I have been obsessing over Anais Mitchell's "Hadestown" for the past couple of weeks. It is a fantastic CD of the twenty songs that make up her folk opera based on the Orpheus myth and set in a post-apocalyptic American depression era. My kids are getting sick of listening to it, but I can't help myself and play it again and again. I was not familiar with Anais Mitchell until I found "Hadestown." She reminds me a bit of Kate Bush (someone I listened to a lot back in the day).
Aside from the songwriting and score - the "cast" of "Hadestown" makes me giddy. Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) is Orpheus. Greg Brown (who I have listened to since college back in the late 1980s) is Hades. Ani DiFranco is Persephone. Ben Knox Miller is Hermes. The Haden triplets are the fates, and Anais Mitchell herself sings the part of Eurydice.
I've included a photo of an illustration of Orpheus taking his forbidden peek at Eurydice, losing her forever. Hermes hovers in the background. It is from the D'Aulaire's "Book of Greek Myths." If you don't have a general reference of the Greek myths, I recommend this one. My kids have read and reread the myths, and the illustrations are good. You can often find used copies at booksales and the like.
And the last photo? I'm starting more sewing projects in my work room - while listening all the while to this CD!