Magazine article Opera Canada

Wozzeck. (Opera in Review)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Wozzeck. (Opera in Review)

Article excerpt

Wunderkind Misha Aster created Thealre of Ideas to present new perspectives on the ways in which theatre, music and opera are seen and heard. The company's first production was certainly ambitious, as director/adapter Aster welded together music from Alban Berg's opera, Wozzeck, and text from Georg Buchner's play, Woyzeck, into a hybrid called, not surprisingly, Wozzeck/Woyzeck. The excellent chamber orchestration was by Montreal composer John Rea, and Canadian-based conductor Paul Andreas Mahr brilliantly led a wonderful group of young musicians built around Vienna's Viatores String Quartet, and culled from Toronto's Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Musiklehranstalten der Stadt Wien.

The hybrid nature of the piece was manifest in the cast, which Aster stripped down to the bare essentials, eliminating many characters and combining others. Woyzeck, Andreas and Woyzeck's son were played by actors Jonno Roberts, Andrew Bunker and Thomas Neal respectively, while Marie and the Doctor were roles for singers (soprano Renee Salewski and baritone Doug MacNaughton). …

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