About the Project

In October 1990, performance and visual artist John Kelly presented Love of a Poet. Kelly’s performance was based on German composer Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe, a cycle of sixteen songs, which tell the simple and eternal story of love desired, love won, love lost, and the melancholy bitterness that lingers as a result of this succession of emotions.


Kelly’s piece deconstructed Schumann’s song cycle and also featured additional music by the 19th-century composer. The songs, performed in the countertenor range in German and English (translation by Michael Feingold), were characteristic of the unique vocal work of John Kelly. Fernando Torm provided additional music direction and accompaniment. Far more than a simple recital, Love of a Poet was an artist’s soliloquy incorporating movement and gesture.


Photograph by Tom Brazil




John Kelly

Love of a Poet