In The Last Hotel the worlds of theatre and opera collide. This collaboration reunites two of Ireland’s leading creative artists, the writer and director Enda Walsh, and composer Donnacha Dennehy. Dennehy and Walsh first worked together on Walsh’s play Misterman, which was a resounding success. Both artists are at the peak of their careers. Walsh is a multi-award winning playwright, screenwriter and Tony Award winner and Dennehy’s work has been described as wild, stunning and spine-chilling, so this contemporary piece is guaranteed to thrill. This is their first time at the
Grand Théâtre; an artist who is returning after just one year, however, is Claudia Boyle who bewitched audiences as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance.
The Last Hotel is a dark drama in which death hangs over everything – the hotel is a shabby establishment where guests come to die. The story revolves around a dysfunctional Irish woman, who has come to fulfil the unthinkable, and a couple who are paid to help her. Relationships develop and evolve and there is a death.
This is a masterful, intriguing and unconventional opera that is breaking conventions and pushing boundaries; the musical energy that is unleashed is gritty and rich and reinforces the seething emotions that run through the characters.
Conducted by Alan Pierson, the opera stars Robin Adams, Claudia Boyle, Katherine Manley and the actor Mikel Murfi. The orchestra is the 12-strong Crash Ensemble, founded by Dennehy. This production brings together Walsh’s darker side of Irish storytelling with a musical language that is entirely contemporary but with its roots in Dennehy’s native Irish culture.