This is a joint production of Bayerische Staatsoper and the NNTT. It was first performed in November 2008 at Bayerische Staatsoper, where it played to effusive reviews. Director Andreas Kriegenburg has directed numerous plays in his career, and the success of this opera will likely establish his presence as an important opera director as well. The singers scheduled to perform in the NNTT production include Wozzeck in their repertoires, and have played their roles to enthusiastic applause before audiences in Europe's major opera houses.
Scene 1: Wozzeck (Br) is a 30-year-old barber who has become a soldier. As he shaves Hauptmann (T), Hauptmann lectures him on morality.
Scene 2: In a field. Wozzeck and fellow-soldier Andres (T) are talking when Wozzeck begins to have disturbing visions.
Scene 3: In the room of Marie (S), Wozzeck's wife. As she soothes her child, Marie and a neighbor, Margret (Ms) trade snide remarks. Wozzeck knocks on the window. Marie sees that her husband is acting strangely.
Scene 4: Doktor (B) checks the progress of an experiment he is conducting with Wozzeck as a subject.
Scene 5: At dusk. Marie and her secret lover Tambourmajor (T) disappear into her house.
Scene 1: Marie's room, morning. Marie is gazing at earrings Tambourmajor has given her. Wozzeck appears suddenly and asks where she got them, but does not pursue the matter. He gives Marie his salary and leaves. Marie chastises herself.
Scene 2: Doktor and Hauptmann are standing together chatting. Wozzeck comes by, and Hauptmann insinuates that Marie is being unfaithful. Doktor observes Wozzeck's behavior.
Scene 3: Marie's room. Wozzeck confronts Marie, who becomes spiteful. Her words gbetter a knife in my belly than ever your hands on me again" echo in Wozzeck's mind.
Scene 4: People are dancing in a tavern garden. Wozzeck is taken aback when der Narr (T) tells him, "I smell blood."
Scene 5: At the barracks. Tambourmajor comes in, drunk, and rouses Wozzeck out of bed for a fight. Wozzeck comes out the worse.
Scene 1: Marie's room, night. A remorseful Marie reads from the Bible and asks God's forgiveness.
Scene 2: By a pond at dusk. As Marie is trying to leave, Wozzeck plunges a knife into her neck.
Scene 3: The tavern. Wozzeck dances with Margret. She and others notice the blood on his hand, and Wozzeck rushes out.
Scene 4: Back at the pond. In a confused state, Wozzeck comes across his wife's body, then wades out into the pond. Hauptmann and Doktor appear, but make no attempt to help before leaving.
Scene 5: In front of Marie's house. The children tell Marie's son that his mother is dead, and head for the pond. Marie's son follows them, riding his hobby-horse.