There a number of aspects to this project that I feel make it unique.
The first is the compelling story of Frankie Silver and the injustices she suffered, as brought to life in Sharyn’s powerful book.
Another is the variety of narrative and textual sources in the libretto, which resulted in a distinctive mix of various musical styles in the score, ranging from folksongs and familiar hymn tunes to large-scale choral and orchestral moments.
I want the music to highlight the drama that’s inherent in Frankie’s story in an authentic way, so that when audiences leave a performance they feel empathy for her, are moved by her story, and are angered by the injustices she endured.
Requiem for Frankie Silver isn’t a musical comedy with a story-book ending. It’s violent and raw. But there are also moments of joy and acts of human kindness that help temper the somber tone. At the center is a sweet teenage girl who–even with the horrible cards she was dealt–managed to maintain her faith, her love of family, her memories of happier times, and her trust that a better life is on the horizon.