(Peter Crawley’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 8/10.

It seems like an innocuous question, asked by a chatty Irish woman of a hesitant English couple who have arrived to Ireland by ferry: “Was it a nice crossing?” But in Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s darkly absorbing new opera, it becomes something more freighted. “Well, it was a bit choppy,” offers the husband, “but painless enough, all right.” From this point on, the crossing will be choppier and hardly painless.

Inspired by the grim, true story of an Irish woman’s assisted suicide in 2002, but radically transformed, Dennehy’s score and Walsh’s libretto provide a work of wide imagination, unsettling meditation and archly quotidian detail.


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