SAINT HILDEGARD is a musical about the latter 40 years of the life of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century abbess and someday-saint. She was a composer, philosopher, visionary, and pre-Reformation reformer.
We see great swaths of fabric connecting Hildegard’s epoch to our own moment in history. How do you change institutions to give power to the powerless? When are you complicit? Hildegard’s life was a revolution on hold, brimming with potential energy. This musical unleashes that energy.
HILDEGARD has been in development since spring 2018. In March of 2019, Elizabeth Swanson received an individual artist grant for her work on HILDEGARD from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The creative team used the grant to continue developing the musical, adding a second act and clarifying the show’s central action. Meanwhile, Chicago musician Heidi Joosten orchestrating music from the show for a 5-piece band. The year of development culminated in a live album recording of songs from both acts of the musical. On December 8, 2019, we played a live recording of our HILDEGARD concept album to a sold out house at Sleeping Village in Chicago.
Today, the team is working on the latest draft of the book and searching for grants and workshop opportunities to continue developing the musical.