Donnacha Dennehy

Donnacha Dennehy's New Opera Awarded Fedora Prize

Published By: 
Dasha Koltunyuk
Jun 6, 2017

Congratulations to Prof. Donnacha Dennehy, whose latest opera, The Second Violinist, was awarded the Fedora's 2017 Generali Prize for Opera. This prize of €150,000 is given to support future international co-productions. Co-producers for The Second Violinist include The Galway International Arts Festival and The Dublin Theater Festival. Additional performances will take place in Dublin October 2-8 2017. The Second Violinist, is a thriller opera which dramatizes the surreal mental breakdown of a lonely, Gesualdo-obsessed musician as he prepares for a performance. Created in collaboration with writer/director Enda Walsh, the opera premieres July 26-30 at Ireland's Galway International Festival. The work is commissioned and premiered by Wide Open Opera and Landmark Productions (who also commissioned Dennehy and Walsh's widely seen and praised earlier collaboration, The Last Hotel), with one of Ireland's leading actors, Aaron Monaghan, in the titular role. Also featured in the cast are singers Máire Flavin, Sharon Carty, and Benedict Nelson. Ryan McAdams conducts the Crash Ensemble and the Wide Open Opera Chorus. Prof. Dennehy remarked: "...an important ingredient in the music for The Second Violinist is a thread made of deconstructed, re-fashioned strains of Gesualdo. The main protagonist's interest in the music of Gesualdo is sporadically made explicit in the actual text of this opera...but it carries even greater portent in the score. These strains even inform the flowering overtone textures that become ever more radiant as the opera proceeds, creating a friction between the almost ecstatic luminosity of the score and the brutal reality of the plot." Fedora, the European Circle of Philanthropists of Opera and Ballet, is a privately funded, non-profit organization, created in Paris in January 2014. Fedora has established two prizes that are awarded to promising teams of co-producing partners and artists, who collaborate on the creation of new opera or ballet co-productions. The network federates 79 organizational members, as well as individual and corporate donors in 20 countries. The mission is to nurture European innovation and creativity through a Prize competition that supports new opera and ballet projects, created by emerging artists and realized in form of co-productions.