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When Alban Berg attended the first production of Georg Buchner’s play Woyzeck, he immediately knew that he wanted to base an opera off of the story line. His opera, Wozzeck, was composed between the years 1914 and 1922, and received its debut performance in 1925. The dark storyline centers around the soldier Wozzeck, who travels through a callous and at times sadistic world that he doesn’t understand. He is tortured with medical experiments, ridiculed by his captain, and his lover, Marie, betrays him. He becomes a murderer and eventually secures his own demise. Renowned stage director Andreas Homoki brilliantly creates this dark and mysterious world, which explores the thin line between the unfathomable and ridiculous. Christian Gerhaher’s dramatic subtlety and vocal prowess is breathtaking in the title role, alongside the equally impressive Gun-Brit Barkim as Marie.
Alban Berg’s Wozzeck
Berg’s landmark work, based on Georg Büchner’s unfinished play, changed the operatic landscape when it premiered in Berlin in 1925. A searing portrayal of an oppressed individual in a hostile society, set to an atonal score, it has remained as relevant and contemporary ever since.
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