Magazine article Opera Canada

The Astoria Music Festival

Magazine article Opera Canada

The Astoria Music Festival

Article excerpt

The Astoria Music Festival made a bold statement by presenting Alban Berg's Wozzeck on Jun. 25 at the Liberty Theater in Astoria, Oregon. The production was a collaborative affair with San Francisco-based Ensemble Parallele and involved the use of a versatile 1.5-ton set shipped in from San Francisco. The show fit the cozy confines of the 650-seat theatre, which was built in 1925 and has undergone a $9 million renovation over the past decade.

In the title role, Victor Benedetti made the poor soldier's struggles and despair palpable. It was difficult not to feel pity for Wozzeck by the time he slipped into the foggy mire of the pond. Patricia Green brilliantly conveyed Marie's conflicted state, especially when she heart-wrenchingly sang about Mary Magdalene, lamenting her own guilty conscience.

John Duykers impressively spouted off all sorts of idiotic ideas as the pompous Captain. Philip Skinner created the crazed Doctor with a terrific combination of posturing, ear-to-ear grinning and leering demeanor. In the role of the macho Drum Major, Daniel Snyder was genuinely loathsome. Wozzeck's bewildered friend, Andres, was superbly sung by J. Raymond Meyers.

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Other principals who delivered excellent performances were Kai Nau as Marie's Son, Jennifer Gill as Margret, Derek Larson as the Madman, and Andre Flynn and John Bischoff as the Handworkers. …

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