When composer Jeff Beal (House of Cards, Carnivale, Pollock) originally found the diary of his great grandmother Della, he and his wife Joan were bowled over by the story it told: a first-hand account of a woman who was widowed and raising six kids on a farm in the early 1900's. Something about the matter of fact way she wrote of what seemed like incredible suffering and the efficiency of her words stood out to Jeff and Joan. They thought they should do something with it musically. But they were busy raising kids and the diary was placed back in its box. Twenty years later, Jeff was commissioned to write a piece and remembered the diary. This is the story of how a young widow's life story came to be sung by a Grammy-winning soprano over 100 years later.
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