a film in song?
Fairly or unfairly, opera and classical music are seen by younger generations as elitist and old-fashioned. Recitals of art songs -- poems set to classical music featuring a singer and a pianist -- have almost completely disappeared. The ones that haven't draw small crowds and few young faces.
We're frustrated by this trend, and we disagree with its inevitability. Art songs are songs; they tell stories through music and words, just like a modern pop song. The music is timelessly beautiful, and the songs are directly and intensely emotional. To us, it's not a question of the content; it's a question of how it's presented.
The art song recital is old-fashioned and unchanged since generations. Performers stand up on stage, under boring concert lighting, wearing suits and gowns. They rarely interact with the audience. They're usually singing in foreign languages the audience can't understand. They're taught not to move or gesture too much, since that might be "distracting".
Nothing could be further from what today's generation expects a live concert to be.
The team behind POETLove wants to counter that trend by reinventing how people see and hear art songs. We fell in love with "Dichterliebe," a cycle of songs composed by Robert Schumann, with text by Heinrich Heine. The songs tell the story of a young man who experiences his first love and heartbreak, throwing him into deep despair. The music he sings is beautiful and melancholic; the story is universal.
POETLove brings this age-old narrative to a modern day setting in New York, and translates the original German text to present-day English. The episodic nature of the songs lends itself to the music video format; the narrative of love won and lost is perfect for short film. POETLove is a musical short film hybrid - a reinvention of the art song format we want to share with young audiences and new generations around the world.