With Hadestown, celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and inventive two-time Obie award-winning director Rachel Chavkin (Three Pianos, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) transform Mitchell's phenomenal concept album into a bold new work for the stage. This folk opera follows Orpheus' mythical quest to overcome Hades and regain the favor of his one true love, Eurydice. Together we travel from wide open plains where love and music are not nourishment enough to survive the winter, down to Hadestown, an industrialized world of mindless labor. Inspired by traditions of classic American folk music and vintage New Orleans jazz, Mitchell's beguiling melodies and poetic imagination pit nature against industry, faith against doubt, and love against death.
UK Premiere at London's National Theatre, opening November 2018
Premiere production May 2016 at New York Theater Workshop
Canadian Premiere November 2017 at The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Canada
Anaïs Mitchell is first and foremost a storyteller. As a Vermont-based singer-songwriter, Mitchell recorded for Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are five full-length albums, including 2010’s sensationally-reviewed Hadestown– a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth– and 2012’s Young Man in America, which was described by the UK’s Independent as ‘an epic tale of American becoming’ and for which she received a BBC Radio Two Folk Award nomination for Best Original Song. Mitchell has headlined worldwide as well as supporting tours for Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, The Low Anthem (all of whom appear as guest singers on Hadestown), Richard Thompson, Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers. Her 2013 release, Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer, is a collection of traditional Celtic and British Isles ballads. It 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.”
RACHEL CHAVKIN (Director) is an Obie Award-winning, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominated director, and the Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based ensemble, the TEAM (www.theteamplays.org). Selected projects: Preludes (LCT3), RoosevElvis (PS122’s COIL festival), Small Mouth Sounds(Ars Nova), Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (World Premiere - Ars Nova; Kazino – commercial transfer, New York Times, Time Out New York and New York Post Critics’ Picks); British artist Chris Thorpe's Confirmation (Warwick Arts Centre and Battersea Arts Centre, 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, Top 10 Shows at the Edinburgh Fringe – American Theatre); Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (Northern Stage, UK national tour); Meg Miroshnik's The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep); The Royale (The Old Globe); and multiple collaborations with Taylor Mac, including his extravaganza The Lily’s Revenge (World Premiere (Act II) - HERE). NYTW Usual Suspect, Artistic Associate at London's Gate Theatre and Classic Stage Company, alum of Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, Drama League Directors Project, Women’s Project Director’s Lab, and New Georges Affiliate Artist. She has also taught extensively at NYU, Pace, and other colleges. B.F.A. NYU, M.F.A. Columbia. Upcoming: Iphigenia in Aulis (CSC), Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812(American Repertory Theater), RoosevElvis (American Repertory Theater), and multiple projects at The Public.