Wexford Festival Opera Awards Artistic Bursaries As The Curtain Falls On WFO 2017

Wexford Festival Opera Awards Artistic Bursaries As The Curtain Falls On WFO 2017

Last night the curtain fell on the 2017 Wexford Festival Opera. The final performance of this 18-day Festival was of the critically acclaimed Risurrezione by Franco Alfano which played to a capacity crowd in the National Opera House and was attended by the closing night Guest of Honour An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The past 18 days have seen the festival present 65 events attended by thousands of patrons, from across Ireland and around the world to attend this internationally renowned festival, which was crowned 'Best Festival' at the 2017 International Opera Awards.

A further 20 million people tuned into the three main evening operas broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm and 13 other international public radio stations via the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) including Russia, Estonia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Hungary and UK.

Artistic Director David Agler took to the stage of the National Opera House after the performance to announce the winners of three artistic bursaries, The Aria Friends' Bursary as nominated by Aria Friends of Wexford Festival Opera, The Gerard Arnhold Award, generously donated by Anthony Arnhold, in memory of his father, Gerard Arnhold, who was a long-time patron and supporter of Wexford Festival Opera, and a brand new bursary, The Liam Healy Bursary. This bursary was founded this year by Eithne Healy, in special memory of her late husband Liam Healy, the former chairman of the Wexford Festival Foundation. This bursary is intended to encourage the career development of young Irish artists.

This year's bursary winners are:

The Aria Friends' Bursary - British baritone Thomas Hopkinson (Medea/Rigoletto)

The Gerard Arnhold Award - Romanian soprano Ioana Pipelea (Margherita/Risurrezione)

The Liam Healy Bursary - Irish baritone Cormac Lawlor (Medea/Margherita/Risurrezione/Dubliners)

The 67th Wexford Festival Opera, will run over 17 days, beginning Friday, 19 October and running until Sunday, 4 November 2018:

Booking for Wexford Festival Opera 2018:

Priority Booking for Friends of Wexford Festival Opera

Ensemble +, Aria, Cabaletta and Bravura: commences on Saturday, 24 March

Ensemble Friends: commences on Saturday, 31 March

General Booking: commences on Saturday, 14 April

Become a Friend and avail of up to three weeks advance booking, plus many other year-round benefits, visit: www.wexfordopera.com/friends.

Priority booking for Friends of Wexford Festival Opera opens on Saturday, 24 March and on Saturday, 31 March (depending on level of membership). General booking opens on Saturday, 14 April 2018. For more information on how to become a Friend of Wexford Festival Opera and avail of priority booking plus many other benefits throughout the year, visit www.wexfordopera.com/friends.

The 66th Wexford Festival Opera was supported by grants from the Arts Council, Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland/Ireland's Ancient East.

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