The programme for the 64th Wexford Festival Opera, 21st Oct - 1st Nov, has been announced, and it makes for impressive reading.

Rejection, jealousy and forbidden love are at the heart of the three mainstage operas on offer this year, specialising in unjustly neglected or rarely performed repertoire. Three mainstage operas that comfortably fit into this category: Koanga by Frederick Delius, Guglielmo Ratcliff by Pietro Mascagni and Le Pré aux clercs by Ferdinand Hérold.

Koanga by Frederick Delius is considered to be the first opera written about African-Americans. It is a powerfully atmospheric opera about a proud African prince, sold into slavery in Louisiana, who falls in love with a mixed-race maid, with tragic consequences.

Guglielmo Ratcliff by Pietro Mascagni is recognised as having one of the most demanding roles ever written for a tenor. Jealousy is at the heart of Mascagni’s blood-soaked opera, in which a young Scot, spurned by the object of his affections, challenges anyone who woos her to a duel.

Le Pré aux clercs (The Clerks’ Meadow) by Ferdinand Hérold is a co-production with the famed Opéra-Comique de Paris, where the opera was originally performed in 1832. Set during the French Wars of Religion, Le Pré aux clercs is a touching romance in which a young countess rebels against the suitor chosen for her by the King of France and hatches a daring plot to escape with her lover to Navarre.

In addition to the three mainstage operas, this year’s programme also includes three daytime ShortWorks operas, concerts, lunchtime recitals, lectures and talks, as well as the Fringe Festival in Wexford Town which coincides with the festival. The fringe includes art exhibitions, drama and musical performances, historical tours.

Priority booking for Friends of Wexford Festival is already open while general booking opens at the end of the month on Saturday, 28 March.

For a full look at the festivals listings, head over to here.