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Hadestown Original London Cast
Photograph: Supplied/Opera Australia | 'Hadestown' Original London Cast

Smash-hit Broadway musical Hadestown is coming to Sydney

The biggest musical you’ve never heard of is heading Down Under, with a live jazz band to boot

Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross
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Is it getting hot in here? Come on Sydney, it’s time to head way down, to Hadestown. Seen by three million, streamed by over 350 million and adored by fans all around the world – the acclaimed West End and Broadway musical phenomenon Hadestown will make its Australian premiere at Theatre Royal Sydney very soon, in February 2025. 

For the uninitiated, the gist is this: written by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, Hadestown is a genre-defying musical adaption of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in a dystopian steampunk-esque underworld, set to an evocative score that blends New Orleans-style jazz and blues with modern American folk music – with a live brass band on stage, to boot. The show won eight Tony Awards when it opened in 2019, including Best Musical, and is still playing to packed houses five years later. Hadestown already has a dedicated fandom around the world and here in Australia, and it has an edge that will also appeal to everyone who isn’t already a die-hard musical theatre fan. 

Hadestown Original London Cast
Photograph: Supplied/Opera Australia | 'Hadestown' Original London Cast

To break the fourth wall for a moment (howdy, this Arts & Culture Editor Alannah Le Cross), I am so excited to break this news that I am literally shaking. On my one and only trip to New York, I snatched up a rush ticket and fought through jet lag to see Hadestown on Broadway – and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This show is gritty, evocative – it’s the perfect musical, but it also reinvents the genre. I am excited for every grown-up emo kid who is already (or who is yet to be) enraptured by the dark and romantic stories in it, and I am also excited to take my dad who loves The Blues Brothers because the music totally slaps. One of the best characters is literally just the guy playing the trumpet! 

The Down Under premiere of this sensational musical is presented by Opera Australia and Jones Theatrical Group. Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Jo Davies feels the time is right to introduce this dynamic production to Australians, saying in a statement: “I’m absolutely thrilled that we’re able to bring this incredible new musical to Australia for the first time, and I’m sure it will be as adored here has it has been overseas, finding a whole new legion of fans. Creator and writer Anaïs Mitchell is just such an amazing talent, I’m very much looking forward to working with her and her team to realise this production here.” 

'Hadestown' Original London Cast
Photograph: Supplied/Opera Australia | 'Hadestown' Original London Cast

Following two intertwining love stories – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone – Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Anaïs Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and the poetic imagination of her artistic collaborator Rachel Chavkin (who helped take the show from indie theatre project to Broadway sensation) pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience and invites you to imagine how the world could be.

Open-call auditions for Hadestown roles will be held in Sydney on Saturday, June 15, and in Melbourne on Sunday, June 16. For further information and to register interest, head over to hadestown.com.au/opencall.

For further information and to sign up to be the first to find out what is going down in Hadestown, visit hadestown.com.au.

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