Wozzeck

 

Alban Berg Wozzeck opera to libretto by the composer. Directed 2015 by Andreas Homoki at the Opernhaus Zürich. Stars Christian Gerhaher (Wozzeck), Brandon Jovanovich (Drum Major), Mauro Peter (Andres), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Captain), Lars Woldt (Doctor), and Gun-Brit Barkmin (Marie). Fabio Luisi conducts the Philharmonia Zürich and the Chor der Oper Zürich (Chorus Master Jürg Hämmerli). Set and costume design by Michael Levine; costume assistance by Meta Bronski; lighting design by Franck Evin, video direction by Michael Beyer; produced by Paul Smaczny. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

The leading German opera magazine Opernwelt gave Christian Gerhaher its 2016 "Singer of Year" award for his portrayal of Wozzeck in this title. In the December 2016 edition of Opera News, page 22, Adam Wasserman praises Gerhaher as one of the "most moving" singers in the world, and Gerhaher is quoted saying that Wozzeck is "one of the most perfect operas." William Braun writes in the April 2017 Opera News, pages 54-55, that "this is one of the best-sung Wozzeck recordings." Braun also approves of the set with its "six receding picture frames" that allow for instant changes of the 15 scenes and concludes, "Everything demonstrates that Wozzeck is a truly great opera." Finally, Gramophone gave this its 2017 Best Opera award. Comments like these suggest this is a must-buy for earnest opera fans.

The two clips below from this production explain why I used the word "earnest" in the preceding sentence.