Hazel Dickens: Pretty Bird

Written by Devony Smith

Soprano

March 27, 2019

Today, I wanted to share a song by one of my favorite folk artists, Hazel Dickens. I stumbled across this song while curating music for a play set in the Appalachian mountains. Hazel Dickens is known primarily for her one of a kind vocal color, and her provocative pro-union feminist songs. In this song, the melody is simple and the text is hopeful and longing cry for personal freedom. Hazel Dickens’ raw vocal timbre beautifully carries out the simple yearning in the text. My heart breaks every time she flips between her vocal registers—it sounds as if she is holding back a tear single tear through the duration of the piece.

Devony Smith

Devony Smith is a versatile soprano excelling in both contemporary and traditional repertoire. This year, she will present a recital in a partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Citywide Concerts. Devony has recently performed Kate Soper’s self-accompanied opera Here Be Sirens at National Sawdust, the title role in the workshop of Matt Aucoin’s new opera Eurydice as a part of Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works program and the Metroplitan Opera. Devony will be performing the world premiere of a piece from Kate Soper’s new opera, The Romance of the Rose, on March 28 as part of the NYFOS Next series. 

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