Stage Premieres of 'The Hunger' by Donnacha Dennehy in St. Louis and New York

Stage Premieres of 'The Hunger' by Donnacha Dennehy in St. Louis and New York
© courtesy of BAM
The Hunger, a 'docu-opera' by Donnacha Dennehy about Ireland's Great Famine of 1845-52, will be presented for the first time in a staged version in September in St Louis and New York. The work is based primarily on Asenath Nicholson's harrowing first-person account, Annals of the Famine in Ireland. Nicholson was an American woman who spent nearly three years in Ireland trying to help during this tragic time, from running her own soup kitchen in Dublin, to visiting the sick and dying in the cabins and fields all around the island. Dennehy's score, composed for large ensemble, weaves new music with archival recordings of traditional sean-nós songs in this powerful work featuring celebrated Irish folk singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, soprano Katherine Manley, and video interviews with Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman and others, underscoring the political roots of this tragedy that brought a nation to its knees.

Watch the BAM Next Wave Festival's preview on The Hunger

About Donnacha Dennehy

Donnacha Dennehy's music has been performed internationally by Dawn Upshaw, Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Bang On A Can, Third Coast Percussion, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Icebreaker (London), Contact (Toronto), Crash Ensemble (Dublin), Percussion Group of the Hague, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Ulster Orchestra, and many others. His recent opera, The Last Hotel, with a libretto by Enda Walsh, premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015 and has since had runs at the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Royal Opera in London, and St Ann's Warehouse in New York. A Nonesuch release of Dennehy's music entitled "Grá agus Bás,*quot; featuring Ireland's Crash Ensemble (which he founded in 1997), was named one of NPR's "50 favorite albums" (in any genre) in 2011.

Listen to WNYC's New Sounds show on Dennehy and The Hunger

More about The Hunger

Opera Theater St Louis – September 17
BAM Next Wave Festival – September 30, October 1

The Hunger
Music by Donnacha Dennehy
Alarm Will Sound
Conducted by Alan Pierson
Set and video design by Jim Findlay
Directed by Tom Creed
Co-produced by Alarm Will Sound and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Commissioned by Alarm Will Sound with additional funding from Arts Council of Ireland, MAP Fund, The Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and New Music USA.
For specific inquiries about the opera, please contact Peggy Monastra or call 212-254-2100.

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