Wexford & Dublin

October 2023

With Zoraida di Granata, L’Aube Rouge, La Ciociara plus recitals, lectures and daytime events at the Wexford Festival; plays at the Abbey and Gate Theatres in Dublin. Superb cuisine and historical touring. West Country option.

Wexford Opera HouseThe Wexford Festival Opera has always attracted an international audience, playing a central role in the cultural life of Ireland. It is considered one of the more important launching pads for up-and-coming opera singers. The Festival is committed to presenting off-the-beaten path productions, and 2023 is no exception, as we will hear three rarely-performed operas. We also include midday recitals and special events, always interesting.

A full itinerary will be available in December 2022. We will take only 16 members on the tour.

FLIGHT DAY
Independent departures for overnight flights to Dublin.

ARRIVAL DAY
Upon arrival at Dublin Airport you will be met by your driver and transferred to the 5-star Westbury Hotel.
19.00 This evening we meet for a Welcome Dinner (included) in the hotel’s Wilde Restaurant.

DAY 2
After breakfast (included each day), the morning is at leisure to rest and adjust to local time.
13.00 In the afternoon, we gather in the lobby and depart for a visit of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as one of our favourite spots in the city,
the nearby Marsh’s Library—the oldest in Ireland—built in 1701.
17.30 We meet in the lobby and walk to dinner at the lauded One Pico near Trinity College and our hotel.
19.20 Transfer to the National Concert Hall for a concert (TBA; 20.00).

DAY 3
10.00 Today we embark on a full-day castle and abbey tour. We will visit Trim Castle, a massive Anglo-Norman fortress, erected in the 1170s as the main seat of power for the de Lacy family. Then it is on to the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Tara is reputed to allow a glimpse of no less than 25% of the Irish mainland. It holds ceremonial enclosures and passage tombs. We will stop for lunch in the nearby tea room. Then we visit Monasterboice, a ‘Celtic’ Christian monastery founded by St. Buite before 521 AD. Its Tall Cross is the tallest high cross in existence. Finally, we visit Old Mellifont Abbey, secluded in a tranquil valley with streams, woodlands and fields nearby. In 1690, Mellifont was used as headquarters for William of Orange during the Battle of the Boyne. Tonight we either include a leisurely dinner at Pearl Brasserie or a cocktail reception and a performance (TBA).

DAY 4
13.00 In the afternoon, we gather in the lobby and depart for a visit of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as one of our favourite spots in the city,
the nearby Marsh’s Library—the oldest in Ireland—built in 1701.
17.30 We meet in the lobby and walk to dinner at the lauded One Pico near Trinity College and our hotel.
19.20 Transfer to the National Concert Hall for a concert (TBA; 20.00).

DAY 5
10.00 Today after breakfast we check out and load our bags onto the coach, depart Dublin and drive south to Wexford, stopping en route to
visit the Kilkenny Design Centre next to the Kilkenny Castle. Lunch is at leisure at the Kilkenny Design Centre. Upon arrival in Wexford we check in at the 4-star Talbot Hotel.
19.20 We meet in the lobby and walk to the Wexford Opera House for tonight’s performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s Zoraida di Granata.
20.00 curtain. Runs 2 h. 45 m.

DAY 6
10.00 This morning we meet in the lobby and partake in a guided walking tour of Wexford, featuring Selskar Abbey (1190), the Cornmarket, Bullring and Main Street.
13.05 After the tour, we enjoy an hour-long recital at St. Iberius Church.
Lunch is at leisure.
15.30 Curtain for the afternoon performance (TBA) at the Wexford Opera
House.
19.15 This evening we walk to Félicien Erlanger’s L’Aube Rouge at the Festival Opera. 20.00 curtain. Runs 3 h.

DAY 7
Enjoy a day at leisure to rest or take in the 11:00 AM lunchtime recital (included; TBA). Runs 1 h.
16.30 Brian accompanies us as we depart on foot for Tutino’s La Ciociara (Two Women) at the Festival Opera. 17.00 curtain. Runs 2 h. 35 m.
Dinner is at leisure following the performance.
21.00 Curtain for a special Gala Concert at the Wexford Opera House.

DAY 8
09.45 After breakfast, we load our bags onto the coach and return to Dublin. We stop at Powerscourt Estate on the way for a private tour with the
Head Gardener. Lunch is at leisure at Powerscourt. We continue on our way to Dublin and check in at the 5-star Shelbourne Hotel for a two-night stay.
Dinner this evening is included at The Pig’s Ear.

DAY 9
10.00 After breakfast we meet and embark on a private coach and walking tour of Dublin. The tour includes some of the city’s
most renowned sites, such as Christ Church Cathedral and Trinity College, where the famous “Book of Kells” is on display.
Lunch and the afternoon are at leisure.
17.30 This evening we gather for a Farewell Dinner in the Shelbourne’s Saddle Room prior to driving to the Abbey Theatre for a performance (TBA).

DEPARTURE DAY
Transfers are included to Dublin Airport (15 minutes) for homeward flights.