22/10/2014 Minister Humphreys announces renaming of Wexford Opera House as ‘The National Opera House’
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced that she is giving her support to the renaming of Wexford Opera House as The National Opera House. Minister Humphreys was speaking as she officially opened the 63rd Wexford Festival Opera, which kicked off with a fireworks display on the quayside followed by a performance of ‘Salomé’ by Antoine Mariotte.
Speaking this evening Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to be here in Wexford this evening to officially open the 63rd annual Wexford Festival Opera. The Festival Opera is a Wexford institution; its high quality productions have won critical acclaim, both at home and abroad, and the Festival is now an event of international significance and standing.
“Over the next 12 nights, audiences will experience the kind of beauty and wonder that only a great festival can deliver. The production of Silent Night is particularly apt and poignant this year, as we are now just over 2 months away from the centenary of the unfortunately short-lived Christmas Truce on the Western Front battlefields of Europe during the First World War. A fantastic programme of Short Works will also enthrall existing and new opera fans alike, as well as the host of recitals, concerts and talks.
“The work undertaken by my Department and the Arts Council ensures that the arts are being nurtured and developed nationwide, so that communities like Wexford can enjoy a lively and unique cultural scene. One of the great strengths of the arts is the power to bring people of all walks of life together.
It helps us both to understand ourselves better, and to connect with others.
“I am proud to have been asked to open the Wexford Festival Opera, the centerpiece of Wexford’s cultural calendar. And I am delighted to be able to give my full support tonight to the renaming of Wexford Opera House as The National Opera House. I have asked my officials to work with Wexford and the Arts Council to put this into effect, in recognition of Wexford’s position as the home of Ireland’s only custom built Opera House.
“The Wexford Opera House is Ireland’s only acoustically purpose-built Opera House, and it has been a major addition to our cultural infrastructure since the state-of-the-art building was opened in 2008. The Irish people, through funding from my Department, have invested more than €31 million in this Opera House, and I think it is fitting that it is renamed The National Opera House.
“I would like to wish the Artistic Director David Agler and Chief Executive David McLoughlin, and their teams, all the very best for this year’s Festival, which promises to enthrall and delight opera fans from far and wide.”