top of page


Kennst Du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn?

(Knowest thou the land where the lemon trees flower?)

A musical-literary evening around the cult figure Mignon from Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship" with music by F. Schubert, R. Schumann, L. Beethoven, H. Wolf, F. Liszt, H. Duparc, P. Tchaikovsky

and texts from W. Goethe, via G. Hauptmann to I. Bachmann


Soprano: Annina Gieré

Piano: Corina Gieré

Speaker: Rebekka Burckhardt

Text suggestions & dramaturgical advice: Christian Seiler


Mignon, a seemingly minor character in Goethe's novel "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship", provoked a phenomenal impact in the history of literature, music and culture. Mignon steps out of the shadow of the protagonist Wilhelm Meister and designs her own destiny: she becomes the object of an obsessive interest that reaches its peak in the late 19th century but continues to this day.

Mignon appears - often as a figure with a different name but sharing an unmistakable family resemblance - in a wide variety of literary works up to postmodernism. Her songs, set to music by dozens of renowned composers, have resounded through the salons and concert halls of the world since the 19th century. She is the heroine of the most popular French opera of the Belle Époque and has appeared in a number of films. She is fascinating because she moves on the threshold between childhood and youth, aphasia and expressiveness, word and music, in the limbo between woman and man; she is a wanderer who has lost her home, an exile who has been kidnapped and abused. The many stories in which her life is reenacted are a litmus test for the most important cultural values of the 19th and 20th centuries.

After Terence Cave



 Villa Grunholzer, Uster
Leseverein Kilchberg, Kilchberg
Museum Rosenegg, Kreuzlingen
Zunfthaus zur Waag, Zürich
Atelier für Kunst und Philosphie, Zürich 
Atelier Theater Meilen, Meilen 
ONO Theater, Bern
Musikfenster Hottingen, Zürich

About the play

In their programme, the three artists create a unique and multi-layered portrait of Mignon. Concert? Lecture? Theatre? - MIGNON is all in one! The actress and speaker Rebekka Burckhardt leads the audience literarily through the story of Mignon, while the singer Annina Gieré embodies Mignon scenically and gives her a voice through the songs - accompanied by the pianist Corina Gieré.
Goethe's unmistakable language meets biting satire, sensual poetry meets factual reporting, touching melodrama meets mischievous miniatures. The rich music, dramatically passionate from the full, then again pure, simple and radiant, relentlessly sweeps the audience into the dazzling world of Mignon.
The audience sees Mignon awaken, mature and finally die - or live happily ever after? An evening that oscillates between sobriety and passion and will certainly not leave the audience indifferent.


Audience reactions

  • Something great has been created here.

  • The pianistic top-class art of differentiation and musical sensitivity, the cultivated and at the same time devoted singing are moving and convincing!

  • Highest praise for the concept, the singing, acting and pianistic performance! The singer trumps with her expressive voice and acting flair, the pianist with her playfulness and the narrator captivates the audience sometimes with seriousness, sometimes with mischievousness...

  • An impressive musical and scenic realisation of the Mignon project...

  • What a great intellectual pleasure!

  • Still in a Mignon frenzy...

  • A fabulous performance for all the senses!

bottom of page