Berg's Wozzeck

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Anthony Reznikovsky as Marie's child and Deborah Voigt as Marie in Berg's 'Wozzeck.' Anthony Reznikovsky as Marie's child and Deborah Voigt as Marie in Berg's "Wozzeck." (Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera)

This Saturday at 1 pm, the Metropolitan Opera revives its 1997 production Alban Berg's Wozzeck starring Thomas Hampson in the title role and Deborah Voigt as Marie. 

This is the first time in his career that Hampson has played Wozzeck, and the role debut has been much anticipated by both audiences and the media. It came belatedly -- he missed the opening two performances because of bronchitis -- but he won general praise for his portrayal of a soldier struggling to support his wife and child in oppressive military conditions, while his mental capacities slowly came undone.

Wozzeck is a musically challenging and emotionally compelling opera, which can be difficult to pull off. When it does, it's worth the work. This production is conducted by James Levine with performances by Peter Hoare as the Captain and Clive Bayley as the Doctor. 


Marie: Deborah Voigt
Drum Major: Simon O'Neill
Captain: Peter Hoare
Wozzeck: Thomas Hampson
Doctor: Clive Bayley

Comments [5]

JLJ from New York City

I was relieved to read the comments from jls on the sound dropouts which have become ever more frequent on WQXR. They were especially distresing during the last hour of Nimet's program early Sunday morning. A wonderful performance of Neilsen's Woodwind Quintet became almost unlistenable because of these dropouts. The happen all the time, though, in both live and recording programming.

WQXR has traditionally been so diligent about the sound quality of their broadcasts. In fact, the station oftne pioneered innovations in broadcast sound. I have been listening to the station for many year. Why is this unfortunate failure been allowed to coninue?

Mar. 24 2014 06:11 PM

Thanks for airing the Met performances live!

For the last year & a half or so, when listening to WQXR-FM (I mean RADIO, over the air at 105.9 FM) there have been split-second DROPOUTS -- sort of sonic hiccups -- repeatedly interrupting all the music you play. At first it was just in recorded music (so I initially thought it was a defective disc player) but later it also spread to live programming, such as the Met broadcasts. When listening to opera, the glitches will often splinter a beautifully sung note. In "Werther" there seemed to be a "blip" every time Jonas Kaufmann opened his mouth. The dropouts pervaded "Wozzeck" as well.

I've never before heard anything like this in decades of listening to FM radio, on WQXR or any other station. What is causing the problem, and does WQXR have any intention of fixing it?

Mar. 24 2014 10:10 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

This was a masterful performance by all the vocal and instrumental forces, including the offstage band, guided by the sure hand of Maestro Levine. My sensibility is such that I wish the upright piano's music was louder after the stunning crescendo from ppp to fff on the note B natural that immediately precedes the tavern scene. Though each section is based upon a strict form and the writing is 12-tone, there are 9 bars written with a key signature of four flats! It's where Marie sings "Es war einmal ein armes Kind..." "And once there was a poor child...". I have nothing but admiration for everyone involved in this production.

Mar. 23 2014 06:29 AM
Edwin from Hillsdale, MI

Is there going to be a recording released? It was a great performance on Monday!

Mar. 22 2014 02:28 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

CBC: Hope you are well. Beautiful day here. Cannot listen to this today. At least I will not have to listen to Ira. Auguri

Mar. 22 2014 08:59 AM

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