Seamus Heaney Home

Licence to Thrill: Drake and Kinnear perform Strauss’s Enoch Arden

The opening performance of Richard Strauss’s epic melodrama Enoch Arden on 4 September sets the tone for the brand new autumn season at Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy.

The performance of the composer’s melodrama for piano and narrator features internationally renowned pianist Julius Drake and award winning actor Rory Kinnear (Royal Shakespeare Company and familiar to many as Bill Tanner in three of the Daniel Craig James Bond films).

A powerful, potent and timeless tale of honour, love and sacrifice within a love triangle, Enoch Arden is one of Strauss’s most evocative and emotional scores and this promises to be an unmissable evening of words and music.

Enoch Arden was written in 1887 explicitly for narrator and piano; it is a setting by Strauss of Tennyson’s narrative poem, the story of which could easily be the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster film. Tennyson wrote Enoch Arden, a sort of Odysseus story, in 1864, while he was England’s poet laureate.

The eponymous hero is shipwrecked on a desert island for ten years, and given up for dead; when he returns home, it’s to find his wife happily remarried to his best friend, and one of his children dead. Enoch Arden cannot bear to destroy their lives, and so keeps his identity a secret and dies of a broken heart.

HomePlace is grateful for the loan of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s beautiful Steinway Grand Piano for the evening.

Tickets are now available on the Seamus Heaney HomePlace website