A Tom Creed and Abbey Theatre co-production

The Hunger

19 - 24 August 2019

by Donnacha Dennehy

Booking Information

Dates: 19 – 24 August
On the Abbey Stage

Free First Preview19 August

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: €13 – €40

Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Early Bird tickets available until 8 July

To book for a group of 6+ call (01) 87 97 212

A new opera by Donnacha Dennehy featuring Katherine Manley and Iarla Ó Lionáird.

Asenath Nicholson travelled in Ireland and provided relief to starving people during the Great Famine. Her harrowing first-person account Annals of the Famine in Ireland forms the basis of this extraordinary opera by Donnacha Dennehy, composer of the award-winning The Last Hotel and The Second Violinist. Director Tom Creed makes his debut on the Abbey stage with the European premiere of a moving and thrilling new work.

The Hunger is brought to life by world-renowned sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird (The Gloaming) and internationally acclaimed soprano Katherine Manley (The Last Hotel), with Ireland’s leading new music specialists Crash Ensemble and conductor Alan Pierson integrated into the staging. Traditional songs dovetail seamlessly with new music, while video interviews with Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, and others underscore the political roots of this tragedy that brought a nation to its knees.


Supported by an Arts Council Opera Production Award


'...ambitious, deeply researched, often beautiful'
The Washington Post

'Sean-nós and opera blended into touching Famine memorial'
The Irish Independent

The Irish Examiner

(Images: Jack Vartoogian)


  • Soprano: Katherine Manley
  • Sean-Nós Singer: Iarla Ó Lionáird
  • Orchestra: Crash Ensemble
  • Violin: Courtney Orlando
  • Violin: Larissa O’Grady
  • Viola: Lisa Dowdall
  • Cello: Kate Ellis
  • Double Bass: Caimin Gilmore
  • Flutes, Piccolo: Susan Doyle
  • Oboe, Cor Anglais: Dorine Schoon 
  • Clarinet, Bass Clarinet: Macdara Ó Seireadáin
  • Clarinet: Leonie Bluett
  • Trombone: Roddy O’Keeffe
  • French horn: Hannah Miller
  • Trumpet: Cameron Todd
  • Bassoon: Clíona Warren
  • Percussion: Owen Gunnell
  • Percussion: Alex Petcu
  • Piano: Eliza McCarthy
  • Music and Words: Donnacha Dennehy
  • Conductor: Alan Pierson
  • Director: Tom Creed
  • Set and Video Design: Jim Findlay
  • Costume Design: Tilly Grimes
  • Lighting Design: Christopher Kuhl
  • Sound Design: David Sheppard / Sound Intermedia
  • Video Associate: Jack Phelan
  • Associate Sound Designer: Jonathan Green
  • Dramaturgy: Jocelyn Clarke
  • Assistant Director: Eoghan Carrick
  • Répétiteur: Aoife O’Sullivan
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