5 Questions with Composer Donnacha Dennehy

5 July 2022

Renowned Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy shares insights into his favourite festival memories, what inspires him, and why you should go see The First Child at Galway International Arts Festival 2022.

It is wonderful to welcome you back to Galway International Arts Festival this year with ‘The First Child’. Do you have a favourite memory from your previous visits to the Festival?

D: It’s always been a blast at this Festival, from Crash and Iarla O’Lionaird absolutely taking off with Grá agus Bás years ago to the opening night of The Second Violinist last time. I love that Enda is kind of a semi mythical presence in Galway and that the food at Ard Bia is so good.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

D: Everywhere. I remember once wondering how I started a particular piece and then I heard the printer going, and there it was.

Could you give us any insight into your collaborative process with Enda Walsh?

D: It’s been very efficient right from the start! Well maybe I’ve always been slightly slower (there are a lot of notes!) whereas Enda is like a racing horse. I’m bowled over by how fast he comes up with it all. It has been a great joy to work with Enda. We are incredibly open to what the other adds to the process. I doubt I’ll ever have another collaborative experience like it.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of making this trilogy of Operas?

D: The operas! Hopefully they might live on.

This will be a treat for Galway audiences, why do you think people should experience The First Child for themselves?

D: Oh there really is no other way to experience them other than completely live!

See The First Child live at Galway International Arts Festival 2022.

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