The opera house in Wexford generates opera on just 12 nights a year in a town with a population of about 20,000 in the southeastern corner of the country. Photograph: David Sleator

Spontaneous, unprovoked testimonials are always impressive. I witnessed a few at Wexford Festival Opera last week. Two stood out, both of them comi(...)

German-born composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963). Photograph: Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

Leonard Bernstein was a great talker about music. In these pages, conductor Marin Alsop told of how, at the age of nine and already a seasoned concert(...)