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Zurich Sponsors Opening Production at 60th Wexford Festival Opera

Zurich Officially Launches Volunteer Award - for Outstanding Leadership and Development

August, 2nd 2011

Zurich Insurance has announced its production sponsorship of 'La cour de Célimène', the French opera which will officially open the 60th Wexford Festival Opera. The 1850's opéra-comique by Ambroise Thomas will run for four rare Irish performances during the festival this October and November.

Speaking at the sponsorship announcement, Ken Norgrove, Chief Executive Officer, Zurich General Insurance said, "As a significant employer locally, with over 120 people now based in Wexford, Zurich is delighted to be able to support Wexford Festival Opera. Now in its 60th year, the festival has rightly achieved critical acclaim for its role in fostering cultural awareness and promoting the world of Opera and the arts both nationally and internationally."

"Wexford Festival Opera plays an integral role in its local community, from the opening of the new state-of-the-art Opera house, to the 350 local volunteers who dedicate considerable time and effort to ensure the continued success and promotion of the festival."

He added, "2011 is the European Year of the Volunteer, to commemorate this and to highlight our commitment to Wexford Festival Opera and its volunteers we have launched the Wexford Festival Opera/Zurich Volunteer Award - for Outstanding Leadership and Development to be presented on an annual basis to the volunteer who has served to enhance the development, patron service and longevity of Wexford Festival Opera."

Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Trust, David Mc Loughlin said, "It is extremely encouraging that the significant and invaluable contribution to the festival by Volunteers over the past 60 years is being recognised by our leading production sponsor in a practical and rewarding way through the Wexford Festival Opera/Zurich Volunteer Award - for Outstanding Leadership and Development. This Award is an illustration of the enhanced partnership between Wexford Festival Opera and Zurich and a great recognition of the 60th anniversary of the founding of Ireland's leading international cultural event by a group of brave, committed and far-sighted volunteers in 1951."

'La cour de Célimène' will be performed on four nights during the 60th Wexford Festival Opera: 21st, 27th, 30th October and 3rd November. It is estimated that the 2011 Festival will contribute in the region of €6 million to the local Wexford economy.

Nominations for the Wexford Festival Opera/Zurich Volunteer Award - for Outstanding Leadership and Development will open in early September. For further information, please visit

Pictured at the sponsorship announcement were l-r: Soprano Claudia Boyle, Ken Norgrove, CEO, Zurich General Insurance and David Mc Loughlin, CEO, Wexford Festival Trust