The Witch of the Iron Wood
The Scriptorium, artist colony Milepost 5's playwriting workshop, presents a contemporary opera adapted from a Norse myth by Portland-born composer Evan Lewis and local playwright Claire Willett.
What we said: At this point, The Witch of the Iron Wood is more like a Hogwarts student: Fertile Ground's sole opera, presented by Milepost 5 as a workshop production, is still very much a work in progress. Yet even with one scene unwritten and just three scenes scored (and those with only piano and vocal parts), Witch shows potential. Portland playwright Claire Willett's libretto, adapted from a less-known Norse myth, offers some intriguing character dynamics—such as the bond the witch, a giant, and Loki, a half-god, half-giant, share as outsiders—and some rich concepts—such as the witch's notion that Odin (the Norse Zeus, who never appears on stage) is a delusion of the gods. Portland-born, L.A.-based composer Evan Lewis's unsettling score compliments the story's dark tone, and, despite the fact that she was ill for the performance we attended, singer Beth Madsen Bradford brings an appropriately witchy, beguiling quality to her performance.
This is a Fertile Ground Festival–associated show.
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