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matthias goerne © Marco Borggreve

Berg Wozzeck

From 14 May TO 26 May 2021
Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin
Program

Berg : Wozzeck

Cast
  • Staatskapelle Berlin
  • Kinderchor der Staatsoper Unter den Linden
    Staatsopernchor Berlin
  • Conductor
    Matthias Pintscher
  • Director
    Andrea Breth
  • Performers
    Wozzeck: Matthias Goerne
    Marie: Eva-Maria Westbroek
    Tambourmajor: John Daszak
    Andres: Florian Hoffmann
    Hauptmann: Graham Clark
    Doktor: Pavlo Hunka
    Der Narr: Heinz Zednik
    Margret: Katharina Kammerloher
    Erster Handwerksbursch: Jürgen Linn
    Zweiter Handwerksbursch: Adam Kutny
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin Location Unter den Linden 7 - 10117 Berlin Allemagne

When the opera house situated on the Lindenallee was inaugurated in 1742, Frederick the Great intended to turn it into the cultural symbol of his ideal capital, the hub of the "Forum Fridericianum." This "enchanted palace," as the enlightened despot called it, is one of the rare vestiges of the old city still visible today, and a large part of German musics cultural heritage is contained within its walls. The Berlin Staatskapelle, for example, the orchestra connected with the opera, was founded in 1570 and the list of its permanent conductors includes names such as those of Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Furtwangler, Klemperer and Karajan! During the 19th century, the Berlin Opera remained a royal opera, where Weber's FREISCHUTZ was premiered. The activities of the Berlin Staatskapelle developed under Spontini's responsability, the first "Preussischer Generalmusikdirektor," ever appointed. This goes to show the importance of the ensemble in German musical life at that time, an importance which constantly grew, especially after the "Sinfonie-Soireen" were created in 1842, open to the public by subscription.

In 1919, the Royal Opera became a state opera, and played an active role in the exhuberant artistic activity that rocked Germany during the twenties: Erich Kleiber presented Berg's WOZZECK and popular harmonies of composers such as Kurt Weill resounded in this shrine of the lyrical repertoire, until Nazism cut short a period of intense creativity. During the war, Karajan forged his reputation in the theatre, until bombs destroyed the building, partially in 1941, and completely in 1945.

Because of its geographical situation, the Staatsoper became, in 1949, the Opera of East Berlin. In 1955, the East German administration reinstalled the company in its illustrious hall, rebuilt along the original plans, and one could soon applaud singers such as Peter Schreier and Theo Adam on its stage, musicians who helped create a truly Eastern German singing tradition.

Since the German reunification, the institution has been completely reorganized, especially under the impetus of Daniel Barenboim, who became its General Music Director in 1992. Proud of its impressive history, the present day Opera Unter den Linden hardly neglects its baroque beginnings, and it henceforth counts amongst those that most often produce pre-Mozartian lyrical works, such as CLEOPATRA E CESARE by Graun which opened the Opera's first season in 1742. But the house also commissions works by Pierre Boulez, while defending the traditional repertoire, in which Wagner occupies a large place. By thus juxtaposing tradition and innovation, the Opera Unter den Linden has become one of the institutions most representative of Berlin's new dynamism.

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Wozzeck

WOZZECK: AN ATONAL OPERA


Wozzeck is a relatively modern opera composed by Alban Berg between 1914 and 1922. It was premiered in 1925 at the Berlin State Opera.


The Austrian composer Berg based the opera on the play called Woyzeck written by Georg Buchner. This play was incomplete when Buchner died and Berg rearranged extracts from it to create an opera of 15 scenes set within 3 acts. The subject matter is harsh, handling the hardship and exploitation of the poor. The composition of the opera took so long as Berg was fighting for Germany in the First World War. It was performed regularly until the Nazis decided it was 'decadent art' and banned its performance. Berg's opera was first staged in Britain at the Royal Opera House in 1952.
It is the first and most famous opera to employ atonality as a music structure. The lack of key and atonal music gives a sense of madness and starkness to the production.

HISTORY

The story of the opera revolves around the central character and his common law wife, Marie. Tired of living in poverty she succumbs to the advances of a passing soldier. He discovers their affair and vows revenge upon them. Despite Marie realising her mistake and asking for forgiveness, he kills her in a fit of anger, leaving her body to be discovered by her son and the other village children.
Act 1:
The opera opens in the Captain's suite where he is being shaved by Wozzeck. The Captain berates him for leading an immoral life and for having an illegitimate child and he responds that poverty makes morality difficult. Later he and his friend Andres are collecting firewood at sunset when they are overcome by frightening visions. A military parade passes the window of Marie, his common law wife. He tells her of his visions and leaves without seeing their son which upsets and angers her. The Doctor who has been treating him, scolds him for not following his instructions but feels his 'experiment' has succeeded when he hears of the visions. The act ends with Marie admiring the drum-major and succumbing to his advances.

Act 2

Act 2 opens with Marie and her son preparing for bed; she is admiring the earrings which the drum-major has given her and tells her common law husband that she has found them. Not sure whether to believe her or not he gives her some money and departs, leaving Marie feeling guilty. Together Doctor and the Captain tell Wozzeck that Marie is being unfaithful to him. He confronts Marie and goes to hit her but she stops him by saying that even her father never hit her. Another way of getting his revenge comes to him. The act ends with Marie dancing with the drum-major and the drum-major trying to fight her husband.

Act 3

Marie has become distraught and guilty and wants to seek forgiveness so she walks in the woods with her husband. However, in a fit of anger he decides that if he can't have her, no one will and he stabs her. Later he tries to dance with their neighbour Margaret but seeing blood on his hands makes him realise what he has done. Under a blood red moon he wades into a lake and drowns. The following morning the opera ends when children, including Marie's son, find her body.

MAIN ROLES

Wozzeck: aide to the Captain, common law husband to Marie (baritone).
Marie: his common law wife (soprano).
Captain: (buffo tenor).
Doctor: (buffo bass).
Drum-major: Marie's lover (tenor).
Andres: their friend (lyric tenor).

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

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