Beautiful May

Julian Prégardien and Éric Le Sage live at the HOUSE FESTIVAL with Schumann's Dichterliebe cycle

Photo that shows Julian Prégardien 2 Credit Peter Rigaud.

Oh, if only we were already in the beautiful month of May! Then perhaps we could visit the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden again in person. But since the time has not yet come, we now have the HOUSE FESTIVAL, during which Julian Prégardien will be singing Robert Schumann's song cycle Dichterliebe, to take place on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 8:15 pm. The free live stream can be experienced at www.festspielhaus.de or on Vimeo, Youtube, and Facebook. Éric Le Sage (piano) will accompany the Frankfurt-born singer.

Robert Schumann's song cycle Dichterliebe to texts by Heinrich Heine – written in 1840 – begins with the short poem “In the Beautiful Month of May.” The poem is the starting point of a highly emotional journey that poet, composer, interpreter, and audience can embark on together. In these first lines, the speaker recalls the moment when he confesses his love to his adored one and the great longing begins.

The year 1840 was Schumann's “song year”; at the same time it was the year when he married Clara Wieck. Both events are reflected in the Dichterliebe cycle.

Speaking of Clara Schumann, the life path of the pianist and composer brought her to Baden-Baden after the death of her husband Robert. Here she found a summer home with her children in the Black Forest town and a beloved retreat after international tours. She was close both to Johannes Brahms and to Pauline Viardot-Garcia, the world-class soprano who settled in Baden-Baden at the same time.

From Limburg Cathedral music to the opera stage

Julian Prégardien was born in Frankfurt in 1984 and received his first musical training in the Limburg Cathedral choirs. After studying in Freiburg and at the Academy of the Aix-en-Provence Opera Festival, he was a member of the Frankfurt Opera from 2009 to 2013. At the same time his international concert career began to flourish. The tenor is now an internationally renowned representative of the younger generation of singers.

As an opera singer, he has appeared at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Staatsoper Hamburg and Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Opéra Comique in Paris. In 2018 he made his debut as Narraboth in Richard Strauss's Salome with the Wiener Philharmoniker under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst. In 2019 he gave his debut as Tamino at the Staatsoper Berlin.

A special focus of Julian Prégardien's artistic work has been recitals and chamber music projects. In the 19/20 season he sang Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin with Kristian Bezuidenhout, Winterreise with Lars Vogt, Schwanengesang with Martin Helmchen, and Schumann's Dichterliebe with Éric le Sage.

Questions can be asked to the artists in advance or live, by e-mail at hausfestspiel@festspielhaus.de, via direct message or as a comment on the Facebook live stream, or in the comment fields on Vimeo and Youtube.

Updated: 3/15/2021