Wozzeck in Moscow

In 2010 Berg’s Wozzeck was produced in Russia for the first time since 1927.  The production, at the Bolshoi, was directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov.  Few people familiar with his work will be surprised to learn that Tcherniakov does not see Wozzeck as a  down trodden and impoverished soldier.  In fact he doesn’t see him as downtrodden and impoverished at all (unlike, say Calixto Bieito who transplants the action to a chemical plant but leaves the power relationships pretty much intact).  Rather, Wozzeck is a sort of 21st century salaryman leading a life of modest prosperity but crushing boredom with Marie and their son in a city inhabited entirely by other such families.  What’s missing is anything that resembles sensation or “life”.

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