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Enda Walsh on writing and directing for opera with The Second Violinst

Enda Walsh talks about his love of directing both theatre and opera

Aaron Monaghan in The Second Violinist
© Patrick Redmond

Best known for his work in theatre including Disco Pigs, Ballyturk, Once and Lazarus, playwright Enda Walsh returned to the opera world last year with The Second Violinist.

Walsh has worked consistently with many of the same creative team, including Cillian Murphy, who is starring in his production of Max Porter's Grief is the Thing With Feathers, due to open at the Barbican this week.

We sat down with Walsh to find out more about the piece and how he finds writing and directing opera compared to theatre.

Following on from their collaboration on The Last Hotel, Walsh reunites with composer Donnacha Dennehy for this piece about a failing and isolated orchestral violinist, consumed by morbid fantasies, video games and social media, who seeks solace in the music of Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo. His inner turmoil becomes apparent as he searches for beauty in a dark world.