Deborah Voigt Set for Metropolitan Opera's WOZZECK, 3/6-22
With James Levine on the podium, and Thomas Hampson in the title role, Deborah Voigt will make her role debut as Marie in Alban Berg's harrowing opera Wozzeck at New York's Metropolitan Opera (March 6 - 22). The revival of this "arrestingly abstract " (New York Times) staging of Berg's landmark opera is highly anticipated, pairing two beloved American singers with a conductor - the Met's music director - who is widely regarded as one of the work's most passionate advocates. The fifth and final performance of Wozzeck this season will be broadcast live on Saturday, March 22 in the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast series on WQXR 105.9 FM and online at www.wqxr.org. In April, Voigt heads out for a four-city recital tour, taking her to three venues in California and a return engagement in the 75th anniversary season of Boston's popular Celebrity Series. On May 14, she returns to the Met to host the "Live in HD" broadcast of Rossini's La Cenerentola.
Based on a play by Georg Büchner that was left unfinished when he died in 1837, Wozzeck is a grim work focusing on a lowly and mentally unstable soldier who kills Marie, the mother of his child, in a fit of jealousy. The opera is noted for its uncompromising, atonal style - inspired, in part, by the work of Berg's teacher and fellow composer Arnold Schoenberg - and searing intensity. Berg began work on the opera in 1914, but was delayed by the start of World War I and his call to military service. The Austrian composer took it up again in 1917 and completed it in 1922, with a world premiere following in 1925 at the Berlin State Opera under the direction of Erich Kleiber.
Deborah Voigt comments: "I am extremely excited to take on the musical and emotional challenges of this role, and am honored to perform it with such favored colleagues. We all know that this is a work close to the heart of James Levine, and it is a special honor to sing my first Marie under his guidance on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera."
Last season at the Met, Voigt sang the role of Brünnhilde in Wagner's complete "Ring" cycle. A Blu-ray disc recording of Robert Lepage's staging of the cycle for the Met won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2013, showcasing Voigt in a role that she made "exciting and expressive" (New York Times) with a voice that "blazed with passion" (New York Daily News).
Following the rigors of performing Marie, Voigt looks forward to a spring recital tour that will place the soprano and long-time partner at the piano, Brian Zeger, on both coasts for a program of songs by Amy Beach, Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcom, Richard Strauss and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The tour begins at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert, California on April 8, and continues with a performance at Stanford University's new Bing Concert Hall on April 11. Her third recital in California is on April 13 at the new Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State University.
On April 27, Voigt is back on the East Coast for her second performance in the 75th anniversary season of Boston's Celebrity Series. For her first appearance in November she performed her one-woman show, Voigt Lessons, developed with playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello. Boston Classical Review called Voigt Lessons, "a charming, candid, and emotional rollercoaster ride detailing the singer's rise from a strict Baptist upbringing in the western United States to international operatic fame. ... With both the heavy and light fare in 'Voigt Lessons' Friday night, her singing was flexible and relaxed. Musically, the show is a potpourri of arias by Strauss, Puccini, and Wagner, songs by Brahms, Stephen Foster, and Nat King Cole, as well as selections from Voigt's roots, American musical theater." The work is something of a preview of the material Voigt discusses at greater length - and with equal candor - in a memoir due for publication by Harper Collins in early 2015.
Deborah Voigt: Spring 2014 engagements
March 6, 10, 13, 17, 22
New York, NY
Berg: Wozzeck (Marie)
Palm Desert, CA
Stanford Lively Arts
Sonoma State University
Green Music Center
New York, NY
Rossini: La Cenerentola ("Live in HD" host)