The First Child

The First Child

Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway
Galway International Arts Festival

18–24 July, 2022 [No shows 19 and 22 July]

Past Performances

Watch on Demand
20–24 October 2021

O'Reilly Theatre
Dublin Theatre Festival

2–9 October 2021

World Premiere

O'Reilly Theatre as part of Dublin Theatre Festival | 2 October, 2021

The First Child

a new opera by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda WalshLandmark Productions in association with Irish National Opera

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ a remarkable conclusion to the Dennehy-Walsh partnership’
The Irish Times

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ‘High-octane triumph … powerful and compelling’
The Sunday Times

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ‘Simply magnificent … keeps you hooked’
The Arts Review

It all began with the child.

Following the sensational success of their first two operas, The Last Hotel and The Second Violinist, Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh joined forces in 2021 on the final instalment in their explosive trilogy of suburban horror.

The First Child plays just five performances at Galway International Arts Festival in July 2022.

The production brings together a world-class creative team with a cast of five singers, an actor, a dancer, a chorus of children and Crash Ensemble, to imagine a terrifying story of lost innocence—a baby on a beach—and the sea.

Funded by an Opera Projects and Production Award from the Arts Council.

Sung in English with English surtitles.

Dates | 18, 20, 21, 23 & 24 July [No shows 19 and 22 July]
Times |
7pm and 6pm on Sun 24 July
Running Time | 90 minutes approx (no interval)
Tickets | €32 – €40
Age Suitability | 16+

Image Credit: Jack Phelan


Karen Sarah ShineAlva Niamh O’SullivanGary Dean PowerSimon Emmett O’HanlonNurse Eric JurenasOlder Woman Joan SheehyDancer Caia Leseure


Composer Donnacha DennehyWriter and Director Enda WalshConductor Ryan McAdamsChoreographer Emma Martin
Set Designer Jamie VartanLighting Designer Adam SilvermanVideo Designer Jack PhelanCostume Designer Joan O’ClerySound Designer David SheppardAssistant Conductor Elaine KellyAssociate Director Eoghan CarrickAssociate Costume Designer Associate Sound Designer Sinéad DiskinRépétiteur Richard McGrathStudio Conductor Molly de BúrcaCrash Ensemble Children's Chorus


★★★★★ 'a remarkable conclusion to the Dennehy-Walsh partnership'The Irish Times
★★★★★ 'High-octane triumph … powerful and compelling ... ingenious’The Sunday Times
★★★★★ '‘Simply magnificent ... keeps you hooked'The Arts Review
'a feast for the eyes'Irish Independent
★★★★ 'dark, strange and hugely enjoyable.'Irish Examiner


Photographer: Ste Murray