A grand opening for the refurbished Theatre Royal home to the Wexford Festival Opera.

The Theatre Royal in Wexford has been the home of the opera festival since 1941. Until now its patrons have put up with less than perfect front-of house facilities, a cramped foyer and lengthy queues for the bars and toilets.

With funds raised through the Arts Council, the European Community, local authorities and private donations, the theatre has been transformed. £200,000 was spent buying the next door building and incorporating it into the theatre, providing extra foyer space, new toilets, bars and facilities for wheelchair users.

Making a facilities leap from the 50s to the 90s.

Jerome Hynes chief executive of the Wexford Opera Festival believes the renovation ensures patrons attending the opera will feel like they are experiencing a proper night out.

We want them to enjoy both the production and the evening out.

Local TD and Minister for Health Brendan Howlin cut the ribbon at the theatre launch saying,

Economically it’s important and I think just for morale it’s an intrinsic part of Wexford life.

The new theatre building was celebrated with a concert by tenor Finbar Wright and now awaits the 1993 opera festival, which will host numerous concerts including Tchaikovsky's opera ‘Cherevichki’, Paisello's ‘Barber of Seville’ and Hérold's ‘Zampa’. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 September 1993. The reporter is Michael Ryan.