The Second Violinist

Friday, 25 September 2020


Winner of Best Opera at The Irish Times Theatre Awards and the 2017 Fedora Generali Award for Opera, The Second Violinist depicts parallel lives in a brooding thriller with an otherworldly, almost compulsive score. Composed by Donnacha Dennehy, directed and written by Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh, and conducted by Ryan McAdams, this technological dreamscape uses film, music, sound, and LED projections to invoke a sensorial and psychological dark drama. Ireland’s Crash Ensemble and the Irish National Opera Chorus join the four-person cast, as the past, present, and future collide in an unsettling climax. Marking Dennehy and Walsh’s second collaboration (previously, The Last Hotel, 2015), the opera tells the story of a life falling apart and unfolds like an unnerving page-turner. Martin, an orchestral violinist, is consumed by social media platforms, morbid fantasies, and violent video games. Seeking solace in the 16th-century chromatic melodies of tortured Italian Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo, his inner turmoil becomes ever more apparent as he searches for beauty in a dark world.