Hadestown
Composer: Anais Mitchell
Composer Bio: Widely known as “the Queen of Modern Folk Music”, Anaïs Mitchell is first and foremost a storyteller. A Vermont-based singer-songwriter, Mitchell’s musical style, sound, and performance have led her to be compared to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Gillian Welch. Mitchell was first signed by Ani Difranco to “Righteous Babe Records”, where she recorded for several years before starting her own “Wilderland” label in 2012. Among Mitchell’s recorded works are five full-length albums, including 2010′s sensationally reviewed “Hadestown” and 2012′s “Young Man in America”, which was described by critics as "genre-defining" and her "second consecutive masterpiece,” and for which she received a BBC Radio Two Folk Award nomination for “Best Original Song”. In addition to headlining worldwide, Mitchell has supported tours for Ani Difranco, The Low Anthem, Richard Thompson, Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers, as well as two sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall with the band Bon Iver. Her 2013 release, Child Ballads, won a 2014 BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Traditional Song, as well as finding itself on many ‘best of’ lists in international publications. In fall 2014, Mitchell releases ‘xoa’; a fifteen track solo collection including re-recorded songs spanning her ten year career, as well as a few completely new and previously unrecorded songs. If there’s a common thread in Mitchell’s work– from her earliest acoustic records, to the Hadestown opera, to this new chapter– it’s that she’s as interested in the world around her as the one inside her. She has a way of tackling big themes with the same emotional intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. “That’s why,” as one journalist put it, “even in her most intimate moments, she never sounds like a confessional songwriter.”
Librettist: Anais Mitchell
Work Web Site: http://hadestown.anaismitchell.com/
Premiere Date: May 01, 2016
Producing Company: New York Theatre Workshop
Description: Hadestown begins in the open air, in a world of poverty. Eurydice asks her lover how he will provide for her in these dark times—Orpheus is sure that the world will provide {Wedding Song}. Orpheus sings, and his singing draws a crowd {Epic Part One}. An old train depot, and everyone’s talking about Hadestown, the walled city under the ground {Way Down Hadestown}. There’s Hermes, the hobo guide and messenger; Persephone, in transit, suitcases in tow; Eurydice, who is more than curious about Hadestown; and Orpheus, who wants no part. When Hades calls, Eurydice receives him {Hey, Little Songbird}. He seduces her: she should leave Orpheus and join him in the wealth and security of his underworld. Eurydice succumbs {Gone, I’m Gone}—was she pushed, or did she jump? The Fates provide an explanation {When the Chips Are Down}. Orpheus is determined to follow Eurydice, and Hermes gives directions {Wait For Me}. Meanwhile, in Hadestown, Hades indoctrinates his worker-citizens {Why We Build the Wall}. But when he turns his back, Persephone presents another side of the underworld, in a speakeasy where she plies her contraband and takes an interest in the newly arrived Orpheus {Our Lady of the Underground}. Eurydice, unaware that her lover is near, laments her decision {Flowers}. Orpheus moves toward her, but is intercepted by the Fates. The rules are the rules—there’s no going back for Eurydice—it’s better not to struggle {Nothing Changes}. Orpheus challenges the Fates {If It’s True}. A fight scene: Orpheus and the speakeasy are exposed {Papers}. In the royal bedroom, Persephone appeals to her husband on Orpheus’ behalf {How Long?}. Orpheus sings again, and this time, Hades hears him {Epic Part Two}. An uprising begins, in Hadestown and in the heart of the king {Lover’s Desire}. Hades comes up with a plan: Orpheus can have Eurydice back if he can walk out of the underworld a few paces ahead of her and not turn around to make sure she’s there {His Kiss, The Riot}. Orpheus and Eurydice begin their ascent {Doubt Comes In}. Later, Eurydice and Persephone sing a reverse elegy for Orpheus {I Raise My Cup To Him}.
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: Not Available
Contact: Not Available
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