Encore Michigan

Julia Bullock at UMS in October; individual tickets now on sale

Preview August 22, 2019 Encore Staff

ANN ARBOR—As part of its Renegade Festival, UMS presents Zauberland (Magic Land): An Encounter with Schumann’s Dichterliebe at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre October 24 and 25. The work is performed by Julia Bullock, a voice of social consciousness whose activism permeates her work on stage, and directed by Katie Mitchell, who explores the relationship between a 19th century romantic sensibility and our 20th century reality of mass migration and violence.

A young woman, five months pregnant, is forced to leave Syria and make the long journey to live in Germany. She leaves behind her husband and family in war-torn Aleppo and settles in Cologne, where she gives birth to a daughter and continues her career as a professional opera singer. On the eve of her husband’s death, she has a strange dream where singing a concert of Schumann’s Dichterliebe is mixed up with the trauma of her journey from Syria and her life in Aleppo before the war. Sung in German and English, with surtitles.

A quintessential work of European Romanticism, Schumann’s Dichterliebe is infused with yearning for love and landscapes that no longer exist. Composer Bernard Foccroulle and writer Martin Crimp created 16 new songs to be performed seamlessly alongside Schumann’s original work, opening up a new dramatic dialogue between past and present. This new work takes that soundscape and superimposes a theatrical story in which a young woman fleeing violence waits at a European border hoping to enter Zauberland — a magical world of security and peace.

Tickets and more information are available online at ums.org.

Week of 9/16/2019

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