A special experience for music lovers who take the train from Dublin to Wexford for the opera festival.
Almost 200 opera goers take the train from Westland Row in Dublin to Wexford. During the two and a half hour journey the passengers many of them dressed for the opera are wined and dined. On arrival in WExford they are greeted by a brass band.
A Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) employee says the only difference between the opera crowd and regular passengers, is they require a more complicated meal, but generally they are a very nice, older, more sedate group.
Regular opera attendee David is travelling by train to the opera for the first time. He is accompanied by Mrs Brown-Clayton and they are looking forward to seeing the rarely performed opera 'The Gambler' by Sergei Prokofiev which is based on novel by Dostoyevsk. Although they will be travelling straight back to Dublin after the opera concludes the effort is worth it as Wexford offers,
A great occasion, with marvellous singers, programmes of operas that are not widely known and it's essential to dress up for it.
Other passengers have been going to Wexford Festival Opera on the train for eight years. They have a package deal so the whole opera experience begins as soon as they board the train. Wexford offers a better standard of opera than in Dublin, although they do not think it is fair to compare the two.
This is the seventh and last season for Artistic Director of Wexford Festival Opera Brian Dickie. He is sad to be leaving the post, but his commitments with Glyndebourne Opera are becoming more demanding, plus he has reached a stage when he cannot leave his family for long periods of time. However he acknowledges that Wexford has been,
A tremendously important element in the development of my career.
On the train back to Dublin the opera lovers are exhilarated by the performance they witnessed in Wexford.
It was one of the most stimulating experiences I’ve had in many years.
A ‘Tangents’ report broadcast on 2 November 1973. The reporter is Cathal O’Shannon.