30 Dec 2005

Berg's Wozzeck at the Met — Three Reviews

The Metropolitan Opera presents Wozzeck, Alban Berg's "operatic version of Büchner’s play about a soldier who subjects himself to medical experiments to augment his pay." Here are two reviews.

An Expressionist Fervor, Illuminated by Levine

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times, 29 December 2005]

If James Levine could zap himself back in time and conduct the premiere of any opera in history, what among his favorites might he choose? Perhaps the Vienna premiere of Mozart's "Nozze di Figaro." Or the Milan premiere of Verdi's "Otello." How about the Munich premiere of Wagner's "Meistersinger," a work he conducts magnificently? I love the idea of Mr. Levine's giving a sublime account of this humane comedy and forcing the anti-Semitic composer to confront his twisted prejudices.

Click here for remainder of article.

Levine's Fine Judgment

BY JAY NORDLINGER [NY Sun, 29 December 2005]

James Levine did what he was expected to do on Tuesday night: conduct a superb performance of Berg's "Wozzeck." The Metropolitan Opera has revived Mark Lamos's production of 1997.

Click her for remainder of article.

Wozzeck, Metropolitan Opera, New York

By Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 29 December 2005]

'Tis the season to be jolly. But no one seems to have told that to the masterminds at the murky and quirky Metropolitan Opera. Apart from a few flighty Fledermice and loony Lucias, the final weeks of 2005 are dominated by bleakness and gore. Nearing the end of its premiere run, Tobias Picker's sordid An American Tragedy served as a matinee-broadcast vehicle on Christmas Eve. Tuesday night Alban Berg's eternally grim Wozzeck returned in preparation for transmission on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. Luckily it is a very good Wozzeck.

Click here for remainder of article.