Clara, My Love tells the story of Clara and Robert Schumann – an epic tale of love, loss, and the power of to music to transcend.
Clara Wieck was born in 1819 to two musical parents: a piano-teaching father and singer mother. Her parents divorced when she was four. Laws of early nineteenth century Germany dictated that divorce left the ex-wife with no property and no claim to the children of the marriage. Clara and her brothers were taken from their mother, Mariane, and raised entirely by their father, Friedrich. Under his staunch tutelage, Clara became one of the most sought-after concert pianists in Germany and Europe by the time she was an adolescent.
Robert Schumann was raised by a literary family, but felt an undeniable pull into the career of music despite his parents’ wishes that he become a lawyer. His incredible natural talent for composition and musical sensitivity won him a spot as a student in the studio of Friedrich Wieck, as well as the friendship of young Clara.
As Clara grew into young womanhood, their friendship became much more. Knowing that her father would not approve, they met in secret and exchanged letters for several years while Clara toured Europe as a pianist and Robert worked to establish his career as a composer and literary critic.
When Friedrich learned about their love affair, he did everything in his power to keep them apart including keeping Clara constantly out of the country on concert tours and slandering Robert’s reputation. Finally, after a court ruling to give Clara the freedom to marry without her father’s permission, they wed the day before her 21st birthday in 1840.
Happily ever after, however, was not in the cards for the Schumanns. Amidst tring to raise a large family, nurture a marriage, and maintain two musical careers, mental illness began to claim Robert’s health bit by bit.
Running time: Approximately 120 minutes
Place: Various locations in Germany and Europe
Time: 1896; 1830-1856
Cast (in order of appearance):
Marie Schumann, the Schumann’s oldest child (soprano or mezzo)
Eugenie Schumann, the Schumann’s youngest daughter (soprano or mezzo)
Johannes Brahms, a composer (tenor or baritone)
Clara Wieck, a pianist/composer (soprano or mezzo)
Friedrich Wieck, music teacher and piano salesman; Clara’s father (baritone or bass)
Nanny, the Wieck’s housekeeper (soprano or mezzo)
Robert Schumann, a composer (tenor or baritone)
Mariane Bargiel, Clara’s mother (soprano or mezzo)
Berta, the Schumann’s Nanny (soprano or mezzo)
(Vocal) Musical Numbers:
“Mastery of the Piano” (arranged from “Am Strande” by Clara Wieck Schumann) (Friederich and Robert)
“Clara’s aside” (arranged from “Im wunderschönen Monat Mai” by Robert Schumann) (Clara)
“Robert’s Song” (arranged from “Aus alten Märchen” by Robert Schumann (Robert)
“Love Letters” (arranged from “Unterm Fenster” by Robert Schumann) (Eugenie and Marie)
“You’re Dead to Me” (arranged from “Ich grolle nicht” by Robert Schumann) (Friedrich)
“All fathers love their children” (arranged from “Familien-Gemälde” by Robert Schumann) (Nanny and Clara)
“Süsser freund” from Frauenliebe und Leben by Robert Schumann (Mariane, Friedrich, Robert)
“Wedding Duet” (arranged from “Widmung” by Robert Schumann) (Robert and Clara)
“Your ring on my finger” (arranged from “Du Ring an meinem Finger” by Robert Schumann) (Clara and Robert)
“Something stirs” (arranged from “Phanomen” by Johannes Brahms) (Berta and Johannes)
“Clara’s lament” (arranged from parts of Frauenliebe und Leben by Robert Schumann) (Clara)
“My Star” (arranged from “Mein Stern” by Clara Wieck Schumann) (Mariane)
“Lullaby” (arranged from “Wiegenlied” by Johannes Brahms) (Johannes)
“Benedictus” from Requiem by Robert Schumann (Eugenie, Marie, Berta, Nanny, Johannes, Friedrich, Clara)