Wexford Festival Opera in Wexford, Ireland is an internationally-recognized opera festival with David Agler as its Artistic Director.
Maestro Agler previously held the position of Music Director for Vancouver Opera and has conducted the UBC Opera Ensemble many times (mostly recently in last February’s production of Eugene Onegin), and we would like to congratulate him and his festival on winning the highly coveted Best Festival category at the International Opera Awards. The event was held in the prestigious surroundings of London’s Coliseum at a gala event May 7, attended by all of the world’s leading opera professionals.
Wexford was crowned Best Festival ahead of the other shortlisted leading international opera festivals: Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (France); Festival Verdi (Parma); Garsington Opera (UK); Lyon Festival (France); and Spoleto Festival (USA).
Accepting the award on behalf of Wexford Festival Opera (pictured above with the Festival’s Chief Executive David McLoughlin), Artistic Director David Agler, now in his 13th Festival since taking the helm in 2005, said, “A group of opera enthusiasts from the rural seaside town of Wexford started out with a clear, ambitious, but risky vision 66 years ago, to put on a festival that explored the neglected and often obscure opera repertoire. With the unstinting support from the local community, as well as the Arts Council of Ireland, the festival has grown from strength to strength and now performs in a new state-of-the-art theatre, the National Opera House, which allows us more scope and opportunity. This award validates the founders’ conviction and determination; a winning combination of a shared vision, artistic quality and a warm welcome, truly second to none.”
The International Opera Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in world opera and attracts all leading opera professionals from around the globe.
Meanwhile, preparations for the 66th Wexford Festival Opera, running from Thursday, 19 October until Sunday, 5 November, are well underway. The full programme and samples of this year’s operas are available at www.wexfordopera.com/programme and will include Medea of Luigi Cherubini, Margherita of Jacopo Foroni, and Risurrezione or Franco Alfano.
Many Vancouverites regularly attend the Festival and this year will see a group of more than 20 travel to Ireland, including our own Nancy Hermiston. Maestro Agler is planning to return to conduct the UBC Opera Ensemble in one of its 2018 opera productions.