Kim Witman’s day job is Director of the Wolf Trap Opera Company, but she has taken on the added challenge of performing Schubert’s song cycle, Winterreise, or Winter Journey, with bass-baritone and Wolf Trap Opera alum Ryan McKinny. Winterreise tells the story of a young man whose true love has rejected him in favor of a rich man. He leaves her house in the dead of night, and undertakes a harrowing journey through the frozen countryside. Along the way, he mourns his lost love, encounters all sorts of natural phenomena from will ‘o the wisps to phantom suns, and meets intriguing creatures from dogs and crows, and finally decides to hook up with a mysterious hurdy-gurdy man. The richness, wonder and despair of this odyssey are portrayed in Schubert’s ultra-romantic music for singer and pianist. In this conversation with WETA’s Nicole Lacroix, Witman shares her insights into Schubert’s last song cycle…proofs of which he was still correcting as he lay on his deathbed. Kim Pensinger Witman and Ryan McKinny perform Schubert’s Winterreise, Friday, March 7 at 8 pm, part of the Barns at Wolf Trap’s Discovery Series. For more information, visit Wolftrap.org.