Opera 1.10–17.11

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A politically-charged drama



NorrlandsOperan are proud to present Wozzeck, Alban Berg´s expressionistic opera classic. It will premiere in Umeå on 1 October and then tour from November.

- Wozzeck is one of the 20th century's most important operatic works; a highly expressive, psychological drama that examines the effects of poverty, class society, mental instability and a great deal of both obvious and pent up violence: a kind of antidote to the Romantic opera's stranglehold on the 19th century, explains NorrlandsOperan's Managing/Artistic Director, Kjell Englund.

It is the story of the common man oppressed by the powers that be and burdened with feelings for which there is simply no room in a poor man's life. Private soldier Wozzeck hires out his body for scientific experiments to feed his child and the child's mother, Marie, who is later unfaithful to him with the Drum Major, albeit reluctantly.

Alban Berg's music gives the oppressed redress with burning humanistic pathos. Fredrik Zetterström, one of Scandinavia's very best baritones, will play the role of Wozzeck. Marie's character will be played by soprano Susanna Levonen.

- The work is multi-faceted and has a lot to give once you get into it. Alban Berg worked for nine years to create the 90 intense minutes the piece extends over. It's bleak and heavy, but also enormously beautiful, says Kjell Englund.
- There's never a dull moment. It shakes you up, just the way I like opera to do.

Artistic duo Bogdan Szyber and Carina Reich are responsible for the set and costume design and direction. The pair last visited NorrlandsOperan with the critically acclaimed dance piece Unknown Pleasures. They were also responsible for the set and costume design and direction when NorrlandsOperan, together with the University College of Opera, Stockholm, performed VOX last spring.

- The piece suits us well: short, tight and without long-drawn-out story filler. It's completely direct. Wozzeck is bound to his fate. It's only in his madness that he is completely free and is allowed to blossom. It's an extremely unusual class drama for being an opera. It moved us: a life course impossible to escape from. We see this especially clearly in the closing scene, say Szyber and Reich without revealing too much.

Music: Alban Berg
Libretto: Alban Berg based on Georg Büchner's drama
Conductor: Roland Kluttig/Daniel Blendulf Direction
Costumes and set design: Carina Reich and Bogdan Szyber
Lighting: Norunn Standal Korvald

Wozzeck: Fredrik Zetterström
Marie: Susanna Levonen
Captain: Ulrik Qvale
Doctor: Lars Arvidsson
Drum Major: Anders Håkansson
Andres: Fredrik Strid
Margret: Susanna Reuter
1st Apprentice: Hans-Erik Sundström
2nd Apprentice: Viktor Tågestad
Madman: Anders Lundström
and others
NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra

Swedish National Television will be recording the opera October 6, 8 and 9.


 Alban Berg
Arrangement: Eberhard Kloke

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