Wexford Festival Opera’s ‘Il Bravo’ Wins Major Award In Ireland

By David Salazar

The recent revival of Mercadante’s “Il Bravo” was a major coup for the Wexford Festival Opera. Not only did it garner strong reviews, but it is not the winner of the “Best Opera Production” at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards.

The production was directed by Barbe & Doucet with musical direction by Jonathan Brandini. The production was broadcast globally and featured such singers as Rubens Pelizzari, Alessandro Luciano, Ekaterina Bakanova, Tasko Sato, and Gustavo Castillo, among others.

While OperaWire’s review of the production was not favorable, writer Alan Neilson was impressed by the musical aspects.

“This was a production in which the best advice to a potential audience member would have been to forget about the drama completely, not to bother about making sense of 21st tourists milling around 16th century Venice, but simply to enjoy the music and marvelous singing and allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the opulence of the choral scenes,” said the review.

Previously, the Wexford Festival Opera has won Best Design, Audience Choice, and Best Opera Production from the Irish Times Theatre Awards. The company’s 2008 production of “Silent Night” by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell picked up the Best Opera Production award.