Town and port in south-east Ireland. It attained international musical fame in October 1951, when a festival was founded by T.J. Walsh, a local doctor with a passion for opera. Walsh remained artistic director until 1966; after the first year when Balfe's Rose of Castillewas given at the Theatre Royal, the repertory (with the annual number of operas growing from one to three) consisted almost entirely of 19th-century Italian works: Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and early Verdi. French operas were sometimes included, but usually sung in Italian. An exception was Massenet's Don Quichotte, conducted by Albert Rosen, who took part in over 20 festivals between 1965 and 1994. Walsh had a special aptitude for discovering young singers: among those who appeared at Wexford early in their careers were Mirella Freni, Graziella Sciutti, Janet Baker, Fiorenza Cossotto, Alain Vanzo and Giacomo Aragall.
Brian Dickie, artistic director from 1967 to 1973, extended the repertory back to Haydn and Mozart, and forward to Janáček and Britten. He also billed French operas by Delibes, Gounod and Bizet, mostly conducted by David Lloyd Jones, and two Russian works: Glinka's A Life for the Tsar, in which the Finnish bass Matti Salminen made his West European début as Ivan Susanin, and Prokofiev's The Gambler. Thomson Smillie (1974–8) pushed the repertory yet further back to Cavalli, while consolidating the French element with Lalo and more Massenet. Adrian Slack (1979–81) found a new seam to mine in verismo composers such as Montemezzi and Wolf-Ferrari.
During Elaine Padmore's directorship (1982–94) Wexford flourished as never before. The theatre auditorium and backstage area were enlarged and the festival extended to 18 days, while the repertory also expanded: Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini still found a place, as did French opera, from Boieldieu and Hérold to Thomas (Mignon) and more little-known Massenet. Padmore disinterred works by Alfano, Catalini, Giordano and Mascagni and presented German operas from Marschner and Humperdinck to Goetz and Weill. Her final festival consisted of Wagner's Das Liebesverbot, Leoncavallo's La bohème and Rubinstein's The Demon, an archetypal Wexford programme. She introduced new singers (Cynthia Clarey, Bruce Ford, Raúl Giménez, Sergey Leiferkus), conductors (Yan Pascal Tortelier) and directors (Declan Donnellan, Francesca Zambello, Lucy Bailey). Luigi Ferrari succeeded Padmore as the festival's director in 1995.
T.J.Walsh, B.Dickie and E.Forbes: ‘The Wexford Festival’, Opera (1973), festival issue, 10–21
I.Fox, ed.: 100 Nights at the Opera: an Anthology to Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Wexford Festival Opera (Dublin, 1991)
Weyse, Christoph Ernst Friedrich
(b Altona, nr Hamburg, 5 March 1774; d Copenhagen, 8 Oct 1842). Danish composer. He was sent to Copenhagen in 1789 to study with J.A.P. Schulz, musical director of the Kongelige Teater and remained in the city for the rest of his life. He served as organist firstly at the Reformed Church from 1792, and then from 1805 at Copenhagen Cathedral. In 1816 he was made titular professor at the University of Copenhagen (where he was given an honorary doctorate in 1842) and in 1819 became court composer with the obligation to produce cantatas and operas for the Kongelige Teater. He was known as an excellent pianist, in his youth especially for his performances of Mozart's piano concertos, and he particularly distinguished himself at improvisation, both at the piano and the organ. He was esteemed for his artistic taste in music and other matters, and in his later years he was the leading authority in Copenhagen's musical life. He had an unhappy love affair in 1801 and remained unmarried.
A conservative by nature, Weyse was rooted in 18th-century musical ideals, extending from Bach and Handel to Gluck and Haydn, but not beyond Mozart, and he did not sympathize at all with the new trends in Beethoven's works. He composed seven symphonies (1795–9) that demonstrate Haydn's influence, some of which were partly re-used for overtures and incidental music in his theatrical works. More personal are his piano compositions, also mostly written in his youth. They consist of two volumes of Jugendarbeiten 1790–94 with many Allegri di bravura, a genre (fast movements in sonata form) which he invented and explored with two further collections (1796 and 1809). All these works show a development from the north German pre-classical keyboard style, especially of C.P.E. Bach (with whom he had unsuccessfully sought lessons as a youth), to that of the Viennese Classical tradition of Haydn, Clementi and Mozart. The famous Bohemian pianist and composer Ignaz Moscheles, who visited Copenhagen in 1829, inspired Weyse to return to piano composition and was the dedicatee of the Allegro di bravura op.50. Two sets of Etudes, opp.51 and 60, followed; these brilliant pieces, demanding an advanced technique, are among Weyse's best piano works (praised by Schumann) and contain his only music to embrace the Romantic style of the period.
It is as a vocal composer, however, that Weyse is most remembered. He composed a large number of cantatas and minor works for soloists, chorus and orchestra for major public occasions, consisting of arias, ensembles, recitatives and choruses (many in fugal style and as chorales) written in a solemn, rather old-fashioned style, but very highly regarded in his lifetime.
His theatrical works are made up of six Singspiel-type operas and some incidental music. The charming music of Sovedrikken (The Sleeping-Draught, 1809) – a comedy similar in character to Dittersdorf's Doktor und Apotheker – made it his most performed and only successful opera. Of the following operas Ludlams Hule (Ludlam's Cave, 1816) is a melodramatic ghost story set in Scotland, while the incidental music to Shakespeare's Macbeth (1817) contains interesting music for the witches’ choruses and the banquet scene. His later operas, particularly Floribella (1825) and Festen paa Kenilworth (The Feast at Kenilworth, 1836), are conceived on a larger scale with extended forms and more varied harmonies. But on the whole Weyse lacked the dramatic flair of his contemporary Friedrich Kuhlau. In his stage works the finest numbers are the shorter arias and ensembles, many of them lyrical, strophic songs in moderate 6/8 time derived from the siciliana, with a characteristically Danish melodic structure, typical of his attractive romance style.
Weyse also wrote many songs, extending from the early simple songs in the manner of Schulz’s Lieder im Volkston, to the mature works, the summit of which are the famous Morgen- og Aftensange (Morning and Evening Songs, 1837 and 1838). These songs were published together with some romances from his stage works in two volumes after his death and soon became the most popular music in Denmark in the 19th century. With his unique feeling for the intimate connection of words and music and his great melodic gift it was certainly as a composer of songs that Weyse stood out, and it is for this that he is remembered in Danish music history.
for fuller lists and thematic catalogue see Berggreen (1876) and Fog (1979)
many MSS in DK-Kk
printed works published in Copenhagen unless otherwise stated
all first performed at Kongelige Teater, Copenhagen
Sovedrikken [The Sleeping-Draught] (Spl, 2, A. Oehlenschläger, after C.F. Bretzner), 21 April 1809, also in B-Br, vs (1815–16)
Faruk (Spl, 3, Oehlenschläger), 30 Jan 1812, ov. and excerpts, vs (1817–28)
Ludlams Hule [Ludlam’s Cave] (Spl, 4, Oehlenschläger), 30 Jan 1816, vs (1821–2)
Floribella (lyrical-romantic drama, 3, entr’acte, C.J. Boye), 29 Jan 1825, vs (1837)
Et eventyr i Rosenborg Have [An Adventure in Rosenborg Gardens] (Spl, 1, J.L. Heiberg), 26 May 1827, vs (1833)
Festen paa Kenilworth [The Feast at Kenilworth] (romantic Spl, 3, H.C. Andersen, after W. Scott), 6 Jan 1836, vs (1877)
Incid music: Macbeth (W. Shakespeare), 1817; Balders Død [The Death of Balder] (J. Ewald), 1832
Miserere, double chorus, orch, 1818 (1845)
25 cants. and 10 minor choruses, acc. pf/other insts, incl.: 3 Reformation cants., 1817, 1836, 1839, 3 for Christmas, 1818, 1834, 1836, 2 Passion cants., 1819, 1825, 1 for Whitsunday, 1820, 2 for Easter, 1821, 1829, 1 for New Year, 1822
75 chorales and 25 choruses, a cappella, 3–4vv: for schools, 1838, 1841
Den Ambrosianske lovsang [The Ambrosian Hymn of Praise] (1826)
Several cants. for major public occasions
all with piano accompaniment
18 early songs in Jugendarbeiten, 1790–94, some in Vermischte Compositionen (1799)
Dybt Skoven bruser [Forest Murmurs] (F. von Schiller and Oehlenschläger) (1802)
Various songs, 1814–35
9 Sange (1837)
8 Morgensange for børn (B.S. Ingemann) (1837)
7 Aftensange (Ingemann) (1838)
8 Gesänge (1838)
Romancer og sange (1852–60), comprehensive posthumous collection
all ed. in Dania Sonans, viii (Copenhagen, 1997)
 Allegri di bravura (Berlin, 1796); repr. as Nägeli’s Répertoire des clavecinistes, vii (Zürich, 1803)
3 sonatas in Vermischte Compositionen (1799)
 Allegri di bravura (Zürich, 1809)
24 écossaises (1823)
Allegro di bravura, a, op.50 (1830)
8 Etudes, op.51 (1832)
4 Etudes, op.60 (1838)
Jugendarbeiten, 1790–94, incl. 4 minor pieces, 5 fugues, fantasia, 4 sonatas, 8 Allegri di bravura
7 syms., orch, 1795–9; no.6 as op.1 (1799/R); no.7 (Vienna, 1803); ed. in Dania Sonans, ix (Copenhagen, 1998–)
38 canons, before 1817
Choral-Melodier til den evangelisk christelige Psalmebog (1839)
100 gamle Kaempevise Melodier [folksong collection], voice, pf (1840–42)
32 lette orgelpraeludier (1843/R)
C.Thrane: ‘C.E.F. Weyse’, Danske komponister (Copenhagen, 1875), 6–70
A.P.Berggreen: C.E.F. Weyse’s biographie (Copenhagen, 1876) [with list of works and Weyse’s autobiography, orig. pubd in Hesperus, iii, 1820, pp.140–78]
W.Behrend: ‘Weyse und Kuhlau’, Die Musik, iii (1903–4), 272–86
C.Thrane: Weyses minde (Copenhagen, 1916)
J.P.Larsen: Weyses sange (Copenhagen, 1942)
G.Cockshott: ‘Some Songs of C.E.F. Weyse’, MT, xci (1950), 139–41
C.Hatting: Weyses kantater (diss., U. of Copenhagen, 1955)
S.Lunn and E.Reitzel-Nielsen, eds.: C.E.F. Weyse: Breve [Letters] (Copenhagen, 1964)
K.Å.Bruun: Dansk musiks historie, i (Copenhagen, 1969), 126–85