The Forest Murmurs

The Forest Murmurs

An adventure in the German Romantic Imagination
Multimedia – performance for cast, chorus and orchestra, scenography and costume, film (S8mm), video, text

Direction, scenic design, video design.
Costume, Stephen Rodwell, Dramaturg,
Meredith Oakes.
Conductor, Steven Sloane. 

Media Theatre work exploring the sound world, visuality, conceptual evolution of the Romantic imagination, through work by Beethoven, Berg, Schumann, Schubert, Wagner, Mahler, Marschner, text by Tieck, Schlegel, Hegel

Opera North

Created in 2001-2

Comment in Intermediality in Theatre, Kattenbelt and Chapple Eds, 2006

The Forest Murmurs

Part 1

1 Der Erlkönig                                           Schubert                              1815

Archive recording of radio broadcast by Lotte Lehmann, NYC               1941
Film accompaniment, created by               Sigune Hamann

The city is cruel, nature is kind

2 Overture no 3, Leonore                         Beethoven                            1806
Singers as actors live and on film
Film accompaniment

3 Flucht                                                     Schubert                                1825
Male Chorus

4 Mailied                                                    Schubert                                1815
Female Chorus, 4 horns
Captions – group singing as 
agent of European unity

5 Fruhlingsnacht (from Liederkreis)         Schumann                             1840 

Is nature truly kind?

6 Mir ist so wunderbar
Quartet, Act 1 Fidelio                                  Beethoven                            1805

7 Gretchen am Spinnrade                        Schubert                               1814
Film accompaniment,
from Fritz Lang’s The Death Of Siegfried                                               1926

8 The Lime Tree Walk
a reading from 
Wurtembergisches Reportorium                 Schiller                                  1782

Projected still photography

9 Berg und Burgen (from Liederkreis)      Schumann                             1840
Film, singers present  model mountain

Beyond Nature

10 Lift Thine Eyes (from Elijah)                 Mendelssohn                          1846

11 Chorus Mysticus
(Scenes from Faust)                                   Schumann                              1844-53
Soloists, Chorus, Orchestra, Film

Orchestra move from pit to stage

Part 2

Nothing is Beyond Nature

1 Prelude to Tristan and Isolde                Wagner                                  1856-59

2 Letter from von Kleist to Wilhelmine
Read by Anne Dawson

Projected still photography

3 Des Baches Wiegenlied 
(from Die Schöne Müllerin)                         Schubert                                 1823

4 Puss in Boots
(extract from play)                                       Ludwig Tieck                           1797

5 Der Tamboursg’sell
(from Des Knaben Wunderhorn)                 Mahler                                     1905
Film accompaniment

6 The Death of God (extract)                     Nietzsche                                1882
Read by Jill Maria Marsden
Projected still photography

7 Also sprach Zarathustra (extract)         Strauss                                    1895-96

But the Burden of Knowledge is Too Much

8 Trio from Hans Heiling                           Marschner                               1831-32

9 Edelweiss  
Marching song, trad.                                                                                   1941
Archive recording of German army choir
Film / action accompaniment
live performers destroy effigies, screen doubles shrink and die



10 Wozzeck (Act III,scene 14)                 Berg                                          1925

11 Kindertotenlieder no1                          Mahler                                    1901
Archive recording, Kathleen Ferrier                                                           1949
Film accompaniment
(location Nuremberg Toy Museum)