Tom Sutcliffe

Sideshow winner

I thought my 27th Wexford Opera Festival since 1972 was going to be one of the best. I had seen and enjoyed the Cilea and Chabrier operas on the bill at Holland Park and Opera North in the 1990s, and I was intrigued whether Delius’s A Village Romeo and Juliet was viable music theatre. Wexford

Where Rowan went wrong

Rowan Williams will step down at the end of 2012, having been Primate of All England for a decade. It is already clear that his term of office has been disastrous. Church people have affection for him, respect even. He is not blamed for the disaster, since he is only doing a job he was

Going solo in Ireland

Wexford’s remarkable opera house is as good a symbol as any of the Irish financial meltdown. The auditorium is fabulous, and not just acoustically. The building — funded by the Irish government just before the banks collapsed — is now the trump card that has preserved the Wexford Festival as Ireland’s sole surviving operatic gesture.

Troubled Wexford

The new Wexford Opera House has certainly raised the profile of opera in Ireland. You cannot argue with a prize-winning building that is one of just four large purpose-built opera auditoriums in these islands, alongside Glyndebourne, Covent Garden and the Wales Millennium Centre. Built with Irish taxpayers’ money, it would be a sick Irish joke

Wexford winner

The Irish government has spent €27 million on a stunning new opera house in Wexford, which is having a flawless and crisis-free baptism in the current opera festival there. The old Theatre Royal was knocked down in November 2005, and the money the festival managed to raise was just €6 million of the €33 million

Awkward member of the squad

Peter Hall and Richard Eyre both published diaries about their time running the National Theatre, edited in Hall’s case by his head of PR, John Goodwin. Alan Bennett’s diaries are a bestseller. So are Joe Orton’s, with their devotion over a mere eight months to extra-curricular, often subterranean activity. The ‘celebrity diary’ as a literary