Book and Lyrics by Shaun McKenna
Music by Stephen Keeling
This romantic musical is a prequel to Heidi.
The young Johanna Heusser dreams of leaving the stuffy village she lives in. Her mother is a religious fanatic, her father a busy doctor, emotionally absent. They want her to marry the dull young Johann Spyri, a trainee lawyer. As often as she can, Johanna escapes to the mountains where she meets her imaginary friend, Adelheid. Johanna finds comfort in creating for Adelheid the life she would like for herself.
Adelheid is betrothed to Tobias. Tobias' father Jakob has long been absent but when he unexpectedly returns, the young man struggles to form a relationship with him. It is Adelheid who heals the wounds. Not long after their marriage, Adelheid discovers she is pregnant.
Meanwhile, Johanna has fallen for the charms of fiery young revolutionary Heinrich Luethold. She allows herself to be sent to school in Zurich - ostensibly so that Spyri can woo her, but in fact to enable her to see Heinrich in secret. But Heinrich breaks young Johanna's heart.
Distressed, she creates a tragedy for Adelheid too. Adelheid dies in childbirth, Tobias is killed in an accident and Jakob, broken hearted, is prevented from bringing up his granchild, Heidi. He becomes a recluse in the mountains.
But Heidi offers hope for the future. As Johanna marries Spyri, all the elements are in place to begin the story of Heidi.
Commissioned by TSW in 2008.
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Creative Consultant John Havu
Based on an idea by Stefan Mens
Developed by The Development Team