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Wednesday 12 December 2018

National Opera House to mark celebrate its 10th birthday

August 2018: Young Wexford singer, Lucy Caulfield helped Minister for Culture, Josepha Madigan sign a giant birthday card to mark the 10th birthday of the Opera House. The card will be placed in the foyer for incoming artists to sign
August 2018: Young Wexford singer, Lucy Caulfield helped Minister for Culture, Josepha Madigan sign a giant birthday card to mark the 10th birthday of the Opera House. The card will be placed in the foyer for incoming artists to sign
November 2005: End of an era – the final audience leaves the old Theatre Royal
Inside and out,the Opera House now plays a leading role in the cultural life of Wexford
Inside and out,the Opera House now plays a leading role in the cultural life of Wexford

Brendan Keane

The National Opera House will mark its 10th 'birthday' this week as it begins a very special programme of events covering the next 12 months.

The venue was officially opened by then Taoiseach Brian Cowan on September 5, 2008, and the first event to take place there was a special live screening of the Late Late Show TV programme.

Speaking to this newspaper about the plans for the year ahead the venue's Media Relations Manager Elizabeth Rose-Browne said there is an exciting and eclectic line-up of acts scheduled to appear over the coming months.

The celebrations will effectively begin with this year's Wexford Festival Opera which will take place from October 19 to November 4.

Work is already underway on prepping the venue for the event with sets being constructed on-site and rooms being made ready for rehearsals - which are due to begin in earnest within the coming fornight.

Ms Rose-Browne said the artists appearing in the Operas will be arriving in town on September 10 and the next few weeks will be very busy for everyone involved.

'Here we are 10-years on and we have some big plans for the whole year ahead,' she said.

'There will be some special events and they will feature all genres of the arts including music, dance, comedy and theatre,'she added.

This year will also see the return of the 'Sing Out Loud' initiative which will involve 250 children performing on-stage each evening from November 12 to 22 supported by a full professional line-up of artists incorporating a wide range of music styles.

'On September 5 we will mark the birthday ourselves but because we are in prep mode for the Opera Festival we will not have a specific event on that day,' said Ms Rose-Browne.

As part of the celebrations a specially commissioned giant birthday card will be placed in the foyer of the venue and incoming artists throughout the year will be able to sign it.

The card has already been signed by the Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan TD after it was presented to her in Dublin by three young singers from Wexford - who will participate in the Sing Out Loud initiative.

'We will have some very special announcements in the coming weeks about events coming up,' said Ms Rose-Browne.

Some of the artists scheduled to appear at the venue will include the National Symphony Orchestra, Tommy Tiernan, author, Michael Harding, Ballet Ireland, the Nualas, Sharon Shannon and Nathan Carter.

Some of the world's foremost tribute acts will also be returning to the venue over the next year including the Simon & Garfunkel Show and the Ultimate Eagles Tribute Show.

Aslan will also perform in the venue in December and they will have Wexford's own Maca as special guests.

'It's an exciting time for the venue and we are looking forward to a busy 12 months of celebration starting with the Wexford Festival Opera,' said Ms Rose-Browne.

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