Gilda Lyons


Gilda Lyons (b. 1975) wrote this set of unaccompanied songs to text by Anne Sexton (1928-1974). Lyons is both a composer and soprano and gave the premiere of these pieces herself in NYC in 2003. Lyons lives in Rhinebeck and is a graduate of Bard College. She received her Ph.D. In Music Composition from SUNY Stony Brook. The poems have many of the hallmark themes of Sexton’s confessional style, exploring subjects of motherhood, marriage, mental illness, and institutionalization. For Sexton, who struggled with mental illness for much of her adult life, poetry was a therapeutic practice. Lyons notes that Maxine Kumin, a poet and close friend of Sexton’s, once wrote that though Sexton eventually took her own life, “poetry kept Anne alive for the eighteen years of her creative endeavors. When everything else soured…the making of poems remained her one constant.”

Productions at Potomac Theatre Project

Production Role
A Small Handful (2021)