Hot on the heels of his outstanding interpretation of George Milton in Opera Australia’s recent production of Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, baritone Barry Ryan, with pianist Louise Scott performs Schubert’s Winterreise for Art Song NSW in mid-September.
Few professional singers with suitable voices would leave their training institutions without having journeyed through the 24 Lieder of Winterreise. And so, whilst there is little that is new about the facts surrounding this song cycle, this cornerstone of repertoire will hold different meaning for all those who become acquainted with it, and each rendition will be nuanced with the personal hopes and sorrows of the singer. Given the dramatic depth and vocal power with which Ryan portrayed ‘George’, the performance promises to be sensitive as well as being an acoustic treat.
Winterreise is the narrative of one man as he experiences the desolation of lost love, hopelessness and deception, contrasting with dreams of happier times, hope and burning passion. Schubert set 16 of the 24 verses by Wilhelm Muller in a minor key. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, legendary exponent of Winterreise has described the journey as ending in ‘a whisper in silent despair’.
A hush falls as the last note fades away, and the listeners return to reality from that secret place where the music has taken them. The popularity of the cycle convinces that whilst it may lead to introspection and brooding, ultimately the music is so pleasing and so perfectly matched with the lyrics, that one is left with a sense of wonderment at what Fischer-Dieskau describes as ‘the loftiest and most potently convincing summits of the Lied’.
Whether or not you’re familiar with the messages conveyed in Winterreise, Art Song NSW have devised images to enhance your experience, with surtitles added as well.
Bookings 0411 110 889 or