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Opera Wozzeck (Opera in three acts)
World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1776) - Small Stage


Schedule for Wozzeck (Opera in three acts) 2021

Choirmaster producer: Valery Borisov
Set Designer: Dmitriy Chernyakov
Stage Director: Dmitriy Chernyakov
Light Designer: Gleb Filshtinskiy
Costume Designer: Helen Zaytseva
Composer: Alban Berg

Orchestra: Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Premiere of this production: 24 November 2009

The opera Wozzeck (1917-21) - an outstanding musical drama, a hallmark expressionistic work of the beginning of the 20th century, was written by the famous Austrian composer Alban Berg, a leading representative of the New Viennese School. It is based on the equally well-known play Woyzeck (1836) by Georg Buchner, which examines the psychology and confused emotions of the down-trodden individual who is shattered by a cruel reality. In 1914, Berg saw Buchner's play in the theatre and was inspired to write an opera on the theme. He worked on Wozzeck virtually throughout the First World War. The full version of Wozzeck was premiered in Berlin in 1925. Its Vienna Opera premiere was in 1930. In our country, Wozzeck was given its first production in 1927, in Leningrad.
It has never been done at the Bolshoi Theatre, though in 1982, music lovers had the opportunity of seeing performances of a Hamburg Opera production of Wozzeck at the Theatre. Wozzeck will be Dmitri Tcherniakov's third Bolshoi Theatre production and it marks the start of the Theatre's collaboration with conductor Theodor Kurentzis.

Wozzeck is the first opera by the Austrian composer Alban Berg. It was composed between 1914 and 1922 and first performed in 1925. Since then it has established a solid place for itself in the mainstream operatic tradition, and modern productions are consistently sold out. Though its musical style is challenging, the quality of Berg's work (in particular, the characterization of the situation through clearly defined musical techniques) amply repays repeated listenings. Although a typical performance takes only slightly over an hour and a half, it is nevertheless an intense experience. The subject matter ЁC the inevitability of hardship and exploitation for the poor ЁC is brutal and uncompromisingly presented. Though Berg's musical style is not as violent as some other composers might have written for this story, the style suits the subject matter

Wozzeck is based on the drama Woyzeck left incomplete by the German playwright Georg Bechner at his death. Berg attended the first production in Vienna of BЁ№chner's play (on 5 May 1914), and knew at once that he wanted to base an opera on it. From the fragments of unordered scenes left by BЁ№chner, Berg selected fifteen to form a compact structure of three acts with five scenes each. He adapted the libretto himself.

Though Berg began work on the opera in 1914, it was not until he was on leave from his regiment towards the end of World War I that he was able to devote his full attention to it, completing the opera in April 1922. Erich Kleiber conducted the world premiere at the Berlin State Opera on December 14, 1925. It quickly became so well-established in the repertoire of the major European opera houses that Berg found himself able to live a comfortable life off the royalties. He spent a good deal of his time through the 1920s and 30s travelling to attend performances and to give talks about the opera. At Berg's death, his fellow pupil Anton Webern noted in a letter to their teacher, Arnold Schoenberg, how tragic it was that the most renowned of their trio was the first to die. That fame had come predominantly from the success of this opera.

Synopsis
Act I
Scene 1 (Suite): Wozzeck is shaving the Captain who taunts him for living an immoral life, in particular for having a child "without the blessing of the Church". Wozzeck protests that it is difficult to be virtuous when he is poor, but entreats the Captain to remember the lesson from the gospel, ""La§Бet die Kleinen zu mir kommen!"" ("Suffer the little children to come unto me," Mark 10:14). The Captain greets this admonition with pointed dismay.

Scene 2 (Rhapsody and Hunting Song):
Wozzeck and Andres are cutting sticks as the sun is setting. Wozzeck has frightening visions and Andres tries unsuccessfully to calm him.

Scene 3 (March and Lullaby):
A military parade passes by outside Marie's room. Margret taunts Marie for flirting with the soldiers. Marie shuts the window and proceeds to sing a lullaby to her son. Then Wozzeck comes by and tells Marie of the terrible visions he has had.

Scene 4 (Passacaglia):
The Doctor scolds Wozzeck for not following his instructions regarding diet and behavior. However, when the Doctor hears of Wozzeck's mental aberrations, he is delighted and congratulates himself on the success of his experiment.

Scene 5 (Rondo):
Marie admires the Drum-major outside her room. He makes an advance on her, to which she first rejects but then gives in.

Act II
Scene 1 (Sonata-Allegro):
Marie is telling her child to go to sleep while admiring earrings which the Drum-major gave her. She is startled when Wozzeck arrives and when he asks where she got the earrings, she says she found them. Though not convinced, Wozzeck gives her some money and leaves. Marie chastises herself for her behavior.

Scene 2 (Fantasia and Fugue on 3 Themes):
The Doctor rushes by the Captain in the street, who urges him to slow down. The Doctor then proceeds to scare the Captain by speculating what afflictions may strike him. When Wozzeck comes by, they insinuate that Marie is being unfaithful to him.

Scene 3 (Largo):
Wozzeck confronts Marie, who does not deny his suspicions. Enraged, Wozzeck is about to hit her, when she stops him, saying even her father never dared lay a hand on her. Her statement "better a knife in my belly than your hands on me" plants in Wozzeck's mind the idea for his subsequent revenge.

Scene 4 (Scherzo):
Among a crowd, Wozzeck sees Marie dancing with the Drum-major. After a brief hunter's chorus, Andres asks Wozzeck why he is sitting by himself. An Apprentice delivers a drunken sermon, then an Idiot approaches Wozzeck and cries out that the scene is ""Lustig, lustig...aber es riecht Ў­Ich riech, ich riech Blut!"" ("joyful, joyful, but it reeks...I smell, I smell blood").

Scene 5 (Rondo):
In the barracks at night, Wozzeck, unable to sleep, is keeping Andres awake. The Drum-major comes in, intoxicated, and rouses Wozzeck out of bed to fight with him.

Act III
Scene 1 (Invention on a Theme):
In her room at night, Marie reads to herself from the Bible. She cries out that she wants forgiveness.

Scene 2 (Invention on a Single Note (B)):
Wozzeck and Marie are walking in the woods by a pond. Marie is anxious to leave, but Wozzeck restrains her. As a blood-red moon rises, Wozzeck becomes determined that if he can't have Marie, no one else can, and he stabs her.

Scene 3 (Invention on a Rhythm):
People are dancing in a tavern. Wozzeck enters, and upon seeing Margret, dances with her and pulls her onto his lap. He insults her, and then asks her to sing him a song. She sings, but then notices blood on his hand and elbow; everyone begins shouting at him, and Wozzeck, now agitated and obsessed with his blood, rushes out of the tavern.

Scene 4 (Invention on a 6-Note Chord):
Having returned to the murder scene, Wozzeck becomes obsessed with the thought that the knife he killed Marie with will incriminate him, and throws it into the pond. When the blood-red moon appears again, he wades into the pond and drowns. The Captain and the Doctor, passing by, hear Wozzeck moaning and rush off in fright. The orchestra rise during the drowning is quoted in Luciano Berio's "Sinfonia" (1968ЁC69).

Interlude (Invention on a Key (D minor)): This interlude leads to the finale.

Scene 5 (Invention on an Eighth-Note moto perpetuo, quasi toccata):
Next morning, children are playing in the sunshine. The news spreads that Marie's body has been found, and they all run off to see, except for Marie's little boy, who after an oblivious moment, follows after the others.

From Wikipedia





Schedule for Wozzeck (Opera in three acts) 2021


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