Festival Diary 2019: Wexford Festival Opera, Day 2

By Alan Neilson

(Photo: Gerard Collett)

It was an early start this morning to what proved to be a long day. At 10:30 a.m. Rosetta Cucchi held a press conference to announce next season’s program along with her vision for the future of Wexford Festival Opera which, to put it mildly, is very exciting and includes many new initiatives, which is certain to drive the festival forward in the right direction.

The lunchtime concert showcased the Georgian bass, Goderdzi Janelidze, whose powerful and expressive performance charmed the audience, and earned him a standing ovation. He has a commanding presence, and sings with confidence and authority. His rendition of Konchak’s aria “Are you well, Prince?” from “Prince Igor” was the standout piece in which he showed off his wonderful ability to characterise through the voice. He also has an interesting array of facial expressions, which includes a menacing glint in the eye.

The afternoon opera at White’s Hotel was Pauline Viardot’s “Cendrillon,” which was given a successful presentation with a youthful, enthusiastic cast. It is a light work, and made for a pleasant hors d’oeuvre before the delicious dessert on the main stage, a double bill based around cakes: Rossini’s “Adina” and Andrew Synnott’s new opera “La Cucina.” Both were well received, and contained splendid performances, most notably from mezzo-soprano, Rachel Kelly, soprano Máire Flavin, and tenor Levy Sekgapane