Die Schöne Müllerin

Mark your calendars for April 25 to see the Franz Schubert opera, Die Schöne Müllerin, performed by Czech Center Museum Houston friend/member Gottfried Schiller, with Robert Pace accompanying! The performance will be held next Friday, April 25, 2014 at 7:30pm, in the MUS Recital Hall at Lonestar College-Kingwood. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students.

Die Schone Mullerin

Gottfried Schiller, tenor, is a native of Germany and grew up in the Dresden area.  He studied at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Dresden, one of East Germany’s premier music schools. Upon graduation, Gottfried began work in the professional chorus of the Radebeul Opera.  He sang there for seven years before joining the elite chorus of the very prestigious Komische Oper in Berlin, where he sang for 28 years.  Gottfried has been living in Houston now for three years with his wife, the singer and teacher, Anne Heath-Welch.  Also a private voice teacher, he recently joined the voice faculty at Lone Star College-Kingwood, and directed Bartered Bride  for the summer opera workshop.  He is an avid sailor.

The opera consists of twenty songs, half of them in simple strophic form, and their moods move from optimistic to tragic. At the beginning of the story, a young journeyman miller wanders happily through the countryside. He comes upon a brook, which he follows to a mill. He falls in love with the miller’s beautiful daughter. She is out of his reach as he is only a journeyman. He tries to impress her, but her response seems tentative. The young man is soon supplanted in her affections by a hunter clad in green, the color of a ribbon he gave the girl. In his anguish, he experiences an obsession with the color green, then an extravagant death fantasy in which flowers sprout from his grave to express his undying love.  In the end, the young man despairs and presumably drowns himself in the brook. The last number is a lullaby sung by the brook. The question remains: is the brook really the miller’s friend or is it a fiend, like Mephistopheles in the Faust legend, who leads the miller to his downfall and destruction?

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