WEXFORD OPERA FESTIVAL
Madam, - In response to readers who decry the absence of Irish participation in the Wexford Opera Festival, let us rather thank its organisers (almost all Irish) for what it does do - provide a first-class operatic experience on an incredibly small budget. It also draws visitors like myself from abroad, who not only appreciate the opportunity to enjoy rare operas, but also use the occasion to extend our stays in other parts of Ireland. I understand the operas were completely sold out this year.
The festival could not happen without the full participation of local people. No other opera company could afford to change the scenery every night, and perform the myriad of other duties so ably performed by volunteers. They also add that sense of camaraderie that brings people back, year after year, to Wexford.
It is unfortunate that more Irish artists are not featured, but they have their chance at auditions.
The Prague Chamber Choir is magnificent, and I venture to suggest it would be hard for an Irish choir to be able to give sufficient time to learn unfamiliar operas in foreign languages for pieces they are not likely to have a chance to sing anywhere else.
The loss of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland is certainly to be regretted - I don't know whether this was a question of money or of scheduling, as Wexford requires an extended time commitment - and I would hope that something could be worked out in the future. - Yours, etc.,
MARY LYNNE McELROY,
Secretary, Vocal Arts Society,