Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan announces €1m in capital funding!

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan announces €1m in capital funding!
19 October 2018

(Friday, 19 October 2018) Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today announced a €1m capital grant for the National Opera House, in advance of the opening of the 67th Wexford Festival Opera, which opens tonight with a ceremony and fireworks display on Wexford’s quay front. The National Opera House on High Street, is home to the internationally acclaimed Wexford Festival Opera. Minister Madigan will be in Wexford this evening to officially open the Festival.

Speaking ahead of the official opening ceremony of Wexford Festival Opera 2018, Minister Madigan said, “I am conscious that we are celebrating this year, the 10th Anniversary of the opening of this magnificent Opera House. And while this auditorium looks as good as the day on which it opened, we all aware that every house requires continued investment to keep it in shape. So I am delighted tonight to announce that my Department will be investing €1m in necessary updating and refurbishment works over the next 3 years to protect the State’s significant investment in this building and to ensure that National Opera House continues to operate at the highest quality levels for many years to come.”

“In opera, Wexford is a global leader. In the arts, Wexford is a national example. This Government is deeply appreciative of this and is strongly supportive of the arts and Ireland’s arts community. The Taoiseach has made a public commitment to double funding for culture and the arts by 2025. Last week in Budget 2019 I was delighted to increase funding for arts and culture by over €22m. This includes doubling the increase in funding for the Arts Council by €6m to €75m.”

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Opera and the National Opera House, David McLoughlin said, “We are deeply grateful to the Minister and her Department for continuing and extending the Government’s investment in this unique national cultural asset. The multi-annual funding will enable us to invest in the fabric of the highly sophisticated venue and maintain the National Opera House at its world-class standard in keeping with its national status. This investment, in what is a crucial element of the nation’s cultural infrastructure, will directly enhance the experience of the increasing numbers of audiences and artists who participate in multi-disciplinary performances in the venue year-round”. 

The importance of the Festival, and its home, has been recognised by Government in the provision of support provided for the construction of Wexford Opera House, now the National Opera House, on the site of the former Theatre Royal in the heart of Wexford town, where the Festival began 67 years ago.

Named ‘Best Festival’ in the 2017 International Opera Awards, Wexford continues its tradition of presenting the ‘best operas rarely seen’.  This year’s Festival includes a verismo-style double-bill, a European premiere and a classic Wexford offering involving kidnapping, murder, betrayal and a posh New York dinner party that doesn't quite go to plan.  All this plus three daytime ShortWorks, concerts, recitals, theatre and talks. 62 public events over the autumn 17-day period.

The 67th Wexford Festival Opera will run until Sunday, 4th November.  Tickets can be purchased online 24/7 at, in person at the National Opera House or by calling the box-office on +353 (0)53 912 2144 or 1-850-4-OPERA Monday-Saturday, 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

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The 67th Wexford Festival Opera is supported by grants from the Arts Council, Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland/Ireland’s Ancient East.


Press information:         

Elizabeth Rose-Browne / Media Relations Manager / Wexford Festival Opera

Tel: +353 53 916 3523 / +353 87 211 6903

Gerry Lundberg / Sinead O’Doherty / O’Doherty Communications

Tel: +353 (0)1 679 8476 / +353 (0)87 259 1070 / +353 (0)86 259 1070

UK press enquiries please contact:  Joanna Townsend / / +44 (0)7970 871352 (mobile)