The Fishergirl
How It Came About... The Fishergirl is a coming-of-age story of Dannie Trescott, a modern-era “Everywoman” who faces the same issues most women, if not all people, encounter today. Set in the early 1900s, Dannie, a fishergirl from Castine, Maine, navigates the treacheries of gender bias, class distinction, greed, mental illness, and violence while finding her way in life. Other ageless themes of the work include the issue of family loyalty, the challenges of facing inevitable change, and the universal desire to be seen as a unique individual, independent of culture, profession, wealth or gender. The story is uplifting, fresh, and surprising with unexpected twists and turns. In the fall of 2014, Hilarie Clark Moore began writing the story, music, and lyrics for The Fishergirl. Her inspiration for the story came from three sources: historical family artifacts, which influenced her choice of geographical and historical settings, her home on the Connecticut River which influenced the imagery of water, and her reflections on issues present in today’s society. Family letters from the Civil War and other historical artifacts inspired the settings of Castine, Maine, Washington, D.C., and New Orleans during the early 1900s with a backstory set during the Civil War. Dr. Moore’s love of the Connecticut shoreline and the Connecticut River inspired the strong themes of water. She incorporated some of her reflections concerning the challenges we all face in today’s American society. After receiving positive feedback from music colleagues on her music, she formed a creative team that includes Ron De Fesi, Gwen Gunn, and Zoila Savale. Ron De Fesi, artistic director of the Hudson Opera Theatre and musician extraordinaire, ensured that the vocal lines would showcase the beauty of the voice. He added his talents to the production with his masterful and creative orchestrations. Gwen Gunn, feminist playwright, wrote the dialogue and contributed to the backstory for The Fishergirl. Dr. Zoey Savale edited the project and provided guidance to the creation of the story. To develop the work further, the Hudson Opera Theatre has offered to have this public reading of The Fishergirl to gauge actors’ and audiences’ reactions to the work. The Cheshire Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra, will perform “Parade” from The Fishergirl at its May 20, 2022 concert. We believe that this magical work, with its intriguing plot and characters and overarching messages, successfully identifies and explores, in the format of music theater/opera, themes and situations which will resonate with a diverse modern audience. v



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