Over 10,000 people assembled on Wexford Quayside on a pleasant October evening to watch the traditional fireworks display that launched the 68th Wexford Festival Opera and sent the town and its environs into festival mode until the marathon programme of events conclude on Sunday, November 3rd.
There were some short words of welcome and promotion from the Mayor of Wexford, Cllr George Lawlor, and Mary Kelly, Chairwoman of the Wexford Festival Opera , before TV personality Marty Whelan give the thumbs up to let the festival begin – with fireworks, of course.
Don Quichotte by Jules Massenet was the opening performance at the National Opera House, in French with English subtitles. This is the 10th Wexford Opera production of an opera by the remarkable French composer, premiered in Monte Carlo in 1910 and only staged occasionally since.
At the Dun Mhuire Hall, which sadly is to close soon, Oyster Lane Theatre Group marked their 25th anniversary with their production of the musical classic Grease.
And Wexford performer Pierce Turner was on stage at the Spiegeltent on the quay front. Not a bad choice on a Tuesday night!
Two weeks of variety and brilliance to come in and around Wexford town, but a reminder for history buffs that the annual George Hadden Memorial Lecture takes place in St. Michael’s Community Centre, Green St., on Wednesday at 8 pm. It is entitled “Those who die for Ireland have no need of a prayer; Liam Mellows, love, betrayal and the Irish Revolution” with Dr Conor McNamara.