Friday, November 4, 2011



This year is the 60th anniversary of Wexford’ Festival Opera We’ve been going for several years. It’s nice to support our own. We’re quick to do operas in foreign cities – saw The Bartered Bride in Berlin recently and it was a battered production!

Hand on heart I have to say this year Wexford surpassed itself with superb productions. We saw two of the three main offerings. One of the delights of the operas performed in Wexford is that they have been rescued from obscurity. Maria by Roman Statkowski, set in Poland is a political love story done in modern costume and using multi media. It’s passionate, dour and it works magically. La Coeur de Célimène by Ambroise Thomas, first performed in 1855, is French and frothily delicious with glorious costumes. Surprisingly given its brilliant writing, witty dialogues and well-crafted ensembles, it faded into obscurity – some say because of the way it portrays women’s attitudes to men.

As always we stayed and dined in the excellent White’s Hotel it’s comfortable, with a great spa and swimming pool, central to shops, the opera house and within an easy walk of the harbour. As well as which Whites is host to several of the many other recitals and performances that take place throughout the festival, and has comprehensive art works in the lobby and first floor.

I enjoy shopping when I’m on holiday. Of old and suffering from problem feet, I know of Shoe Style International ( and am a fan of their Hispanitas brand, as much as the staff who bend over backwards to help and ensure comfort. I discovered The Silk Connection, brainchild of Betty Maher-Caulfield (http://www.thesilkconnection,net/) who has turned her passion for travel into a business. From the Far East she’s handpicked pure silk blouses, jackets, underwear and bedding.

On offer in 2012 Le Roi Malgre Lui by Emanuel Chabrier; A Village Romeo and Juliet by Frederick Delius and Francesca de Rimini by Saverio Mercadante.

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