By Dan Walsh reporting from Wexford Quay
Thousands of people assembled on Wexford Quay earlier this evening for the launch of the 71st Wexford Festival Opera with the traditional fireworks display and an enthusiastic official welcome from the Mayor of Wexford Cllr Maura Bell.
“This is my festival. This is your festival. This is everybody’s festival,” declared Mayor Bell to a massive cheer from the enthusiastic attendance made up mostly of family groups and young people.
Self-described as “a local girl from John’s Road,” Cllr Bell recalled memories from past festivals, praised the volunteers and everybody who contributed to the success of the festival, including attendees, members of the Festival Committee and Wexford County Council.
Chairperson of Wexford Festival Opera, Dr Maura Kelly also addressed the opening crowds. “It’s that time of year again when the summer has ended, schools are back, holidays are over, evenings are closing in, and Wexford is beginning to fill with the sound of music. Little by little, singers, choruses, technicians and musicians are beginning to fill the town. Sets and costumed are being readied,”
The evergreen Maurice McCarthy acted as master of ceremonies and complimented Casey Whelan who supervised the colourful fireworks display over the harbour.
Wexford Festival Opera runs until Sunday, November 6th with top class performances in the National Opera House and many recitals, lunchtime events and other fringe events. Something for everybody so get hold of a brochure and select your favourite event… there is something for everyone at Wexford Festival Opera this year.