Festival Diary 2021: Wexford Festival Opera, Day 3

By Alan Neilson

Today was the last of my three day trip to the Wexford Festival Opera, and what journey it was! Every day from mid-morning to late evening was a non-stop series of events, with barely time for a coffee or a bite to eat.

My morning started with a meeting with the young Irish soprano Jade Phoenix who agreed to what turned out to be a very interesting interview for OperaWire. Among other things, she reflected on her experience as a member of the Wexford Opera Factory – an initiative introduced by Rosetta Cucchi dedicated to developing the talents of young singers – as well as talking about her role as Giulietta in the festival’s factory production of Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi.”

Next up was a recital by the Ukrainian tenor Vassily Solodkyy. Although he appeared a little nervous in the first couple of arias, he was quickly into his stride with a well-presented program which included some wonderful renditions of Neapolitan and Ukrainian songs. He possesses an attractive lyrical voice, with the ability to spin out long lines, push smoothly and effortlessly into his upper register, and deliver strong flourishing climaxes to round off arias. He also has a charming, almost shy, stage personality which added to the success of the performance. The audience loved it, but strangely there was no encore.

The day’s main event was a performance of Karl Goldmark’s opera “Ein Wintermärchen,” a work based on Shakespeare’s “A Winter’sTale,” which started at at 3:30 to make way for gala concert in the evening. Although musically it was a very interesting work, it did lose a lot from being given as a concert performance.

After which, it was time to call an end to the day’s entertainment, as I had a very early drive to Dublin airport the following morning.