CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Friday, February 28, 2014 | 8 PM

Vienna State Opera
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Berg's Wozzeck (opera in concert)

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Wozzeck—Berg's harrowing, deeply moving first opera—receives a concert performance under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst. The Austrian composer’s gravely beautiful score punctuates the brutal and uncompromising subject matter—the inevitability of hardship and exploitation of the poor.

Please note that conductor Daniele Gatti has had to withdraw from this performance due to acute inflammation of the tendons in both shoulders.

Performers

  • Vienna State Opera
  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Franz Welser-Möst, Conductor
  • Matthias Goerne, Baritone (Wozzeck)
  • Evelyn Herlitzius, Soprano (Marie)
  • Monika Bohinec, Mezzo-Soprano (Margret)
  • Herbert Lippert, Tenor (Drum Major)
  • Thomas Ebenstein, Tenor (Andres)
  • Wolfgang Bankl, Bass (Doctor)
  • Herwig Pecoraro, Tenor (Captain)
  • Andreas Hörl, Bass (First Apprentice)
  • Clemens Unterreiner, Baritone (Second Apprentice)
  • Peter Jelosits, Tenor (Madman)
  • Franz Gruber, Tenor (Soldier)
  • Vienna State Opera Chorus
    Thomas Lang, Chorus Director
  • Members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
    Dianne Berkun-Menaker, Artistic Director

Program

  • BERG Wozzeck (concert performance)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours with no intermission.

Bios

  • Vienna State Opera

                                    
    Vienna's operatic tradition goes back to the early 18th century, when most performances took place at the imperial court. In December 1857, Emperor Franz Joseph I decreed that the old inner-city fortifications would be torn down, and a broad boulevard, the Ring, featuring new magnificent buildings dedicated to the various cultural and political institutions, would be built in their place. Both the court theaters for drama and opera would be relocated to the Ring. The opera house opened on May 25, 1869, with a performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The opera's popularity grew under its first directors-Franz von Dingelstedt, Johann von Herbeck, Franz von Jauner, and Wilhelm Jahn-culminating in the directorship of Gustav Mahler (1897-1907). Between 1938 and 1945, many members of the theater were persecuted, banished, or assassinated by the National Socialists, and many operas were banned. During World War II, the house was almost totally destroyed during a bombing raid, and it was uncertain whether the institution would survive. However, the State Opera in the Volksoper reopened on May 1, 1945, with a performance of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and on October 6, 1945, the restored Theater an der Wien reopened with a performance of Fidelio. There were now two theaters where performances could take place while the opera house itself was restored. (Only the main facade, the grand staircase, the emperor's tea room, and the Schwind-Foyer had been spared from the bombs.) On November 5, 1955, the house, which now featured a new auditorium and modernized stage machinery, reopened with a performance of Fidelio.

    Throughout the opera's history, the greatest interpreters have performed at the house, and important masterpieces have received world premieres there, including Massenet's Werther and Strauss's Viennese version of Ariadne auf Naxos as well as his Die Frau ohne Schatten. In addition to Mahler, Richard Strauss, Clemens Krauss, Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Lorin Maazel have served as directors. Today, the Vienna State Opera is among the most important opera houses in the world, offering more than 300 performances of 60 different operas and ballets each season. The artistic pillars of the opera house are a regular ensemble of singers; the ballet ensemble (Vienna State Ballet); the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, from which the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra recruits its members; the Vienna State Opera Chorus; and the stage orchestra, in addition to guest singers, dancers, and conductors. Dominique Meyer is director, Franz Welser-Möst is general music director, and Manuel Legris is director of the Vienna State Ballet. Visit wiener-staatsoper.at for more information.

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  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

                                                      
    There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO). In the course of its 172-year history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch that-thanks to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters-must certainly be regarded as unique. Additionally, the orchestra's extensive touring schedule, prolific recordings, and global television broadcasts allow its artistry to be experienced around the world.

    The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by the statements of countless preeminent musical personalities of the past. Richard Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Anton Bruckner called it "the most superior musical association"; Johannes Brahms counted himself a "friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together through "the bonds of musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying, "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement."

    The Vienna State Opera Orchestra holds a special relationship with the private association known as the Vienna Philharmonic. In accordance with Philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. The engagement in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra provides the musicians a financial stability that would be impossible to attain without relinquishing their autonomy to private or corporate sponsors. Over the course of more than a century and a half, this chosen path of democratic self-administration has experienced slight modifications, but has never been substantially altered. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra itself.

    The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music into the daily lives and consciousness of its listeners. For more than a decade, the VPO has given benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 1999, it makes an annual donation of 100,000 Euros from its New Year's Concert to a variety of international charitable organizations. In 2005, the orchestra was named Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization, and has served as an official Goodwill Ambassador for IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) since 2012. As of November 2008, Rolex is the worldwide presenting sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven, whose symphonic works served as a catalyst for the creation of the orchestra, prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."


    Franz Welser-Möst


    One of today's most celebrated conductors, Franz Welser-Möst leads two of the world's great cultural institutions, as general music director of the Vienna State Opera and music director of The Cleveland Orchestra.

    Mr. Welser-Möst's long partnership with the Vienna State Opera has included several acclaimed new productions, with a focus on German as well as Italian and Slavic operas and the cultivation of traditional and new repertoires and innovative projects. In his first two seasons as general music director, he conducted the critically praised new productions of Hindemith's Cardillac, Janáček's Káťa Kabanová and From the House of the Dead, and Verdi's Don Carlo. During the 2013-2014 season, he leads new productions of Puccini's La fanciulla del West and Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen; revivals of last season's acclaimed stagings of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos; and the company's longstanding major productions of Fidelio, Parsifal, La bohème, and Der Rosenkavalier. In summer 2014, he will conduct Der Rosenkavalier at the Salzburg Festival.

    The 2013-2014 season also marks Mr. Welser-Möst's 12th year with The Cleveland Orchestra, a relationship that in 2008 was extended through the orchestra's centennial year in 2018. With the orchestra, he has built close relationships with Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, giving performances of Bruckner symphonies in 2011 and Strauss's Salome in 2012 that achieved outstanding success. He and the orchestra also hold regular residencies at Vienna's Musikverein, at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, and in Miami.

    As a guest conductor, Mr. Welser-Möst enjoys an exceptionally close and productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2013, he had the honor of leading the orchestra's celebrated New Year's Concert for the second time in three years. Recordings of both appearances have reached double-platinum status. He has also performed with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, the BBC Proms, Tokyo's Suntory Hall, the Sommernachtskonzert at Schönbrunn Palace, and on a regular basis as part of the orchestra's subscription series at the Musikverein.

    Mr. Welser-Möst's recordings, both on CD and DVD, have won a number of major awards, including the Gramophone Award, Diapason d'Or, Japanese Record Academy Award, and two Grammy nominations. He is the recipient of many honors, including honorary membership in the Wiener Singverein and Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, the Gold Medal of Upper Austria, the Decoration of Honor from the Republic of Austria, and the Kilenyi Medal of Honour from the Bruckner Society of America. He was named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2003, and is an Academician of the European Academy of Yuste.

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  • Matthias Goerne


    An internationally sought-after vocalist and frequent guest at renowned festivals and concert halls, Matthias Goerne has collaborated with leading orchestras and conductors worldwide. Since making his operatic debut as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Salzburg Festival in 1997, he has appeared on the world's principal opera stages, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Teatro Real in Madrid; Opéra de Paris; Vienna State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera.

    Engagements in the 2013-2014 season include Lutosławski's Les espaces du sommeil with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, a tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and performances of Britten's War Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras. In addition, he appears as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC; Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre de Paris; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; NHK Symphony Orchestra; Hong Kong Philharmonic; and National Philharmonic of Russia. At the Vienna State Opera, Mr. Goerne sings Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Amfortas in Parsifal, and the title role in Berg's Wozzeck.

    Recital engagements include appearances at Carnegie Hall, Chicago's Symphony Center, Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Kioi Hall in Tokyo, and the Zurich Opera House, with pianists Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christoph Eschenbach, Andreas Haefliger, and Alexander Schmalcz. In summer 2014, Mr. Goerne sings Schubert's Winterreise at the Vienna and Aix-en-Provence festivals.

    Mr. Goerne was an honorary professor of song interpretation at the Robert Schumann Academy of Music in Düsseldorf from 2001 to 2005. In 2001, he was appointed an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. A native of Weimar, he studied with Hans-Joachim Beyer in Leipzig, and later with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

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  • Evelyn Herlitzius


    Evelyn Herlitzius completed her music education at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Her first engagements were at opera houses in Flensburg, Saarbrücken, and Karlsruhe, and she made her debut at the Saxon State Opera in 1997 as Leonore in Fidelio. Since then, her roles have included the title role in Jenůfa, Elisabeth and Venus (Tannhäuser), Kundry (Parsifal), Salome, Färberin (Die Frau ohne Schatten), and Jeanne (Die Teufel von Loudon). Ms. Herlitzius is a popular guest on international stages that include the Hamburg State Opera, Oper Stuttgart, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Nederlandse Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and the Bayreuth and Salzburg festivals. Ms. Herlitzius is a Sächsische Kammersängerin. She made her Vienna State Opera debut in 2000 as Leonore, and has also sung Sieglinde in Die Walküre, Isolde, and Kundry with the company. She has performed with renowned orchestras that include the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker. This season at the Vienna State Opera, she sings Marie in Wozzeck.

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  • Monika Bohinec


    Mezzo-soprano Monika Bohinec studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. As a student, she was a finalist and award winner in various competitions, as well as the recipient of scholarships from the Richard Wagner and Hilde Zadek foundations. In 2006, she made her debut as Clarissa in Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges at the Slovenian State Opera, where she also appeared as Ježibaba in Rusalka, Konchakovna in Prince Igor, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and the title role in Carmen. In 2009, Ms. Bohinec became an ensemble member of the National Theatre Mannheim, where she has sung Carmen, Sara di Nottingham (Roberto Devereux), Laura and Cieca (La Gioconda), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Giulietta (Les contes d'Hoffmann), and Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera). In the 2011-2012 season, Ms. Bohinec became an ensemble member at the Vienna State Opera, where her roles have included Larina (Eugene Onegin), Grimgerde (Die Walküre), Marthe (Faust), Farzana (Die Feen), Schenkenwirtin (Boris Godunov), Lola (Cavalleria rusticana), Mary (Der fliegende Holländer), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Fenena (Nabucco), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Margret (Wozzeck), Madelon (Andrea Chénier), and the First Norn (Götterdämmerung). Roles in the current season include Die fremde Fürstin (Rusalka), Margret, Suzuki, and Madelon.

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  • Herbert Lippert


    A former member of the Vienna Boys' Choir, Herbert Lippert is among the most sought-after tenors of our time, performing with internationally renowned orchestras and on the world's most important stages. Among his first mentors were Sir Georg Solti and Wolfgang Sawallisch, who directed recordings of Die Schöpfung, Don Giovanni, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In 1997, Mr. Lippert won a Grammy Award for his performance as David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Mr. Solti. Mr. Lippert made his Vienna State Opera debut in 1985 in La traviata, and has since performed such roles such as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Matteo in  Strauss's Arabella, Flamand in Strauss's Capriccio, Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Offizier in Hindemith's Cardillac, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Froh in Das Rheingold, Walther von der Vogelweide in Tannhäuser, Skuratov in Janáček's From the House of the Dead, and Aegisth in Elektra. In 2013-2014 at the Vienna State Opera, his roles include the title role in Peter Grimes, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and the Drum Major in Wozzeck.

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  • Wolfgang Bankl


    Born in Vienna, Wolfgang Bankl studied violin at the Music School of Baden and physics at the Technical University of Vienna before beginning his singing studies at the Vienna Conservatory. His first engagements were at the Vienna Chamber Opera, where he performed as Masetto in Don Giovanni and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. Between 1989 and 1993, he worked at the Opera House in Kiel, performing such roles as Figaro, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Don Pasquale, and Leporello in Don Giovanni. Since 1993, Mr. Bankl has been a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where his roles include Leporello, Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), the Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlos), Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau (Der Rosenkavalier), and Figaro. He has also performed at opera houses and festivals in Zurich, Hamburg, Cologne, Barcelona, Milan, Savona, Salzburg, Lübeck, Bregenz, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Salamanca, and Paris.

    Concert and recital highlights include Massenet's Marie Magdeleine and Handel's La resurrezione at the Wiener Osterklang, Bach's St. John Passion with Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Schoenberg's Gurrelieder on the occasion of the opening of the newly renovated Wiener Konzerthaus. Recordings include Der Rosenkavalier conducted by Carlos Kleiber, Winterreise with pianist Norbert Pfafflmeyer, and Klingsor in Parsifal conducted by Christian Thielemann and featuring Plácido Domingo and Waltraud Meier. In 2013, he was appointed Österreichischer Kammersänger.

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  • Herwig Pecoraro


    Born in Bludenz, Austria, Herwig Pecoraro studied in Feldkirch, Mantua, and Modena, and also took part in master classes with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Guest appearances have led him to the Bregenz and Salzburg festivals, as well as opera houses in Bern, St. Gallen, Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Nice, Toulouse, Milan, New York, and San Francisco. He has performed at the Opernhaus Graz and at the Vienna Volksoper. Since 1991, he has been a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where he made his debut as the Steersman in Der fliegende Holländer and has since performed roles that include Jaquino (Fidelio), Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Mime (Das Rheingold, Siegfried), Hirt (Tristan und Isolde), Beppe (Pagliacci), Andres/Cochenille/Frantz/ Pitichinaccio (Les contes d'Hoffmann), Bob Boles (Peter Grimes), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Incroyable (Andrea Chénier), Bardolfo (Falstaff), Goro (Madama Butterfly), Guillot (Manon), Klammerschneider (Der Riese vom Steinfeld), and Fatty (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny). Roles with the company in the current season include Bob Boles (Peter Grimes), Herod (Salome), the Captain (Wozzeck), and Mime (Das Rheingold and Siegfried). He is Österreichischer Kammersänger.

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  • Andreas Hörl


    Andreas Hörl studied with renowned bass Kurt Moll in Cologne. After completing his studies and being accepted at the International Opernstudio in Hamburg, Mr. Hörl was a member of the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera from 2001 to 2005. From 2005 to 2007, he was engaged at the Cologne Opera, and from 2007 to 2012 at the Opernhaus Zurich. Operatic highlights include Fasolt and Fafner (Der Ring des Nibelungen) in Cologne and Zurich; King Mark (Tristan und Isolde) in Hamm and Chemnitz; Landgraf (Tannhäuser) in Cologne and Frankfurt, Daland (Der fliegende Holländer) in Chemnitz; Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) at Vienna Volksoper, Komische Oper Berlin, and Berlin State Opera, as well as in Zurich and Frankfurt; Colline (La bohème) in Zurich and Munich; Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) in Zurich; the Commendatore (Don Giovanni) at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon and in Zurich; Titurel (Parsifal) in Zurich; and Ramfis (Aida) at Cologne Opera and Opernhaus Zurich. He has also performed in operas by such modernist composers as Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Peter Eötvös, Thomas Adès, Luciano Berio, and Hans Werner Henze. Mr. Hörl made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 2011 in the role of Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), and has also sung Titurel (Parsifal), Warlaam (Boris Godunov), Truffaldin (Ariadne auf Naxos), the Commendatore (Don Giovanni), and Menschenfresser (Pollicino). His roles in the current season include the First Apprentice in Wozzeck, Titurel (Parsifal), and Pfarrer in The Cunning Little Vixen.

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  • Clemens Unterreiner


    A native of Vienna, Clemens Unterreiner studied vocal arts with Hilde Rössel-Majdan, Rudolf Holtenau, Gottfried Hornik, Artur Korn, Helena Lazarska, and Wicus Slabbert. He has appeared as a guest soloist in Vienna's Musikverein and Konzerthaus, and Barcelona's Palau de la Musica, among other international concert halls. Since 2005, he has been a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where his roles have included Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier), Angelotti (Tosca), Donner (Das Rheingold), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Melot (Tristan und Isolde), Brétigny (Manon), Bill (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), Schtschelkalow (Boris Godunov), Schaunard (La bohème), Betrunkener Sträfling (From the House of the Dead), and Baron Douphol (La traviata). He has also performed at the Vienna Volksoper, the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen, Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, Salzburg Festival, Stadttheater Chur, Landestheater Linz, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Musikfestival Steyr, Sommeroper Schärding, Oper Klosterneuburg, Sommerfestspielen in Heidenheim, Salzkammergut Mozartfestival, and "Wagner in Budapest" Opera Festival. His roles at the Vienna State Opera in 2013-2014 include Schtschelkalow (Boris Godunov), the Second Apprentice (Wozzeck), and Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos).

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  • Peter Jelosits


    Peter Jelosits was born in Vienna, where he was a member of the Vienna Boys' Choir and studied vocal arts at the University of Music and at the Conservatory in Vienna. Between 1983 and 1985, he was member of the Opernstudio of the Vienna State Opera, and in 1984, he made his debut as the First Priest in Die Zauberflöte. Since 1985, he has been member of the ensemble at the house on the Ring. He has performed at festivals, including the Carinthischer Sommer, Vienna, Schubertiade Hohenems, and Salzburg festivals. His roles at the Vienna State Opera have included Jaquino (Fidelio), Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor), Rodrigo (Otello), Wirt (Der Rosenkavalier), Gaston (La traviata), Yamadori (Madama Butterfly), Arbace (Idomeneo), Missail (Boris Godunov), Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos), Hirt (Tristan und Isolde), Dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus), Heinrich (Tannhäuser), the Madman (Wozzeck), Monsieur Taupe (Capriccio), the title role in Das Traumfresserchen, Sir Hervey (Anna Bolena), Rustighello (Lucrezia Borgia), Tschekalinski (Pique Dame), and Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro). Roles in the current season include Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro), Wirt (Der Rosenkavalier), Gottesnarr (Boris Godunov), and the Madman (Wozzeck). He is Österreichischer Kammersänger.

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  • Vienna State Opera Chorus

                                          
    The Vienna State Opera Chorus consists of 92 permanently employed professional singers. It makes up one of the pillars of the Vienna State Opera, alongside soloists, orchestra, ballet, and technical staff. On average, the chorus appears on the Vienna State Opera's stage on 250 evenings and in 55 different operas each year. For engagements outside the Vienna State Opera-which include annual appearances at the Salzburg Festival-the chorus is known as the Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus (founded in 1927). The chorus's broad repertoire, which is broadened each season, encompasses major operas, operettas, and concert works. This varied repertoire, which includes concert pieces, masses, oratorios, and a cappella works, is extraordinary for an opera chorus. Thomas Lang has served as chorus director since 2006.

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  • Brooklyn Youth Chorus

                                  
    Now in its 22nd season, the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC) is one of the country's leading children's choruses and is the ensemble of choice for internationally renowned orchestras and artists. Under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Dianne Berkun-Menaker, BYC has an international reputation for programmatic and artistic excellence.

    The BYC studies and performs a wide range of music-classical and nonclassical-and has an active commissioning program to develop new works across a variety of genres. It has performed with renowned artists such as Elton John, Lou Reed, John Legend, and Grizzly Bear, and has performed under the batons of Lorin Maazel, Marin Alsop, James Levine, Robert Spano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leon Botstein, and many others. In 2002, BYC debuted with the New York Philharmonic in John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, for which the BYC won a Grammy Award.

    The BYC receives its training from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, a performance-based vocal music education program serving nearly 300 students annually in five ensembles. It draws students from all over the city and reflects the broad diversity of the metropolitan area.

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Pre-concert

Pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 PM in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean, The Juilliard School.

Audio

Berg's Wozzeck (Act III: "Marie's Room")
Vienna State Opera Orchestra | Claudio Abbado, Conductor | Hildegard Behrens, Soprano
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

Though it is 90 years old, Alban Berg's Wozzeck retains its quality of being both the most contemporary and timeless of operas. Based on Georg Büchner's equally modern play—written, astonishingly, in the 1830s—it tells the story of a simple yet poetically sensitive soldier who is progressively driven into madness and murder by a brutal and unfeeling society. In George Steiner's words, Büchner's "Woyzeck is the first real tragedy of low life. It repudiates an assumption implicit in Greek, Elizabethan, and neo-classic drama: the assumption that tragic suffering is the somber privilege of those who are in high places."

Completing the world's first atonal opera in 1922, Berg made Wozzeck's music as path-breaking as its drama. Using a variety of vocal techniques and an extraordinarily imaginative mastery of a very large orchestra, he created a score that, though shaped by abstract formal principles, nevertheless delivered a shattering emotional impact. If the aim of tragedy is to produce catharsis in its audience, Wozzeck must rank as one of the greatest tragedies ever written for the operatic stage.
Program Notes

Watch


Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, Jeremy Geffen, discusses Berg's Wozzeck.

Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This concert performance is generously underwritten by Robert L. Turner.

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