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