Previous titles held by Hunt include director of performing arts at Riverside Studios London, associate and artistic director of the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre and artistic director of the Bloomsbury Festival. He has also staged 50 productions at Wexford, English National Opera and the Portland (Oregon) Opera, among others.
Hunt has been widely praised for his work at the Theatre Royal, whose board, quoted in the Kilkenny Advertiser, said, "There is no doubt that he has laid the foundation for what is a much improved theatre program which included a number of very successful opera productions, and it will be the intention of both board and staff to continue Michael's good work."
At Wexford, Hunt will work with artistic director David Agler. He succeeds Jerome Hynes, who collapsed and died last fall at age 45 while speaking to staff and performers from the stage of his theater.
The Wexford Festival Opera, held every autumn in the town of the same name on the southeastern coast of Ireland, was created in 1951 to focus on rarely-produced works. The 2006 festival, which runs from October 25 to November 6, features Donizetti's Don Gregorio and Conrad Susa's Transformations.