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Minnesota musician Gaelynn Lea tapped for Broadway production of 'Macbeth'

Gaelynn Lea will create the music for a revival of "Macbeth" directed by Sam Gold.

Gaelynn Lea announced Wednesday via Twitter that she is creating the soundtrack for a 2022 Broadway revival of "Macbeth" directed by Sam Gold. Clint Austin / 2018 file / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — In April, Gaelynn Lea will get to see her first Broadway show, a production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” directed by the Tony Award-winning director Sam Gold — with a soundtrack she created.

“It’s gonna be some spoooooky music,” the Duluth musician announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning, linking to the news story from Broadway.com.

Director Gold — who, with his production of “Fun Home,” won theater’s biggest award for best direction in a musical in 2015 — is creating a new take on Shakespeare’s drama of greed and guilt, war and death. Lea said was contacted by the production about using her music for the performances, which are scheduled to open April 28, 2022, and run for 15 weeks at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City.


She met Gold via video conference, and he specifically referenced the Finnish folk song “Metsakukkia” from her 2018 album “Learning How to Stay.” He told her he wanted something dark and ambient, mostly instrumental, and really intense, she said.

“I’m really excited,” Lea said. “This is totally out of left field.”

Lea, who in non-COVID-19 times is an internationally touring advocate and musician, has been settled in Duluth, where she was raised, for the past year and a half. She’s traded in new stages for musical dispatches from her home, available for streaming on YouTube, and a book project.

Now, she’s also reading “Macbeth.”

“It’s really dark,” she said. “It’s going to be interesting composing music for it. It’s going to be a change of direction.”

Lea has co-created a soundtrack in the past: In 2011, she collaborated with Alan Sparhawk of Low to create a score they performed live along the silent film “The Penalty.” This duo went on to perform together as The Murder of Crows.

Lea said she has already been a part of a few production meetings for “Macbeth.” In the upcoming months she is expected to get a recording of a table read and a list of musical cues.


She is scheduled to go to New York City in March, three weeks before opening, to rework and record. She will be working alongside award-winning sound designer Mikaal Sulaiman, who partnered with Gold on an off-Broadway production of “Three Sisters” that was originally scheduled to open in 2020, but will now play in the 2022-23 season at New York Theater Workshop.

Gold’s revival of “Macbeth” is slated to star English actor Daniel Craig, known for his portrayal of James Bond, as well as Ruth Negga (“Loving”), with more casting announcements to be announced, according to Broadway.com.

I am a 20-plus year employee of the Duluth News Tribune, first as a sports reporter, briefly as a copy editor and now as a features reporter with an emphasis on arts, entertainment and oddities. I enjoy trail running, paddle boarding, reading, yoga, cooking and things that are hilarious. I live in, and celebrate, West Duluth with my elementary school aged daughter, my longtime partner, and two pandemic pets. I can be reached at (218) 279-5536 or clawler@duluthnews.com
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