Premiere of the full-stage production: September 2016 at Touhill Performing Arts Center (St. Louis) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York) by Alarm Will Sound

  • 1(pic,afl).1(ca).2(bcl).1/ [or multiples]); vintage recordings, electronics, video interviews
  • Soprano, sean nós singer
  • 1 hr 10 min
  • Asenath Nicholson, anon, and interviews: N. Chomsky, P. Krugman, M. Murphy, B. Milanovic, M. Vaughan
  • English, Gaelic

Programme Note

The Hunger concerns itself with the Great Irish Famine of 1845-52, which transformed Irish society irrevocably. The main narrative in the piece is provided by the accounts of the famine by the American non-conformist Asenath Nicholson who spent two years travelling around Ireland helping those dying from starvation and writing about her experiences. Her account stands outside the norm because of her transgressive sympathy; she directly quotes from those suffering, and stayed in their cabins. Extremely little is available from those who directly suffered. Only the one song, "Na Prátaí Dubha" ("Black Potatoes"), of the sean nós tradition deals with the topic. Shards of that song form the basis of an extended section sung by the sean nós singer.




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