish
or Irish-based singers, builds on this tradition, mentoring young singers through
masterclasses led by internationally recognised artists and professionals. Over time the
Factory The Wexford Factory III° edition is an international collaboration, with TUD
(Technological University Dublin), RIAM (Royal Irish Academy of Music) and the Rossini
Opera Festival “Alberto Zedda” Academy, Pesaro.
Once again audiences can experience an Impossible interview (28 October and 2
November) with Michael Dervan and the greatest magician of all time Harry Houdini.