When the curtain rises on the WFO 2021 later this month it will mark the 70th Anniversary of this internationally acclaimed opera festival.  But it will not be the only celebration in this 70th year. The festival team today announced plans to mark the anniversary in various ways both at home in Ireland and abroad, in person and online, across the next 12 months.  

The celebrations will commence with the 2021 Festival which will see live audiences return to the National Opera House once again.  The numbers will, in line with current government guidelines, still be limited though so the team decided to expand the celebrations outside of the traditional autumn period of the Festival. Wexford Festival Opera will have an extended the presence throughout 2021-2022 reaching out to existing and new audiences in fun and innovative ways.  

Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi said today, “Wexford Festival is like a precious jewel, our history has created the diamond, our future will make it shine, we look forward to sharing a taste of it with audiences around the world during our 70th anniversary”. 

This will include the following initiatives:  

W4WOMEN | FOUR AMBASSADORS | 4 extraordinary sopranos, Eleonora Buratto, Mariangela Sicilia, Angela Meade and Ermonela Jaho, whose careers started in Wexford and are now acclaimed operatic stars will act in the capacity of  festival ambassadors and help spread the word of Wexford Festival Opera around the world and throughout the year.   

Since Wexford is still in their heart, it is their desire to give back, representing and fostering connections with the festival in the years to come. 


These ambassadors in addition will each perform a special recital, in  four main capitals. They are connected not only by their link to Wexford but a shared dedication to artistic excellence. These four big events will be organized in conjunction with the Irish Embassies around the world. 

 They will be:  

ELEONORA BURATTO – performing 22 Dec 2021, Villa Torlonia Theatre, Rome Italy 

MARIANGELA SICILIA  – performing 12 Feb 2022 Bolshoi Beethoven Hall Moscow. 

ANGELA MEADE – performing 14 April 2022,TBC, New York. 

ERMONELA JAHO – performing 20 June 2022, Wigmore Hall, London 


An incredible year can only end with a musical fireworks show, an incredible orchestral concert at the National Concert Hall in August 2022.  

The evening will be an unforgettable performance of the 5th Symphony by Beethoven, Stabat Mater by Rossini . It will be conducted by Michela Mariotti, and featuring Celine Byrne, Tara Erraught, Konu Kim, John Molloy, the New Dublin Voice Chorus and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. 


Sit back and explore 12 separate conversations, with personalities from the most diverse fields, each of whom have a particular link with the Festival. These Zoom Memories will be published on www.wexfordopera.com and social channels throughout the year.  


The festival team will over the next 12 months, release seventy videoclips, one for each year of the Festival, with photos interviews and musical extracts.  


A moving and exciting exhibition which offers audiences a chance to see previously unpublished photos of the Festival found in newspaper archives. 

More details will be announced in due course.   

The 70th Wexford Festival Opera ‘Shakespeare in the Heart’ will run from 19 – 31 October. WFO has found exciting and innovative ways to present over 50 events this October. From the main stage operas, to concerts, to pop-up events and lectures, the 70th Wexford Festival Opera will feature artists from across the world and showcase some of the most exciting young Irish talent 

Wexford Festival Opera would like to thank The Arts Council, Wexford County Council, Fáilte Ireland/Ireland’s Ancient East and the Festival’s Friends, sponsors and donors for their continued support. 

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