“How beautiful she was, and how seductive she looked beneath her mourning veil!
She enchanted me!”
So wrote the Austrian painter Oskar Kokoschka about Alma, the young widow of the celebrated composer and conductor Gustav Mahler.
Her stormy and passionate life is told in this dramatised multi-media recital, which combines the rich world of Lieder with a kaleidoscope of visual material. Alma’s songs are at the heart of this piece, alongside those of Mahler, Zemlinsky and Pfitzner as well as the great German composers, Wagner, Schumann and Beethoven.
Readings from Alma’s diaries reveal a well-read, creative young woman living life to the full in the Golden Age of Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. We are plunged into Alma’s world of art, music, literature and fashion, not to mention the gossip about her many suitors, including the famous painter Gustav Klimt. It is her attraction to two men, Alexander von Zemlinsky and Gustav Mahler, which provides the main drama of the first half. The second half revolves around Alma’s painful emotions after giving up composing at Mahler’s insistence and its effect on their marriage.
Award-winning Nina Dunn will weave her magic with video projection of art work by artists of the Vienna Secession including Klimt and Kokoschka as well as other images from the period.
Actress Sandy Walsh
Soprano Alexandra Weaver
Baritone Robert Rice
Pianist Elizabeth Mucha
Devised by Elizabeth Mucha