Wexford Festival Opera appoints new artistic director
Italian-born Rosetta Cucchi has been involved with the festival since 1995
Rosetta Cucchi began her Irish career as a répétiteur at the Wexford Festival in 1995.
Wexford Festival Opera has announced the appointment of Rosetta Cucchi as its new artistic director. The 54-year-old will take up her new role in November, in succession to David Agler, who has programmed the festival’s output since 2005. Her appointment is for six years.
She says she is “happy and honoured” at becoming the festival’s artistic director. “I have a great passion for the festival and the people who make it possible.”
She describes her vision as being “to preserve its great tradition” and also “bring a touch of new breath to it”. She quotes Jonathan Swift to the effect that vision is the art of seeing things that are invisible to others.
Cucchi, who was born in the Italian town of Pesaro, trained as a concert pianist in her native country. She worked in the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Rome before she began her Irish career as a repetiteur at Wexford Festival Opera in 1995.
Wexford became her springboard to developing a parallel career as an opera director, working first on Wexford’s piano-accompanied Opera Scenes and then directing Walter Braunfels’s Prinzessin Brambilla on the main stage in 2004.
She has since directed for the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Theater St Gallen, Boston Lyric Opera and Teatro La Fenice. Her most recent production at Wexford was of Alfano’s Risurrezione in 2017, and she will direct the double bill of Rossini’s Adina and Andrew Synnott’s new La Cucina next October. She has also worked at Wexford as assistant to the artistic director, since the 2007 festival, and as associate to the artistic director since 2013.
From 2001 to 2015 she was artistic director of the Lugo Opera Festival, in Italy, and from 2008 to 2018 the artistic director of the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, in Parma, during which time she brought the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic Orchestra on tours around Italy and on visits to China, Germany and Bulgaria.