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  • hcmf// 2018 Harriet Production Shot

Harriet: Press Quotes & Production Shots

‘‘Harriet’ is a layered piece of musical theatre about the escaped slave and campaigner for freedom Harriet tuban. Soprano Claron McFadden is magisterial in the title role…

At the same time the performance proved that ‘difficult’ contemporary music can address a wide public, as long as the music does not end up in a vacuum of abstraction. The auditorium was packed, and ‘Harriet’ received an ovation…

At the glorious centre was soprano Claron McFadden in the title role. She swung effortlessly between raw spoken word when she spoke Harriet’s historical words, and spine-chilling vocalisations. ‘Harriet’ is anything but a hagiography, but thanks to McFadden’s intense and believable performance the protagonist grew into a gripping symbol of bottomless injustice…

‘Harriet’ convinced as a stylised and layered art work that left the viewer shaken, even  ashamed.’

– NRC.nl ***** – 4 October 2018


‘All praise to Claron McFadden for her interpretation of Tubman. Her performance is physically restrained, even static, but every look and every gesture breathes a confident fight and energy. McFadden produces the spoken passages with a dark voice and a southern ‘drawl’ that brings her character to life. McFadden also tackles Paredes’ daring composition with obvious ease. She swings effortlessly between vocal acrobatics with her head voice and the musical quotations from the sober spirituals that Parades has woven into her composition.’

– Theaterkrant Nederland – 4 October 2018

‘The work has only three musicians, a viola player, a guitarist and a percussionist, but also contains an electronic component: surreal echoes, doublings and other musical phantoms  resound from the walls of the auditorium. All of this makes Harriet into a technically complex piece that compels admiration for that reason alone.

Paredes’ music is beautiful and rich in details, and alongside subtle and rarefied textures it contains spikier sounds and in the fourth act even martial rhythms…

The show is strengthened by the surprisingly inventive and sharply timed projections, always in pure black and white with a single red accent, in which Matreyek confronts documentary material such as old engravings with beautifully made animations, from concrete to abstract, which at some moments coincide precisely with the actions of both singers.

– De Volkskrant Nederland **** – 4 October 2018

“Hilda Paredes takes from society everything that is in it, she is able to draw every imaginable sound colours  from the combinations of instruments and voices. …

… all in all it was enough for a profound theatre experience. The leading role of the Dutch-American soprano Claron McFadden, who identified completely with Harriet Tubman, was crucial for the whole event. In every respect her role is almost inhumanly difficult and, as she herself said in an interview before the performance, the most difficult role she has ever rehearsed. She stretches her vocal cords from glass-high notes, as in the days of Gundula Janowitz, to almost growling depths, and still remains clear and comprehensible. What a sensation! The whole cast radiated inspiration that drew in the whole audience: I won’t say that it was all down to McFadden, but it certainly was to a large extent, it couldn’t have been otherwise. Chapeau!’

– Werkgroep Caraïbische Letteren – 8 October 2018

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