Strange Anniversary Bedfellows

Sorry for the prolonged absence!  Really done with classes now, so hope to get back in the swing of things…

I’ve been digging around Operabase‘s statistic and anniversary watch features lately, and good thing too since I learned of this notable double feature anniversary today…  Premiering just 7 years apart Puccini‘s 1918 Il Trittico and Berg‘s 1925 Wozzeck are nonetheless worlds apart stylistically; old-school Italian verismo versus Berg‘s cutting-edge atonal, expressionist opera.

Il Trittico premiered here in New York at the Metropolitan Opera and is actually made up of three one-act operas: Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi, the latter being the most popular nowadays, though Suor Angelica was apparently Puccini’s favorite.   To celebrate, here is a (incomplete?) performance from the state conservatory of Yerevan, Armenia, because it’s the randomest:

Berg, as a pupil of Schoenberg‘s, adapted his 12-tone compositional technique for his first opera Wozzeck about a man’s descent into madness and murder, driven by jealousy.  Not too far off thematically from certain verismo works, but told in a much more jarring way…  Here’s an amazing movie version of Wozzeck from Hamburg State Opera in 1970.  It is in full on Youtube somehow, but if you like it (and what’s not to like), consider buying it through Naxos (a nice little stuffing stocker perhaps?).

This may seem like a weird duo, but Madrid’s Teatro Real did put on a  Suor Angelica / Il Priggionero double-bill (video trailer at link) last month, so not too far off…


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