Winterreise: a journey into the unknown, a trip through a bleak landscape, the loneliness of an individual struggling with his fears and desires.
The dark and desolate atmosphere of Schubert's masterpiece inspired Michaël Borremans to create a sober decor with subtle contrasts that accentuate the character’s melancholic experience. In the meagre candlelight, thin branches cast dark shadows on the face of the baritone, Georg Nigl. He is ‘der Wanderer’ who becomes lost and caught in the twilight zone between reality and fantasy, on an existential journey accompanied by the pianist Andreas Staier. The intermezzos - titled AZ - by the contemporary French composer Mark Andre reverberate between the songs like airy, ephemeral notes that penetrate the opaque, snow-covered landscape. Director Johan Simons opted for a taut, almost graphic mise-en-scène and created a tension that alternates poetic images with enduring moments.
"Saying goodbye can be so beautiful". (Trends, 21 March 2014)