A host of musical talent returns to Waterford’s Theatre Royal

Waterford’s International Music Festival is set to return to the Theatre Royal from May 1st to May 13th.

Known affectionately as the ‘mother of all festivals’ and now in its 51st season, the Waterford International Music Festival is regarded as one of the premier musical events of its kind in Ireland.

Formerly the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera began in 1958 and ran for 49 consecutive years. Following a newly formatted festival in 2010 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, 2012 sees the Waterford International Music Festival set to make a welcome return to the beautifully restored Theatre Royal.

The 2012 Waterford International Music Festival promises 10 nights of high calibre musical talent featuring five nights of competitive light opera, three nights of the highly popular High Schools Musical Festival, a cabaret style final night and a headline performance by Irish tenor Finbar Wright.

Ben Barnes, Director, Waterford’s Theatre Royal, is delighted with the return of the Waterford International Music Festival. “Waterford has a long and highly esteemed tradition of musicals and has always been a popular venue for musical productions from all over the world.”

“This year we are delighted to welcome some very exciting productions from Ireland and the UK, along with some highly entertaining shows from closer to home, including David Hennessy’s stunning production of Les Miserables.”

Les Miserables is currently celebrating 25 years of standing ovations and critical acclaim all over the world and is now set to take the Theatre Royal by storm featuring the cream of young talent from the South Eastern Youth Theatre Group.

On May 6th, “The Boys in the Photograph” will be performed by Belfast’s Fusion Theatre Group. “The Boys in the Photograph” is a Ben Elton and Andrew Lloyd Webber rewrite of “The Beautiful Game”. Set in Belfast at the start of the Troubles, it reflects the rise of violence, but ultimately demonstrates that violence is not the answer.

Clara and Maynooth Musical Societies along with Galway’s Encore Theatre will bring their respective productions of “The Producers”, “RENT” and “Clown” to the May festival. The final night adjudication on May 13th will feature a cabaret by Scotland’s Downfield Musical Society.

Headline act and Cork native Finbar Wright is no stranger to Waterford or the Theatre Royal as he celebrated 20 years of music with a sell out performance in February 2010.

An accomplished and versatile performer, Finbar Wright has enjoyed a spectacular musical career around the globe and has performed with the Irish Tenors, Monserrat Caballé, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis.

Ben Barnes added “Finbar’s wonderful voice and presence makes him a firm favourite with Waterford music lovers. Waterford audiences took him to their hearts when he performed here in 2010 and we are pleased that he is coming back to perform a very special concert in aid of the Waterford International Music Festival on Thursday, May 3rd.”

For further information about the Waterford International Music Festival, line up and booking information, visit www.waterfordintlmusicfestival.com, www.theatreroyal.ie or call the Theatre Royal Booking Office on 051 874402.