Thursday 23 May 2019

Young opera stars receive bursaries

Maria Pepper

The Wexford soprano Maria Hughes and the Dublin tenor Richard Shaffrey have been announced as the 2018 PwC/Wexford Festival Opera 'Emerging Young Artist' bursary winners.

There was further good news as PwC declared its commitment to supporting the Emerging Young Artists programme for another three years.

The initiative supports and celebrates Ireland's emerging young artists from the opera world and helps towards the costs associated with advancing their careers.

Soprano Maria Hughes from Gorey made her third appearance at the Festival this year, performing in three main evening operas, L'oracolo by Leoni and Mala vita by Giordano as well as taking on the role of Miss Copeland in the European premiere of Dinner at Eight by William Bolcom.

Tenor Richard Shaffrey, a native of Dublin, performed the role of Un Messo in the Mercadante opera II bravo as well as singing Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West by Puccini, part of the ShortWorks daytime opera programme.

'With a reputation as an international festival attracting audiences and critics from around the globe, Wexford Festival Opera is an important platform to showcase the best emerging talent and is a key part of our mission', said Artistic Director David Agler.

'We are delighted to partner with PwC in nurturing young talent. It's honour to award these two very promising young singers who have made a great contribution to the 2018 WExford Festival company'.

'PwC has a strong history of championing talent development and we are proud to team up with Wexford Festival Opera for another three years on this exciting initiative', said Jean Delaney of PwC.

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