I consider the 1972, 1987 and 1994 performances superior to this one, but I liked this production still. The sets and symbolism is very abstract and gives it a very nightmarish feel, and the costumes are reasonably effective. Wozzeck in pyjamas and barefoot conveys a very dream-like state that was appropriate to Wozzeck, and while distractingly bizarre to begin with the Captain's inflated pink hot- pants did sort of fit the character and Wozzeck's perception of him. The staging is good on the whole, especially good is the scene after Marie's murder which is very like an operatic Mad scene. The orchestral playing is a real strength, dark and evocative in tone, and the conducting has the authority and nuances the difficult score needs. Dale Duesing gives a frighteningly intense and moving performance as Wozzeck, Frode Olsen is a very menacing and insect-like Doctor, Barry Banks sings Andres wonderfully and Ronald Hamilton's Drum Major is strongly characterised. There were two performers though I wasn't so impressed with. Dieter Bundschuh is appropriately oily as the Captain, but I dislike the pinched and screaming sound of his voice, but the real weak link is the squally Marie of Kristine Ciesinski. All in all, strong and appropriately nightmarish. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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