Clara's Gift

A spellbinding evening of story and song

  • Devised by Elizabeth Mansfield
  • Music by Robert Schumann ‘Frauenliebe und Leben’ Opus 42
  • Poems by Adelbert von Chamisso, translated by Steve Trafford
  • Lighting by Nao Nagai
  • Elizabeth Mansfield: mezzo soprano
  • Stephen Rose: piano

Leipzig, late summer 1840… An unknown composer gives his beloved fiancée a special gift on the eve of their long awaited wedding… a cycle of eight beautiful and enigmatic songs that strangely foretell the lovers’ own story…

Robert Schumann was the young composer, his fiancée was Clara Wieck, piano virtuoso and darling of Europe’s concert halls… and the song cycle? ‘Frauenliebe und Leben’ (A Woman’s Love and Life).

The story unfolds… Their secret love, Clara’s indomitable father, the lovers’ determination to be together, their joy, their pain and always, always their music. Robert and Clara’s love letters touch, amuse and enchant us, and the ‘Frauenliebe’ songs are heard here as never before. Sung in glorious new English translations, they weave through the story, passionate and compelling.

A concert performance of Schumann’s ‘Frauenliebe und Leben’ Opus 42, sung in the original German, completes the evening.

This new production will be touring from Spring 2017
Clara's Gift