Inside Culture #26 (Donizetti at Wexford Opera Festival, Design & Violence, & Ivo van Hove)

On tonight’s show, we hear about design and violence at the Science Gallery, and chat to one of the world’s most respected directors, Ivo van Hove. We also visit the Wexford Opera Festival, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year.

The Wexford Opera Festival has an action packed programme including the works of Samuel Barber, Vaughan Williams, William Walton, and two operas by Gaetano Donizetti. We focus on the life and work of the Italian composer. Tiziano Bonini reports from the city of Bergamo in northern Italy where Donizetti was born and died.

Wexford Opera House

Wexford Opera House

Our presenter, Fionn Davenport, travels to the Wexford Opera House to see the rehearsals for one of the two Donizetti productions at this year’s festival: Il Campanello. He talks to Roberto Recchia, the director of Il Campanello, and Janet Haney, the repetiteur and voice coach at the opera festival.

The second Donizetti opera being produced at this year’s Wexford Opera Festival is quite dark. Maria de Rudenz is the eponymous tragic heroine of his major opera first performed in 1838. Fabio Ceresa, director of Maria de Rudenz, joins Janet Haney to discuss the opera. Details of those two Donizetti operas and all the other events can be found at

The Science Gallery just launched their latest exhibition, and we pay it a visit. It’s called Design and Violence, and Fionn is joined by its curators. Both curators are normally based in New York. They are Paola Antonelli, senior curator at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and Jamer Hunt, association professor at the Parson’s School of Design. We explore three exhibits: AK-47, Bomb Cloud Atlas, and Liberator, and discuss the broader themes. The exhibition seeks to explore the relationship between design and the manifestations of violence in contemporary society, and runs until 22 January 2017. For more information, check out

Ivo van Hove, one of the world’s most respected directors, chats to Fionn about his directing work, and life. He has worked with David Bowie, Saoirse Ronan, and Juliette Binoche and is director of Toneelgroep, which is the largest theatre company in the Netherlands.

Broadcast on 17 October 2016