More than one million listeners: Wexford Festival Opera goes global with live European broadcasts

Every year, Wexford Festival Opera welcomes hundreds of music lovers through the doors of Wexford Opera House to experience unique and mesmerising performances. Since its inception in 1951, the festival has continually attracted audiences from all over the world who wish to sample lesser-known and unjustly neglected works in small yet culturally vibrant Irish town. Indeed, Wexford Festival Opera has had a long history of reaching out to all corners of the globe.

Although the final three nights of the festival are almost completely sold-out, Wexford Festival Opera will continue to expand its international reach through its partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its Irish national radio partner, RTÉ lyric fm, which since 2009, has enabled millions of people from around the globe the opportunity to listen to the three mainstage operas that are the highlight of the Wexford Festival Opera programme. On Saturday, 2 November at 8pm there will be a live broadcast of the double bill of Thérèse and La Navarraise by Jules Massenet to EBU broadcast partners around the globe via RTÉ lyric fm. While close to a million more people will also have the opportunity to tune-in on Saturday, 9 November to hear the critically acclaimed production of Cristina, regina di Svezia which will be pre-recorded on the closing night of the Festival. The operas will feature as part of Opera Night on RTÉ lyric fm on Saturday, presented by Bernard Clarke. This live transmission will also be heard in Spain, the Czech Republic, Japan and the United States among other countries. In total, nineteen national radio broadcasters worldwide, all members of the EBU, will broadcast these rarely performed operas from Wexford.

The very popular Il cappello di paglia di Firenze by Nino Rota will be broadcast across Ireland exclusively on RTÉ lyric fm on Friday 1 November at 8pm. All three operas can be heard on-line on www.rte.ie/lyricfm/opera-night

“It’s amazing to think that over a million people will tune in to hear the performance of Thérèse and La Navarraise by Jules Massenet live from Wexford Opera House”, commented Commercial Director, Breda Cashe. “In this, the year of ‘The Gathering’, the EBU broadcasts of our productions will hopefully encourage these listeners to actually come to Wexford in the future to experience the magic that is Wexford Festival Opera.”