Ireland's Wexford Festival Presents Three Operatic Rarities

Classic Arts News   Ireland's Wexford Festival Presents Three Operatic Rarities
The Wexford Festival, a 53-year-old showcase for rarely heard operas, opens tonight with a production of Saverio Mercadante's La vestale.

The festival on Ireland's southeastern coast, which runs through October 31, also includes stagings of Josef Bohuslav Foerster's Eva and Walter Braunfels' Prinzessin Brambilla, as well as concerts, recitals, and "opera scenes"‹90-minute versions of mainstream operas.

La vestale, a hit when it premiered in Naples in 1840, is perhaps most familiar today because of its influence on Verdi, who stole from it a number of plot details for Aida.

The Czech Foerster was long associated with Prague's National Theater, and Eva premiered there in 1899. Eva is based on a play by Gabriela Prissovš, whose work was also the source of Janšcek's Jenufa.

Once one of Germany's most popular composers, the half-Jewish Braunfels saw his career cut short by the Nazis. His Prinzessin Brambilla is based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann.

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