The Wexford Festival Opera has be running since 1951, playing a central role in the cultural life of Ireland, in the world of Opera and Arts internationally. From small and humble beginnings it has achieved world-wide success and critical acclaim by demonstrating passion, innovation and a willingness to lead audiences and artists into neglected territories to explore the rich vein of operatic work worldwide. It all began with a gramophone recital. The great Scottish novelist and founder of the Gramophone magazine, Sir Compton Mackenzie, had been persuaded during a visit to Ireland to give a talk to the Wexford Opera Study Circle in November 1950. The Chairman of the Circle, Dir. Tom Walsh struck up an excellent relationship with him and Sir Compton suggested Wexford should stage an opera in their little theatre. In October 2008, dreams became reality with the historic opening of The Wexford Opera House. Our Founders’ legacy will live on for the next 58 years and more, and this is home for the Wexford Opera Festival 2009.