The Second Violinist

The Second Violinist

Past Performances

Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ
Opera Forward Festival

7–9 March 2019

The Barbican

6–8 September 2018

O'Reilly Theatre

2–8 October 2017

Black Box Theatre
Galway International Arts Festival

26–30 July 2017

The Second Violinist

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

What does he do when he goes home?

Following the sensational success of their first opera, The Last HotelDonnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh join forces once again on an explosive new production.

One of Ireland’s leading actors, Aaron Monaghan, plays the second violinist.  He is joined by singers Máire Flavin, Sharon Carty and Benedict Nelson. Ryan McAdams conducts the chorus of Irish National 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’.

Joined by the phenomenal creative team from The Last Hotel 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.

A search for beauty in a dark, dark world.

World Premiere.


Amy Sharon CartyHannah Máire FlavinMartin Aaron MonaghanMatthew Benedict Nelson


Composer Donnacha DennehyWriter and Director Enda WalshConductor Ryan McAdamsSet Designer Jamie VartanLighting Designer Adam SilvermanCostume Designer Joan O’Clery



★★★★★ ‘exhilarating blend of opera, theatre and film … extraordinary… thrilling’The Guardian
'ambitious, sophisticated work … highly innovative … the music is beautiful, and the storytelling'Irish Independent
★★★★ ‘An extraordinary modern opera ... Jack Phelan’s impressive video design … as thrilling as Monaghan’s performance is – physical and almost wordless, poised on the edge of a dance – it’s as exciting to see the vigour of the orchestra pit, particularly in the string section’The Irish Times
‘Smart, stylish, and sophisticated … a truly memorable experience.'The Arts Review


WINNER! Best Opera Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2017
WINNER!Fedora Generali Award for Opera 2017