Alban Berg, BERG, A: Wozzeck

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A magnetic rendition of a lurid, intense work.

Worlds away in sound from Mozart and Rossini, Berg's music in this opera is astringent, lurid, manic and intense. But what else could it be, given the story: a hapless soldier is tormented and exploited by his superiors until he snaps and murders his lover. (Katarina Dalayman, who plunges whole-heartedly into the role of Marie, is particularly moving). The Expressionist creepiness of the score tightens like a vise right up to one of the most stomach-twisting curtains in the repertory. For some opera newbies, this may be the perfect place to start exploring the genre; it'll grab you like a cold clammy hand on the back of the neck — and once you're hooked on opera you can always move on to more vanilla fare . . .