Wexford Festival Opera

“The success of the festival, its keenness for excellence, its sense of continuity and tradition make it an exemplary aspect of contemporary Irish life” Colm Tóibín.

Treasure is found in the most unlikely places….

For sixty years now many hundreds of thousands of people have made a pilgrimage to Wexford Festival Opera in search of buried operatic treasure. Wexford is a charming seaside town on Ireland’s southeast coast and since 1951 this town has hosted what has become known as one of the world’s most remarkable festivals. Wexford Festival Opera prides itself in giving new life to unjustly neglected operas, introducing artists and audiences to the forgotten masterpieces. And it does this in high quality productions which annually delight both critics and audiences alike.

But far from being satisfied with presenting three productions each year, also on offer is a packed programme of morning events, lunchtime concerts, afternoon ShortWorks and recitals and late night revues. As if this wasn’t enough, a vibrant Fringe Festival offers everything from art exhibitions through to singing and swinging pubs

And throughout all this, there is the remarkable camaraderie engendered by the warmth and intimacy of Wexford town itself. From the brand new Wexford Opera House seating just over 770, the 350 strong volunteer corps ready to welcome you to Wexford, to the hotels, bars and restaurants along the High, Main, and side streets of this Viking town, Wexford is a town which is truly taken over by the Festival. There’s something in the air that quickens everyone’s pulse – a common heartbeat of expansive good feeling and heightened sensibility that brings people back to Wexford again and again.


The Wexford Festival Opera has been running since 1951, playing a central role in the cultural life of Ireland, in the world of Opera and Arts internationally.
From small and humble beginnings it has achieved world-wide success and critical acclaim by demonstrating passion, innovation and a willingness to lead audiences and artists into neglected territories to explore the rich vein of operatic work worldwide.

It all began with a gramophone recital. The great Scottish novelist and founder of the Gramophone magazine, Sir Compton Mackenzie, had been persuaded during a visit to Ireland to give a talk to the Wexford Opera Study Circle in November 1950. The Chairman of the Circle, Dr Tom Walsh struck up an excellent relationship with him and Sir Compton suggested Wexford should stage an opera in their little theatre.

A while later… Dr Tom, having studied the programmes for other festivals, discussed the idea of a local version with his friends Dr Des Ffrench, Eugene McCarthy the then owner of Whites Hotel and Seamus O’Dwyer an official in the local post office. Despite falling short of their fund-raising target, they nonetheless went ahead and ran a Festival of Music and the Arts from the 21st October to 4th November 1951, with a production of Balfe’s “The Rose of Castile” on the first four nights of November. Sir Compton was present and became Festival President, a position he held until his death in 1972.

In October 2008, dreams became reality with the historic opening of Wexford Opera House. Our Founders’ legacy will live on for the next 58 years and more.


If you would like to work with Wexford Festival Opera, please join The Mandy Network to get alerted to future job vacancies.


Connected mandy members:

Aisling Fitzgerald
2019, Wexford Festival Opera, Production Stage Manager
National Opera House, Ireland
Pip Walsh
Pip Walsh
Chief Electrician
2019, Wexford Festival Opera, Chief Electrician
National Opera House
Sian Clare
Sian Clare
Costume Supervisor
2019, Don Quichotte, Costume Maker
Pip Walsh
Pip Walsh
Chief Electrician
2018, Wexford Festival Opera, Deputy Chief Electrician
National Opera House
Emma Russell
Emma Russell
Deputy Stage Manager
2018, Wexford Festival Opera, Lighting Crew
National Opera House
Olber Johannesburg
Olber Johannesburg
Stage Wingman
2018, Stage, Stage Hand
Harriet Kennedy
Harriet Kennedy
Assistant Stage Manager
2018, Il Bravo, Assistant Stage Manager
Irish National Opera House
John Nicoll
John Nicoll
Assistant Stage Manager
2018, Il Bravo, Assistant Stage Manager
National Opera House
Hannah Williams
Hannah Williams
Stage Manager
2018, Double Bill- L'Oracolo and Mala Vita, Assistant Stage Manager
National Opera House
Katy Taylor
Katy Taylor
Assistant Stage Manager
2018, Double Bill (Mala Vita and L'Oracolo), Assistant Stage Manager
National Opera House, Wexford
Megan Bly
Megan Bly
Deputy Stage Manager
2018, Don Pasquale, Stage Manager
Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford
Emma Ryan
Emma Ryan
Deputy Stage Manager
2018, Dinner at Eight, Assistant Stage Manager
National Opera House, Ireland
Becky Thornton
Becky Thornton
Assistant Stage Manager
2018, Dinner At Eight, Assistant Stage Manager
National Opera House, Wexford
Ian Smith
Ian Smith
Production Manager
2017, Wexford Festival Opera 2017, Assistant to the Technical Director
National Opera House
Danny Cunningham
Danny Cunningham
Electrician, Chief
2017, Wexford Festival Opera, Lighting Technician
Irish National Opera House
Olber Johannesburg
Olber Johannesburg
Stage Wingman
2017, Stage, Stage Hand
Octavia Crawford Collins
Octavia Crawford Collins
Assistant Stage Manager
2017, Risurrezione., Assistant Stage Manager
Harriet Kennedy
Harriet Kennedy
Assistant Stage Manager
2017, Risuressione, Assistant Stage Manager
Rory Beaton
Rory Beaton
Lighting Designer
2017, Rigoletto, Lighting Designer
Clayton Whites, Wexford
Hannah Williams
Hannah Williams
Stage Manager
2017, Medea, Assistant Stage Manager
National Opera House

Wexford Festival Opera Jobs

For details of known Wexford Festival Opera vacancies, please check our jobs board for more information

Alternative Company Names

Wexford Opera, Wexford Opera Festival