[Met Performance] CID:201320
Wozzeck {11} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/19/1965.

(Debuts: Helga Pilarczyk, Norman Giffin, Gary Finkelstein
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 19, 1965
In English


WOZZECK {11}
Berg-Berg

Wozzeck.................William Dooley
Marie...................Helga Pilarczyk [Debut]
Captain.................Gabor Carelli
Drum Major..............Kurt Baum
Doctor..................Donald Gramm
Andres..................Charles Anthony
Margret.................Janis Martin
Apprentice..............Justino Daz
Apprentice..............Robert Goodloe
Fool....................Andrea Velis
Soldier.................William Zakariasen
Townsman................Norman Giffin [Debut]
Child...................Gary Finkelstein [Debut]

Conductor...............Karl Bhm

Director................Henry Butler
Designer................Caspar Neher


Performed with two intemissions.

Translation by Vida Harford and Eric Blackall

Wozzeck received four performances this season.

Review of Douglas Watt in the New York Daily News

Met's English in 'Wozzeck' a Puzzlement

Alban Berg's nightmarishly effective operatic curio, "Wozzek," was heard again at the Met last night for the first time since the 1960-61 season. But it had something less than its desired impact this time out.

Karl Boehm, who led the first performances of this production in early 1959, was once more in charge in the pit. For that first occasion the conductor was permitted 24 orchestra rehearsals of Berg's massive shock score. Last evening, the orchestra sounded as if it might have had one.

Sure, Boehm, a superior conductor whose services are greatly needed at the opera house, received an ovation when he came out for Act Three. But he didn't deserve one for it was a sloppy orchestral performance in which the many diverse elements in this atonal score were often out of balance.

Language Barrier

The Met, to continue, offers "Wozzeck" in English. So what do we get? We get Helga Pilarczyk, a German soprano making her Met debut in the pivotal role of Marie, Wozzeck's wanton common-law wife.

Miss Pilarczyk acted wantonly enough but her voice, a far from pleasant one, was unable to cope with the music and was a joke in the English translation.

A New Wozzeck

William Dooley, American, in the title role for the first time, was better, but not much better. A speech defect, sibilance, frequently interfered with complete understanding of what he had to sing and say. He has a nice baritone voice but one that is not really up to the dramatic demands of this part,. Nor is his acting.

Gabor Carelli, replacing an indisposed Paul Franke as the Captain on short notice, was utterly dependent on the prompter and utterly unintelligible in this strained tenor part, probably through no fault of his own.

Makes Himself Heard

The fast-rising young Justino Diaz, in the brief one-scene role of the drunken First Apprentice, did the best singing of the evening, singing richly, clearly and warmly. Donald Gramm's nutty Doctor was also clearly and admirably delivered.



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