Wexford Festival Awards 2 Baritones With Bursary Awards

By David Salazar

Polish baritone Simon Mechlinski and Venezuelan baritone Gustavo Castillo are winners of an artistic bursary from the Wexford Festival Opera.

The prizes, given to violinist and conductor Cillian O’Breacháin as well, were given on the final weekend of the festival. Castillo received The Aria Friends’ Bursary, Mechlinski was the recipient of The Gerard Arnhold Award, and O’Breacháin was honored with The Liam Healy Bursary; the latter was founded by Eithne Healy in special memory of her late husband, who was the former chairman of the Wexford Festival Foundation.

Mechinski made his Wexford debut as Luigi in “Il Bravo” as well as Dr. Malatesta in “Don Pasquale.” He also appeared in a lunchtime recital, attended by OperaWire.

“The lunchtime recital at St. Iberius’s church was given by the Polish baritone, Simon Mechlinski, who wowed the audience. At only 23, Mechlinski showed ability well beyond his years, and looks set for hugely successful career,” noted OperaWire’s Alan Neilson.

Castillo played the role of Foscari in “Il Bravo.” He is a member of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala since 2016.