A Story of Lost Love

How do you move on when a relationship ends? Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2017-2018 season with Douglas Cuomo’s Ashes and Snow, the company’s second world premiere. Cuomo uses his own loose translation of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller, poems famously set by Franz Schubert in his song cycle, Die Winterreise. The one-man opera for a tenor (to be sung by Resident Artist Eric Ferring) infuses styles of acid jazz, punk, and contemporary classical piano to create a song cycle for the 21st century. The singer is joined on stage by three musicians on piano, trumpet, electric guitar (played by the composer in this production), and electronic sound effects. The protagonist is on a journey, a reise, from the painful end of a relationship to redemption.

To learn more about Douglas Cuomo, check out this 2013 interview from the American Composers’ Forum podcast, Alive and Composing. For a sneak listen of excerpts from the opera, go to the Pittsburgh Opera’s site and click on Audio Preview.

Explore more about Die Winterreise, the inspiration for this new work, through these recommendations from our collection. Enjoy the opera!



Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession

Tenor Ian Bostridge, who has performed Schubert’s song cycle over 100 times, takes the reader on a journey through the text of each Müller poem as a way to explore Schubert’s world and the composer’s biography and psychological makeup. Bostridge talks about the musical language in each song and provides us with historical references to illustrate the creation of this vocal masterpiece, completed in the last few months of Schubert’s life. An intriguing read.


Listen to Schubert’s song cycle featuring the poems that inspired the opera. Tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes are the artists. Texts of the poems are included in the liner notes. 


Baritone Matthias Goerne, pianist Markus Hinterhäuser and theatre artist William Kentridge join forces onstage to create an audio-visual experience. Kentridge’s animated films accompany the Schubert song cycle.