This Wednesday the Georgetown College Department of Music presents a rare opportunity for area audiences: a professional performance of Die Schone Mullerin by Franz Schubert. This free concert by Dr. David Sievers (tenor) and John Benjamin (piano) rounds out the very successful, inaugural season of “Noteworthy: A Faculty and Guest Artist Concert Series.”
“This is a classic German art song…no lederhosen required,” joked vocal professor Heather Hunnicutt, chair of the Music Department and Director of the Noteworthy Series. But, Dr. Hunnicutt, is quite serious about the target audience for the finale of this eight-event season at 8 p.m., March 23 in John L. Hill Chapel.
“This is not a concert for first-time or casual classical music listeners,” she said. “Die Schone Mullerin is for a more refined musical palate, and for those who enjoy ‘vocal caviar,’ this concert will be a real treat featuring the genius of Schubert song cycle composition.”
Sievers comes to the Georgetown campus from the University of Dayton where he teaches voice and co-directs Opera Workshop. Hunnicutt said, “He’s very excited to present this epic work.”
Die Schone Mullerin is a “song cycle”: a series of pieces intended to be sung together as one large work with one complete storyline. It was published in 1824 and tells the story of a young miller who decides to follow a brook wherever it takes him. Along the way he finds a new job and falls madly in love with his boss’s daughter, the “beautiful mill maiden” (Die Schone Mullerin). When a handsome, brave hunter enters the picture and the mill maiden falls for him instead, the miller takes his own life by jumping into his beloved brook.
While the entire cycle is presented in German, program notes that guide the storyline will help the audience stay connected to the plot.
After the concert on Wednesday night, Sievers will remain on campus to share his expertise with Georgetown vocal students in a masterclass at 11 a.m. Thursday morning in Hill Chapel.