Folk opera Hadestown triumphs at Tony Awards


Anaïs Mitchell’s Broadway hit Hadestown has won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Direction of a Musical.

A musical that started life as a DIY community project back in 2006 has gone on to scoop eight gongs at this year’s Tony Awards.

In a remarkable example of creative evolution, Hadestown, a contemporary retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice that fuses folk music with jazz, stormed this year’s Tony Awards.

The show won the coveted Best Musical award in a coup for the musical’s writer Anaïs Mitchell – the first woman in ten years to be the solo author of a new musical on Broadway.

Hadestown’s director Rachel Chavkin, the only female nominated in the Best Direction of a Musical category, was also victorious.

The production also won Tony Awards for: Best Original Score, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (André De Shields), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Rachel Hauck), Best Lighting for a Musical (Bradley King) and Best Orchestrations (Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose).

What has fascinated many about Hadestown’s success is the fact that its development has been so public over so many years.

After that initial premiere in a community theatre in Vermont 13 years ago, a Hadestown studio record featuring vocalists Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) as Ani Difranco was released in 2010. Three years later Mitchell began work on adapting the show into a full-length professional theatrical production.

But it wasn’t until 2016, when a revamped version of the show premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop, that the momentum really started to build.

Versions of the show were staged in Edmonton and London (at the National Theatre) and, of course, Broadway.

In a recent interview with the LA Times, Mitchell said: “This development has been very public, and all of these drafts have been out there in the world.”

“People have really been witness to the creation of this thing.”

Despite dedicating so many years to Hadestown, Mitchell is not done yet. She’s now talking about turning the show into a film.

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