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BBC Music Magazine Award for “Wozzeck”

After having received the ICMA 2017 for “Best DVD”, Accentus Music receives another prestigious award for its DVD with Christian Gerhaher in the title role

  • Paul Smaczny accepts the Award | Copyright: © BBC Music Magazine

    Paul Smaczny accepts the Award © BBC Music Magazine

  • Christian Gerhaher, Gun-Brit Barkmin | Copyright: © Monika Rittershaus/Opernhaus Zürich

    Christian Gerhaher, Gun-Brit Barkmin © Monika Rittershaus/Opernhaus Zürich

  • Christian Gerhaher | Copyright: © Monika Rittershaus/Opernhaus Zürich

    Christian Gerhaher © Monika Rittershaus/Opernhaus Zürich

Berg’s Wozzeck is, quite simply, ‘the perfect opera’, says Christian Gerhaher. One of the most powerful works of the 20th century, it’s a searing tale of individual powerlessness in a cruel society.

The production at the Opernhaus Zürich was a triumph. BBC Music Magazine critic Anna Picard described Gerhaher as ‘matchless’; in turn Gerhaher describes Andreas Homoki’s production as ‘one of the best I’ve seen in my life’. The director turned his back on the realist, socio-political treatment often favoured for Berg’s taut masterpiece, and instead took his inspiration from puppet theatre. The set consists of shifting abstract coloured frames, the costumes draw on Kasperl puppet designs. The sense of Wozzeck’s alienation couldn’t be stronger. And it’s a production that translated well to video, explains the DVD’s producer Paul Smaczny. ‘The video director Michael Beyer had long discussions with Homoki about how to respect the puppet-theatre aspect,’ he explains. ‘We couldn’t film from the side, which you often do with opera, but it was also an advantage as the cameras could be even closer up on details and faces.’ He believes the production is a new landmark: ‘I feel that in the future you can’t do Wozzeck without having heard or watched Gerhaher perform this role.’ The BBC Music Magazine Awards jury was in unanimous agreement about the award.

Composer Alban Berg
Orchestra / Band Philharmonia Zürich
Soloist Christian Gerhaher
Soloist Gun-Brit Barkmin
Conductor Fabio Luisi
Director Michael Beyer
Production Company Accentus Music

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