Hieronymus, A Musical Fantasy

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Template:EngvarB Template:Infobox Musical Hieronymus, A Musical Fantasy is an original musical with music, lyrics, and book by T. E. Breitenbach about Hieronymus Bosch "An artist with a 'too-large' imagination". The musical was staged and made its world premiere at Proctors Theater in Schenectady New York in 2016 for the purpose of filming it for public television.

The Plot

Learning to imagine

When Hieronymus Bosch begins courting Anna, the daughter of his art patron, he must hide the many creatures that reside in his house, a result of his 'too-large' imagination. Anna eventually discovers the creatures, but is quickly charmed by funny Otto and Gregor, and the cute little Sophie, who giggles too much.

But Anna has a jealous admirer, Erasmus. When he learns of the creatures he tries to have Hieronymus arrested by Church authorities for the practice of sorcery (a serious matter in Medieval times).

While Anna accepts the creatures at first, she is also concerned about whether this is a safe and wholesome environment in which to raise a future family. She asks Hieronymus to paint normal things for a while, something he tries very reluctantly and fails at. Both Anna and Hieronymus are left to do some serious soul-searching.

Hieronymus abandons his imagination for a time, as it seems only to lead him deeper and deeper into trouble. He even denies the existence of his beloved creatures. After Erasmus kidnaps poor, little Sophie, to prove his case, it is Anna, who after recognizing the value of Hieronymus' imagination, reawakens his creative spirit. In a frightening scene, he makes the creatures of his paintings, and every object in his house come to life in order to rescue Sophie. In the end, everyone gets exactly what they deserve.


Sophie's rescue

On August 17 and 18, 2016 (the second date a live performance) Hieronymus made its world premiere. It was staged as a large-scale community theatrical production at Proctors Theater, in Schenectady, New York for the purpose of filming it for public television. Mr. Breitenbach was the executive producer and also director. Over 250 individuals and numerous local arts organizations participated in putting this together including the primary collaborators Proctors and Schenectady Light Opera Company, and also The Baker School of Dance, Medieval Reenactors, and six area high schools who created creature masks, including Bethlehem, Guilderland, Ichabod Crane, Schenectady, Shenendehowa, and Voorheesville high schools.

T. E. Breitenbach, the creator of Hieronymus, is himself a painter of fantasy, well known for his masterwork Proverbidioms, and as such he lends his own personal angst to the show—the feeling that most everyone doesn’t really get it, even those closest to you. The passion, the joy, the pain—the creation and reality of such. The musical clearly contains some degree of autobiography.

Musical numbers

Anna pleads for help to rescue Sophie

Act I

  • Overture – Ensemble
  • Hieronymus - Ensemble
  • The Skipping Song - Singer/Caller
  • Dragons and Boogeymen - The Grimm Bros.
  • Imagination - Hieronymus
  • Colors - Hieronymus and Anna
  • Brothers! - Erasmus and Brother #1
  • Winter - Instrumental
  • Trouble - The Apprentices
  • Imagination (reprise) - Hieronymus and Anna
  • It's a Funny Feeling - Hieronymus and Anna
  • The Prayer - Anna
  • Yo Ho - Anna
  • The Creature's Waltz - Otto and Gregor
  • What About - Anna and Hieronymus

Act II

  • What I Am - Hieronymus
  • Alone - Anna and Hieronymus
  • Come With Me, Come - Erasmus
  • Magic - Instrumental
  • Winter (reprise) - Instrumental
  • Yo Ho (reprise) - Anna, Hieronymus, Otto, Gregor and Sophie
  • Tender Love - Ensemble
  • Wedding Night Hymn - Hieronymus and Anna
  • Hieronymus (reprise) - Ensemble
  • It's a Funny Feeling (reprise) - Instrumental

Principal Characters and Original Cast

The original cast of the Proctors production staged for public television:

The creature party
  • Hieronymus Bosch, an artist with a 'too-large' imagination – Will Heatley
  • Anna Van Meer, daughter of a wealthy, art patron – Kelsey Marlowe Jessup
  • Erasmus, the villain - James Alexander
  • Otto, a large, comical, know-it-all creature - Marc Christopher
  • Gregor, a comical, dim-witted, and gullible creature - Jacob Lehning
  • Sophie, a cute and giggly creature- Sofia Trimarchi
  • Two Apprentices - Jenna Morrissey and Quinn Sakala
  • Mr. Van Meer, wealthy art patron - Alan Angelo
  • Narrator and Father Albert - Patrick Quinn
  • Anna's Girlfriends - Julia Sitors and Abby Ryan
  • The Grimm Brothers - Austin Van Buren and Gregory Trechel
  • The Gargoyles - Anne Gallagher and Ethan Skelly
  • The Models - Paige Paddock and Helene Trechel
  • The full cast included nearly 50 players and dancers

Artistic Directors

At the festival
  • Director and Set Designer - Thom Breitenbach
  • Production Advisor - Robert Whiteman
  • Choreographers - Denise Baker and Kyle Hatfield
  • Costume Designer - Beth Ruman
  • Creature Designer - Ira Martin


External links