Wexford Festival Opera and Ecclesiastical Insurance are inviting nominations for the Ecclesiastical/ Wexford Festival Opera Volunteer of the Year Award.

This award seeks to recognise and highlight the extraordinary contribution and initiative of Wexford Festival Opera volunteers, who not only founded this now world-renowned Festival, but are fundamental to its continued success.

Nominations for the award are open now and will close on Friday, 25 September. Anyone can nominate a Wexford Festival Opera Volunteer and we especially encourage our patrons to participate in the nominations. The 2015 recipient will be announced on Sunday, 18 October, prior to the first public dress rehearsal of Koanga by Frederick Delius.

Nominees must have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to Wexford Festival Opera. This could have been either by their volunteering during the Festival itself or at any time throughout the year to enhance, promote, fundraise and/or develop Wexford Festival Opera as an organisation and as an event. To submit a nomination, visit the Wexford Opera website. Nomination forms can also be picked up from the box-office at the National Opera House.

Chairman of Wexford Festival Opera Ger Lawlor, a long-time volunteer himself, commenting on the award said, ‘For the thousands of people that come to Wexford each year, meeting our magnificent volunteers is a unique and special part of their Festival experience. The Ecclesiastical/ Wexford Festival Opera Volunteer of the Year Award recognises the unique contribution that our volunteers make in so many areas of the company’s operations. Every volunteer is justifiably proud of their individual contribution to the Festival, and as we begin to gather for the 64th Festival, we salute them for their energy, drive, commitment and enthusiasm. I would strongly encourage everyone to nominate any one of our wonderful and worthy volunteers for this very special award.’

Ecclesiastical Insurance, proud sponsor of the award, is Ireland’s leading specialist insurance company serving the education, faith, heritage and charity sectors, providing insurance and services for those who care about their communities and the environment in which they live and work. Ecclesiastical Insurance is a company that donates a significant proportion of its profits to charity, so it is fitting that they are associated with the award.

Preparations for the 64th Wexford Festival Opera are in full-swing. Booking is very strong with weekend performances of the evening operas fully sold out, though there is still some availability for mid-week performances. People who haven’t yet booked tickets to this unique, world renowned Festival are advised to book online as soon as possible at Wexfordopera.com , telephone the box office at +353 (0)53 912 2144 or call into the National Opera House between Monday and Saturday, 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. to avoid disappointment.