By Alban Berg. Opera Australia. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. January 25 to February 15, 2019
William Kentridge, South Africa’s renowned master of ink and charcoal animations, delivers us a visual and musical feast in his direction and astonishingly kinetic design of Alban Berg’s 1925 opera. Not that poor Wozzeck himself gets many crumbs.
Based on Buchner’s fragmentary play a century earlier – arguably the first major tragedy with a common man as its hero – the impoverished Wozzeck is bullied, exploited and taunted; and finally driven mad by the world’s cruelty, murders his unfaithful wife.