The Everyman and John O’Brien presented Deirdre and the Sons of Usna – A Concert Performance at The Everyman in 2020. This new concert performance came from the team that created the stage version of The Nightingale and the Rose in 2018, which received a rapturous reception, and its sold-out concert performance in 2016.
Deirdre and the Sons of Usna is a reworking of the tale often called “Deirdre of the Sorrows”, a heroine of Irish mythology. The myth is both a love story and a tragic tale of a beautiful woman cursed even before she was born, her brave lover Naoise, and of their youthful rebellion for love in the face of corrupted power and treachery. The opera is set in Emain Macha, a place of myth and legend and the historic seat of the High Kings. This ancient and noble love story is a timeless urgent warning about the dangers of tyranny.
With Epic music and soaring voices, the opera featured Kim Sheehan as Deirdre; Majella Cullagh as Leabharcham, her foster mother; Ronald Samm as Conor Mac Nessa, the King of Ulster; Julian Tovey as Cathad, Conor’s Druid; Joe Corbett as Fergus, Conor’s Right Hand; and Simon Morgan, Viktor Priebe and Owen Gilhooly as the three sons of Usna (Naoise, Ainnle and Ardan). With special guests Liv Gregorio as Little Girl; and a Chorus of Warriors.
There are ambitions for a full production in 2021.
Music John O’Brien
Libretto Éadaoin O’Donoghue
Piano Ciara Moroney
Percussion Alex Petcu
Kim Sheehan as Deirdre
Majella Cullagh as Leabharcham
Ronald Samm as Conor Mac Nessa
Julian Tovey as Cathad
Joe Corbett as Fergus
Simon Morgan, Viktor Priebe and Owen Gilhooly as the three sons of Usna (Naoise, Ainnle and Ardan)
Liv Gregorio as Little Girl