Wexford 70th 1956

In 1956 Flotow’s opera ‘Martha’ created quite an impression. Paired with Rossini’s ‘La Cenerentola’ and with two astonishing casts, by now Wexford was firmly established as a serious international festival with an impressive programme of ancillary events. Images from both…

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In 1956 Flotow’s opera ‘Martha’ created quite an impression. Paired with Rossini’s ‘La Cenerentola’ and with two astonishing casts, by now Wexford was firmly established as a serious international festival with an impressive programme of ancillary events. Images from both productions are included in the video.
The Arts Council Of Ireland reported: “The Sixth Wexford Festival of Music and the Arts, to which the Council gave considerable financial assistance, was held from the 28th October to the 4th November 1956. The standards set in previous years were fully maintained in this Festival. The principal features were the production of the two operas Martha by Flotow and La Cenerentola by Rossini, with the Radio Eireann Light Orchestra. The cast included the following artists, Gisela Vivarelli, Constance Shaddock, Gwyn Griffiths, Marko Rothmuller, Josef Traxel, Geoffrey Clifton, Nicola Monti, Paolo Pedani, Cristiano Dallamangas, April Cantelo, Patricia Kem, Barbara Howitt and John Holmes, with a chorus composed of selected singers from Wexford and the surrounding districts. Other musical features were recitals by the Radio Eireann Symphony Orchestra, by Jan Smeterlin (Piano) and by Paolo Montarsolo (bass) accompanied by Jeannie Reddin. There were also showings of operatic and other films and gramophone and organ recitals. Bernard Shaw’s Buoyant Billions was produced by the Dublin University Players. In the visual arts the outstanding exhibition was that of contemporary French bookbindings and illustration, arranged by Monsieur Pierre-André and Madame Lucie Weill-Quillardet, in cooperation with the Services Culturels Français and the Comité National du Livre Illustré Francais, which was afterwards shown in Dublin and which has been described earlier in this report. There were also other exhibitions of painting, including an an exhibition of wild fowl paintings by Robert Jobson, a children’s art exhibition, sponsored by Caltex (Ireland) Ltd., an exhibition of Folk Tradition and two photographic exhibitions.
The 1956 Festival again attracted very wide publicity, even more so than in previous years.

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