Die schöne Müllerin


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Alternative Stage

Music theatre

Die schöne Müllerin

Franz Schubert / Lenia Safiropoulou / Tassos Karahalios
  • 21, 23 Apr 2023

Music theatre

Greek National Opera Alternative Stage
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Starts at 20.30(Sunday: 19.30)|

Wilhelm Müller and Franz Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, a musical novel that marked the Romantic movement, is coming through an original dance performance to the GNO Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center for two performances on 21 and 23 April 2023.

Revolving around the voice, the body, the movement and with just a few props on a green-light-dominated atmospheric stage, mezzo-soprano and performer Lenia Safiropoulou and choreographer Tassos Karahalios follow Müller's romantic hero along his journey and perform Schubert's water songs, creating a scenic dance phantasy, where Romanticism's magical nature always wins in the end. Accompanying on the piano is distinguished pianist Andrej Hovrin.

Wilhelm Müller was a philologist, a historian, a librarian, but also a great philhellene: many inhabitants of Athens probably know Myllerou street that was named after him. When he died, so prematurely, he left behind five poetry books. The poems of the collection Die schöne Müllerin were published in 1821 and, as the poet himself used to say, they would lead a half, paper life until they would be found by some music that would breathe life into them or awaken the life sleeping inside them. But it will be found, he would say, the soulmate that will listen to the melodies behind the words and give them back to me. In the end, this select tracker of the secret life of these seemingly second-class lyrics at first sight, was Franz Schubert, who kept twenty of the poems and composed a song cycle based on them in 1823, a musico-poetical novel in twenty monologues.

In the song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, the anonymous romantic hero, a young man without a country, relatives or estate, leaves the old mill where he used to work as an apprentice and seeks his fortune elsewhere. Following a creek he arrives at a new water mill, starts working there, and falls in love with the miller's beautiful daughter. Through twenty climaxing monologues, he develops and experiences the most lonely and enclosed love feeling one could ever imagine, with the creek that led him to the young girl as his only interlocutor and, in a way, as the drama's silent director. Absolutely alone both in times of triumph and misfortune, the hero tempts the audience to suspect that everything in this story, the love conquest, the erotic rivalry, and the rejection are but the figments of his imagination.

Mezzo-soprano and performer Lenia Safiropoulou and choreographer and dancer Tassos Karahalios return to the GNO Alternative Stage after the successful production I Had Enough (2018) to capture this self-consuming love in a dance performance, accompanied by pianist Andrej Hovrin. This performance presents the twenty stops of a trajectory that was originally carved out by Wilhelm Müller and Franz Schubert exactly 200 years ago, by touching in a fascinatingly modern way upon the bonds between phantasy and modernist masculinity and by indelibly marking both the song cycle genre and the Romantic movement in general.

The goal of this dance phantasy is to translate the images, the plot, and the melodies of this cycle into a new abstract dramaturgy: singing and strict movement rules, extreme physicality, and an empty stage with just a few props will demonstrate how lonely and unutterable the power of the feeling and the overdemanding from life are, a loneliness that is enduring and inherent in the human condition.

Wilhelm Müller

Tassos Karahalios

Stage set, lighting designer
Konstantinos Skourletis

Performers: Lenia Safirolpoulou (mezzo-soprano, dance), Tassos Karahalios (Dance), Andrej Hovrin (piano)

Ticket prices:: 12€, 15€
Students, children:10€


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