Wozzeck in Vienna

Reading time: 1 min. Alban Berg Eberhard Kloke

I did not dream of wishing to reform the art form of opera by composing Wozzeck, nor was that my intention as I began to compose it; nor did I ever consider, assume or expect that the result would be an object lesson in what should be exemplary in creating another opera – either of my own or by another composer. (Alban Berg, in Musikblätter des Anbruch, January 1930)

Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in Eberhard Kloke’s version for small orchestra calls for only 38 musicians. Yet he still adhered strictly to Berg’s score, the winds are streamlined, the “filler” instruments eliminated and the string divisi have been reconsidered. Apart from variable spatial situations (e.g. no orchestra pit), Kloke’s version allows for more radical changes of scene, more in line with the fragmentary, unframed character of Büchner’s play.

From 15 October the Theater an der Wien is staging a new production of Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck in Eberhard Kloke’s scaled-down version, directed by Robert Carsen.

Carsen’s new production of the opera will be performed six times between 15 and 27 October under conductor Leo Hussain, Florian Boesch stars in the title role.

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