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The Sunday Opera House: Alban Berg's "Wozzeck" from London's Royal Opera

The Sunday Opera goes to London’s Royal Opera House this week (8/6 3:00 p.m.) for the tragic tale of a destitute soldier who is abused by his captain, used for medical experimentation, and is riddled with mistrust of his partner whom he kills before he inadvertently drowns himself.

Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck” features Christian Gerhaher in the title role and Anja Kampe as his Marie. The rest of the cast includes Brindley Sherratt as The Doctor, Peter Hoare as The Captain along with Rosie Aldridge, Clay Hilley, Sam Furness, and John Findon. Sir Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

After “Wozzeck,” we’ll hear from a more upbeat soldier in Robert Kurka’s setting of “The Good Soldier Schweik” with Jason Collins in the title role.

Schweik is a simple man who sees the positive in all things. This leads to Schweik being constantly misunderstood and causing problem after problem for those around him. It’s a charming piece from 1957, and Kurka, whom we lost far too early, wrote some extremely entertaining music.

The afternoon will be filled with two short pieces from the life of another soldier. This time it’s Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije. From this suite we’ll hear the well-known wedding and, of course, troika. Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko is featured with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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