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This is a rare instance where director, conductor and singers unite to create an unforgettable performance. Filmed at the Bolshoi in 2010, Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production highlights Wozzeck’s alienation by placing him in a contemporary world of dislocated relationships and depersonalising technology. The Captain and Doctor are no such people, but role-playing to escape the tedium of their lives, and Wozzeck and Marie are used by them in a desultory fashion until they too are sucked into the emotional void that proves their fate. Tcherniakov achieves this by detailed Personenregie in a doll’s house setting that enables a cinematic focus on each character and scene in turn. Georg Nigl and Mardi Byers provide emotionally shattering performances as Wozzeck and Marie, and some detailed and delicate vocalising too; the whole cast is superb. Conductor Teodor Currentzis is a force of nature and Berg’s nightmare sound world astounds afresh. Truly essential viewing.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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