Our annual October Tour to Ireland will begin in the capital of Dublin with three nights at our favorite Buswells Hotel, a remodeled grouping of Georgian townhouses. Dublin itself is a Georgian architectural gem, characterized by expansive parks and squares and known throughout the world for its multi-colored doors and decorative facades. Our performances in Dublin will concentrate on the great tradition of Irish theatre. Programs are not yet available, but we expect to enjoy a pair of evenings encompassing both the Abbey and Gate Theatres, whose companies and repertoire rank with the finest in the English-speaking world. We have been fortunate to enjoy riveting live performances at the Abbey and the Gate during our previous Irish Tours.                                                                                 

Our second destination will be the town of Wexford, for four nights at our first-choice Talbot’s Hotel. The exhilarating Wexford Festival draws visitors from all over the world, and our Tour members have been unanimous in their praise of the new Wexford Opera House which opened in 2008. This widely heralded event earned a number of prestigious awards – including the Royal Institute of British Architects European Award, the Irish Times Theatre Award, the Bank of Ireland’s foremost Architecture Award, and the ‘Best Cultural Building Award’ of Ireland’s Royal Institute of Architects. Now we are strongly encouraging opera enthusiasts to discover the astonishing acoustic, the comfortable seats (in marked contrast to the restricted leg room of the ‘old house’), and the aesthetic design of this intimate jewel of an opera house. The discerning Wall Street Journal has dubbed Wexford’s festival “one of Ireland’s greatest cultural destinations” and “one of Europe’s key international music events”.

The other important Wexford news has been the successful indoctrination of the company’s Artistic Director David Agler, who has followed his 2005 appointment with a decade of imaginative productions. For any of our former travelers who have appreciated the charm of Wexford and the hospitality of the warm-hearted residents, the inauguration of the new opera house should provide an irresistible stimulus to re-discover “the Festival’s intimate, convivial atmosphere” (Opera News).

For the 2017 season, Mr. Agler has announced a trio of works which reflect the Wexford tradition of staging operatic rarities. Opera ‘aficionados’ are accustomed to traveling to this Festival for the thrill of adventurous repertoire rather than another ‘Boheme’, ‘Traviata’ or ‘Carmen’. This year the three new productions are Luigi Cherubini’s classical 18th century tragedy, Medea (1797) – a famous vehicle for Maria Callas; Jacopo Foroni’s 19th century Italian melodrama, Margherita (1848); and Franco Alfano’s 20th century ‘verismo’ landmark, Risurrezione (1904), based on Leo Tolstoy’s turbulent eponymous Russian novel (‘Resurrection’).

We will attend all three of the 2017 new productions as well as two afternoon Lunchtime Recitals showcasing the Festival’s young operatic talents. These Recitals add an intimate element to the Festival and are held in Wexford’s St. Iberius Church in the center of town. THIS YEAR, OUR SCHEDULE WILL ALSO INCLUDE WEXFORD’S GALA CONCERT FEATRURING THE FESTIVAL’S LEADING ARTISTS.   

Set in a small and hospitable fishing village on the southeast coast of Ireland, the Wexford Festival richly deserves its reputation as Ireland’s most prestigious musical event. The noted British writer Bernard Levin chose Wexford as his favorite European Festival in his Conducted Tour, reflecting the combination of the luxuriant Irish countryside, the welcoming attitudes of the open-hearted local population and everyone connected with the Festival, and the high standards of operatic presentations. Our emphasis is on the Festival’s busy program and on relaxed dining in the area’s inviting coastal restaurants. An excursion to a nearby seafood restaurant in an unspoiled village has always added immeasurably to the informal camaraderie which continues to attract opera-lovers to our Irish Tours. One of our regular travelers returned to Wexford and Dublin with us for more than ten consecutive years.

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Prices Per Person (Air Fare not Included)

Double Occupancy: $4,970
Single Occupancy: $5,550