Nature Stage

The ruins of the old castle with its imposing tower create an atmospheric backdrop for the outdoor theatre, situated in a clearing in the middle of the forest. In 1905, the town built the outdoor theatre especially to stage „Die Wallenrode von Berneck“, a historical play about the rulers of Berneck, written by Franz Dittmar from Nuremburg. The first performance took place in 1906, which makes this stage one of the oldest open air theatres in Germany. Used continually since then, barring wars and repairs, the stage has featured productions from Kleines Theater Bayreuth, Ensemble der Wunsiedel Luisenburg-Festspiele and Fränkischer Theatersommer, among others.

Since its construction in 1905…
… the open-air theatre has been host to numerous plays, events and musical programs, and was even the set of a heavy-metal music video.

Forest Solitude

Soprano Catriona Gallo sings Joseph von Eichendorff’s “In Foreign Lands”,
as put to music by Robert Schumann

See Special for lyrics an more info!

The beauty of the different seasons at the ampitheatre

Travel Diary – 2013

The nature stage reminds me of seeing ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ when I was younger. This experience has always stayed with me, even if I did not fully understand the occasional one liners that engulfed the audience in laughter or in fact probably the whole content of the plays. Yet, to me this did not matter. For me the whole experience lay in the fact that everyone was together having a good time enjoying not only the spectacle in front of them but also the outdoors and the beauty of the surrounding landscapes too.

Matt Bather, History Student in Liverpool (UK)

Eichendorff-Liederkreis (Op. 39 – 1840)

Music by Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Texts by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857)
Translation by Celia Sgroi (2005)

In a Distant Land

From my homeland beyond the red flashes,
That’s where the clouds come from,
But my father and mother are long dead,
And no one knows me there now.
How soon, oh, how soon the quiet time will come,
Then I will rest, too, and over me
Will murmur the lovely forest solitude,
And no one here will know me either

German Version:
In der Fremde

Aus der Heimat hinter den Blitzen rot
Da kommen die Wolken her,
Aber Vater und Mutter sind lange tot,
Es kennt mich dort keiner mehr.
Wie bald, ach wie bald kommt die stille Zeit,
Da ruhe ich auch, und über mir
Rauscht die schöne Waldeinsamkeit,
Und keiner kennt mich mehr hier.

Schumann wrote the Op. 39 Liederkreis, twelve songs on texts by Joseph von Eichendorff, in 1840, when he was forced to be separated from the woman he desperately wanted to marry, Clara Wieck. The opening song of the cycle, “In der Fremde” (In Foreign Lands), is quite dark, looking to death as consolation for loneliness.

Schumann was deeply inspired by many Romantic writers, including Jean Paul Richter. His love for Jean Paul’s novels developed as an adolescent, and in these writings, Schumann discovered worlds that completely captivated him. Jean Paul’s extravagant metaphors, witty humor, love of mystery, and depiction of dual personalities all profoundly affected Schumann’s writing style, the way he thought about the world, and his musical development.

It is well documented that Schumann travelled down from his home in Zwickau, to walk in the Fichtelgebirge, along the Jean Paul Weg.

Catriona Gallo was also captivated by the romantic atmosphere of these woodlands (which are somewhat reminiscent of her homeland in Scotland) and particularly the Nature Stage in Berneck. Seemingly untouched by human intervention, with a natural acoustic, it seemed the perfect setting to perform an unaccompanied version of Schumann’s setting of Eichendorff’s poem.

6. Castle Ruins
8. Marketplace