With the Wexford Festival Opera in full swing, RTÉ Archives takes a look back to the very first festival in 1951, when the highlight was a production of 'The Rose of Castile' by Irish composer Michael William Balfe, starring Maureen Springer as Elvira, Murray Dickie as Manuel and Angela O'Connor as Carmen, accompanied by the Radio Éireann Light Orchestra.

Radio Éireann coverage of the 1951 festival includes this interview with cast member Angela O'Connor, who plays Elvira's maid Carmen and spends the first act dressed up as a boy. She tells Norris Davidson that she thinks she was picked for the part because she had performed with the Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society. She will have to juggle her role as Carmen with a trip to Dublin that Friday to get conferred with her BA in modern languages.

The Wexford Festival Opera runs until 3 November.

The accompanying image shows a rehearsal of 'L'infedeltà delusa' by Joseph Haydn for the 1969 festival. © RTÉ Archives 2595/008