Wexford Festival Opera Announces AMERICAN FRIENDS OF WEXFORD OPERA Initiative

Wexford Festival Opera Announces AMERICAN FRIENDS OF WEXFORD OPERA Initiative

Wexford Festival Opera recently embarked on a new development initiative aimed at capitalising on its existing strong reputation in North America, particularly the United States, with the launch of the 'American Friends of Wexford Opera.'

With approximately 40% of its audience hailing from overseas, Wexford Festival Opera hopes to also attract a similar proportion of its philanthropic support from international sources also. Wexford Opera aims to build its American 'Family' by expanding and enhancing Wexford Opera's media profile, in addition to its donor and audience base, in North America.

Loretta Brennan Glucksman, leading Irish-American philanthropist, Chairman of the American Ireland Fund, and a Director of the Wexford Festival Foundation, kindly hosted the reception at her New York penthouse apartment, overlooking the magnificent Manhattan skyline.

More than 60 guests, comprising of leading individuals from the business, cultural, and tourism promotion sectors in the Unites States, predominantly based in New York, attended the social gathering to be introduced to, and get a flavour of, what is one of Ireland's premiere cultural events. Guests also had the opportunity to experience a taste of Wexford Festival with a special and intimate recital performance by one of Wexford Opera's current cast members, Italian Tenor Luigi Boccia. Guests were also encouraged to come to Wexford in October to enjoy the unique Festival experience and all it has to offer.

Following this very successful launch event, Wexford Opera is now planning the inaugural annual American Friends of Wexford Opera fundraising event in New York, aimed at achieving the objective of one of three main Festival operas being supported and presented each year by the American Friends of Wexford Opera.

Taking a pro-active approach to the festival's funding strategy, Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Trust, David McLoughlin said, "Wexford Opera has an unparalleled reputation and recognition on the international stage. The American Friends of Wexford Opera is aimed at building on these existing strong global connections, to build a family of advocates and ambassadors for Wexford Opera in North America, to work with us in implementing our strategy of enhancing our North American profile, audience and donor base, and in ultimately securing our vision of the American Friends becoming a leading and sustainable source of support for Wexford Opera into the future".

Among the guests on the evening were Consul General of Ireland, Noel Kilkenny; Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, Ambassador Anne Anderson; long-time 'Friends' of Wexford Festival Opera, Judith Rice and Mary Jo Rice from Chicago; leading American Opera Critic, Brian Kellow; Tourism Ireland Executive Vice-President, United States and Canada, Joe Byrne; President and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds, Kieran McLoughlin; and American Ireland Fund Directors, John Fitzpatrick, Sheila O'Malley, Leslie King and John Sharkey.

Further details on this exciting new chapter in Wexford Opera's long history are available on the dedicated American Friends of Wexford Opera page on the Festival's website: www.wexfordopera.com/support/american_friends.



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