• July 2019
  • Galway

Least Like the Other

Searching for Rosemary Kennedy

An explosive and thought-provoking work of experimental music theatre. It traces events in the life of Rosemary, eldest daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy, sister of JFK, using heavily redacted materials from the archives, and only recently pieced together by biographers and academics.

2019 World Premiere

Sung in English with English surtitles

Approximate Duration: 1hr 10mins with no interval

Please note there is strobe lighting used in this performance.

“Anyone could be left breathless by this ★★★★★” - The Irish Times
“Triumph of a production ★★★★★” - The Sunday Times
“Northern Ireland’s most colourful and charismatic composer” - Belfast Telegraph
“The video artist and director Netia Jones’s staging... a small miracle of perfection” - The Times

The events in Rosemary’s difficult life leading up to her disastrous lobotomy at the age of 23 by the “kings of lobotomy,” Walter Freeman and James Watts, create an exploration of definitions of intelligence, expectations of gender, medical showmanship, patriarchy, the impact of the media and the demands of this extraordinary family. Rosemary’s tragic life constitutes a portrait of America in the 1940s and 1950s. It is a picture that is as relevant today as it was then.

“O’Connell has a mezzo that, in full Kammersängerin cry, can sound a bit like, well, Kathleen Ferrier, actually... Heavy gold, deep and room-filling” - Parterre Box



Cast & Creative Team


Mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O'Connell
Actor Stephanie Dufresne
Actor Ronan Leahy

Creative Team

Composer Brian Irvine
Conductor Fergus Sheil
Director / Designer / Video Designer Netia Jones
Associate Director Aoife Spillane-Hinks
Lighting Designer Sinéad Wallace
Sound Designer David Sheppard
Choreographer Muirne Bloomer
Irish National Opera Orchestra

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