In 1827 Franz Schubert composed an emotionally charged song cycle. Setting poems of the German writer Wilhelm Müller, Schubert created an emotional journey of a man trekking across frozen rivers and snowy landscapes, lamenting his lost love. It is indeed a winter’s journey (Winterreise), full of images and metaphors of love, loss, nationhood.
Winterreise is undoubtedly a monument to 19th-century culture, yet as Australian listeners we do not wander the icy trails of Europe. We experience another time and place, with red earth and confronting wilderness. This is the imagery that for three decades the Australian painter Fred Williams captured without parallel. And it is through vivid animations of Williams’s paintings, in a new staging we’ve commissioned of this great song cycle, that we continue and intensify our connection with this work.
Acclaimed stage director Lindy Hume is our cartographer, mapping the terrain of heart and country for the gripping stage charisma of English tenor Allan Clayton and sensitive musicianship of Australian pianist Kate Golla. Videographer Dave Bergman provides the backdrop, bringing to life 24 Williams paintings that match and contradict Müller’s poems and Schubert’s musical imagination, all in gorgeous larger-than-life imagery.
This powerful artistic combination sets the perfect conditions to experience Schubert’s immortal masterpiece – songs of love and loss that still speak to us vividly, in this far distant time and place.
Listen to Artistic Director Paul Kildea talk about A Winter's Journey
Director Lindy Hume and Videographer David Bergman discuss their visual inspiration
"...Clayton clearly at the top of his game and in demand across the globe, don’t miss making this unique and unforgettable winter’s journey."
"Musica Viva and Artistic Director Paul Kildea are to be applauded for designing something ambitious and genuinely new that may well help introduce this masterpiece to a different audience."
"[Williams and] video designer David Bergman create breathtaking moments"
A Winter's Journey will be broadcast on Wednesday 7 December at 7pm AEST.
Bring the joy of live music into your home, on your smart TV, computer, tablet or even mobile phone with an online concert. Tickets are just $25 and include a 48-hour rewatch period.
Individual tickets for the online concert are now available. Purchase your ticket online here.
Ticket holders will receive a link to watch the performance 24 hours prior to the concert.
If you’re watching on your phone or computer we recommend using headphones or connecting to external speakers. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.
Download the program guide here, or view it below.
ALLAN CLAYTON MBE Tenor
SCHUBERT Winterreise, D911 (1827)
This tour is generously supported by our Ensemble Patrons:
You Yangs landscape (1967) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne © Estate of Fred Williams
The charcoal burner (1959) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne © Estate of Fred Williams
Trees in a landscape, Mittagong (1957) The University of Western Australia Art Collection, Tom Collins Bequest Fund, 1961
Dates & Times
|Perth||12 July 7:30pm|
|Brisbane||14 July 7pm|
|Melbourne||16 July 7pm|
|Melbourne||19 July 7pm|
|Adelaide||21 July 7:30pm|
|Sydney||23 July 2pm|
|Sydney||25 July 7pm|
|Canberra||27 July 7pm|
Please check the venue in your city when booking tickets.
Read more about the venues here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Doors open 1 hour before the performance starts.
Performance runs for 1 hour and 11 minutes without an interval.