Well done to the Waterford Music Festival for reviving the Light Opera Festival and some other elements such as youth musicals and some gospel. Rebecca Storm was a great opener with her band two days before the first show and the London Gospel Choir were also world class. While there were some excellent shows there were a few that may not have made the standard in other years.
But as the AIMS President said, the arrival of shows like X Factor on television and other talent and reality shows has created more interest in people performing.
Harnessing new talent and reviving theatre companies is the key to the future of this festival which has tried to blend the old style Gilbert and Sullivan or Rodgers and Hammerstein shows with some more modern Broadway musicals. Well done to Anne Marie Caulfield and her hard working committee for putting in such effort. With the economy still in recession it is hard to sell full houses.
Whether there might be a slight need to adjust pricing policy is a question to allow for the recession hitting some groups. Perhaps getting in some schools to attend some shows is another option to create interest. They all watch X Factor so concessionary entry prices might be good. They are looking for feedback on how to improve it for next year.
We would like to concur with Billy McCarthy of WLRfm in his passionate appeal at the prize giving that we need to support the Festival more next year and not to lose it.
The Arts and the Theatre Royal need to be supported more by the people of Waterford. To have an international music festival is very positive for the city at large. Musical groups come in large numbers, they may be fewer this year but this will change as will the economic climate. The Theatre Royal does deserve to be supported not just for the festival but for general events as it is such a fine facility.
The Music Festival, we are told, does have legs and will continue but more support by the people will be needed in the years ahead. Full marks to the Orchestra for their fantastic playing during the festival, this playing is of a high standard and gives one a sense of civic pride. For a city of its size, Waterford has a brilliant music and theatrical tradition that eclipses many similar places. This is worth holding onto for the future.
Financial fall-out
As we go to press it looks more likely that the Government is going to have to accept ECB intervention, even to get more money moving in the banking system. Short term bank loans from European banks are needed to be paid and the ECB is stepping in but requires the Irish government to back a new plan of assistance.
Waiting for the budget and better tax and spending figures from the state is not the issue now but getting money flowing. The sooner the government swallows pride and sorts it out the better for us all.
The bail-out will have a price but that is what we deserve for continuing this charade for too long since the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank, which has threatened the government finances. No more big cheques by Minister Lenihan to pay for those bad debts. They are too big for the taxpayer, we know it, so do the Europeans, why not admit defeat and get on with a solution.