is a musical
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...
with a book by Jamie Wax, lyrics by Wax and Paul Taranto, and music by Taranto.
Peopled by characters introduced by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline...
in his 1847 epic poem of the same name
Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, is an epic poem published in 1847 by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem follows an Acadian girl named Evangeline and her search for her lost love Gabriel, set during the time of the Expulsion of the Acadians.The idea for the poem came from...
, it tells the tale of Evangeline Bellefontaine and Gabriel Lajeunesse, born on the same mid-18th century day in the Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...
n village of Grand-Pré in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...
. The two forge a bond that strengthens as they grow older, and they eventually become engaged. Their lives are disrupted when they are separated by British
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...
soldiers who invade the community and disperse the residents among the American colonies
British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas...
. Evangeline's search for her fiancé takes her on a long journey from the New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...
seacoast to the Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...
A bayou is an American term for a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying areas, and can refer either to an extremely slow-moving stream or river , or to a marshy lake or wetland. The name "bayou" can also refer to creeks that see level changes due to tides and hold brackish water which...
s, where she settles in St. Martin and faithfully waits for the arrival of her beloved. Years later she joins local priest Father Felician to assist him in his ministrations to the still-homeless Acadians roaming along the Atlantic seabord
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...
, a fateful move that unexpectedly brings her closer to her destiny.
In 1995, inspired by a children's theatre production about the Acadian expulsion, music teacher Taranto began working on a musical adaptation of the story. Three years later, he approached actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...
A lyricist is a songwriter who specializes in lyrics. A singer who writes the lyrics to songs is a singer-lyricist. This differentiates from a singer-composer, who composes the song's melody.-Collaboration:...
Wax with a collection of songs he had written and asked if he would be interested in collaborating on the project. Unable to commit himself at the time, he recommended Taranto work with mutual friend Danny Tiberghein, who taught at the same school and had a theatrical background. When Tiberghein later was killed, Wax agreed to complete the musical with Taranto as a memorial to him.
In November 1998, Evangeline
was presented in concert
A concert is a live performance before an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band...
form at the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. The reaction was favorable enough for the creative team to pool their resources and finance the recording of a concept album
In music, a concept album is an album that is "unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical." Commonly, concept albums tend to incorporate preconceived musical or lyrical ideas rather than being improvised or composed in the studio, with all songs contributing...
The first full-scale production of the show, directed by Paige Parsons-Wax, was mounted at Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, most often referred to as Louisiana State University, or LSU, is a public coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The University was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name...
in June 1999. Taranto conducted the orchestra and Wax played one of the secondary roles. Two months later, there were two concert performances, one in Lafayette
Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...
and the other at the Strand Theatre in Shreveport
Shreveport is the third largest city in Louisiana. It is the principal city of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana and is the 109th-largest city in the United States....
. The latter was taped by Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Louisiana Public Broadcasting is a state-run, viewer-supported state network of Public Broadcasting Service non-commercial educational Public television member stations serving the state of Louisiana outside Greater New Orleans. The stations are operated by the Louisiana Educational Television...
and in October 2000 aired on PBS stations throughout the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
The PBS production starred Ana Maria Andricain as Evangeline, Rod Weber as Gabriel, and Andre Chapoy as Father Felician, backed by the Centenary College Choir, the Texas Street Singers, and the Children's Choir of the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge.
was staged at the Baton Rouge Little Theatre in 2004. It was directed Paige Parsons Gagliano, while composer Paul Taranto was musical director. Andre Chapoy appeared once more as Father Felician.
- Prologue: The Forest Primeval
- The Village of Grand Pré
- The Game of Life
- To Our Memories
- My Guardian
- Father Forgive Them
- Act One Finale
- Starting Again
- Blessed Lady
- Worth the Wait
- Matt from Ville Platte
- There Are Days
- If I Know Men
- Trust Your Heart
- Someday (Reprise)
- Worth the Wait (Solo Version)