Hitherto a deft but minor songwriter, Anaïs Mitchell arrives in major style with this "folk opera", an inspired retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in Depression-era America. It really is an opera, with the cream of Americana singing the parts - Bon Iver as Orpheus, Ani DiFranco as Persephone, Greg Brown as Hades and Mitchell as Eurydice, the beauty seduced into Hades's underworld and hopelessly pursued by the poet Orpheus. The songs are lyrical, while dramatic arrangements encompass Dixieland, string sextet and country. A rich, audacious and moving opus.
Anais Mitchell: Hadestown | CD review
Neil Spencer is a writer and an astrologer for The Observer