The Second Violinist Wows GIAF Audiences

27 July 2017

Audience reaction to Galway International Arts Festival’s first full scale opera presentation, The Second Violinist, has been phenomenal.

Audience reaction to Galway International Arts Festival's first full scale opera presentation, The Second Violinist, has been phenomenal.

Audiences attending the opening night of the Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera production called it 'life-changing', 'utterly fantastic', a 'fascinating collision of different forms', 'very, very exciting', 'absolutely magnificent' and 'out of this world'.

The Second Violinist Opera at GIAF 17

The opera, written by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh, opened this week at the Black Box Theatre, as part of Galway International Arts Festival 2017, and will also run as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2017 from 2-8 October.

With a cast of 37, including 16 chorus, 5 singers/actors and one conductor, The Second Violinist scooped the prestigious international award, the Fedora – Generali Prize for Opera 2017 earlier this year, beating off stiff competition from a number of the world’s other leading opera producers, including Teatro alla Scala Milano, English National Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Danish National Opera, and more.

One of Ireland’s leading actors, Aaron Monaghan, plays The Second Violinist. He is joined by singers Máire Flavin, Sharon Carty and Benedict Nelson, together with the Chorus of Wide Open Opera, and Crash Ensemble, the group founded by Dennehy and described by the New York Times as ‘the Irish new–music band that plays with the energy and spirit of a rock group’.

Conducted by renowned US conductor Ryan McAdams, Donnacha Dennehy’s music is infused with lingering echoes of the Renaissance works of Carlo Gesualdo, creating a sonorous backdrop for the haunting orchestrations and pulsating rhythms that drive the opera to its inexorable conclusion.

Have you ever wondered what goes into getting a production like The Second Violinist at GIAF up and running? Check out this timelapse from the setup of one of this year’s most anticipated GIAF productions:

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