PwC Ireland is to extend its support for the Wexford Festival Opera Emerging Young Artists programme for another three years.

The initiative serves to support and celebrate Ireland’s Emerging Young Artists from the opera world and helps to contribute towards the many costs associated with furthering their careers.

“Having the right skills is critical for success and PwC has a strong history of championing talent development,” said Jean Delaney, Tax Partner, PwC.

“We are proud to partner with Wexford Festival Opera for another three years on this exciting initiative.”

The news was announced as the 67th Wexford Festival Opera drew to a close over the weekend.

Wexford soprano Maria Hughes and Dublin tenor Richard Shaffrey have been announced as the 2018 PwC/Wexford Festival Opera Emerging Young Artist bursary winners.

Soprano Maria Hughes from Gorey Co. Wexford was making her third appearance at the Festival. This year she performed in three main evening operas, L’oracolo by Leoni and Mala vita by Giordano as well as taking on the role of Miss Copeland in the European premiere of Dinner at Eight by William Bolcom.

Tenor Richard Shaffrey, a native of Dublin, performed the role of Un Messo in the Mercadante opera II bravo as well as singing the role of Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West by Puccini, part of the ShortWorks daytime opera programme.

“With a reputation as an international festival which attracts audiences and critics from around the globe, Wexford Festival Opera is an important platform in which to showcase the best emerging talent and is a key part of our mission,” said Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director, David Agler.

“We are delighted to partner with PwC in the nurturing of young talent. It is my honour to award these two very promising young singers who are making a great contribution to the 2018 Wexford Festival company.”

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


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