What is involved in preparing to play a piece of work like the Drum Major in Berg’s Wozzeck?
I think the most important thing in any role is being as musically prepared as possible, particularly in a score like Wozzeck. That’s not to lessen the importance of the character in the process but a realistic understanding that every production, particularly when you’re coming to a production for the first time, presents challenges that you can’t be prepared for in advance. Once you’re there in the rehearsal room with directorial staff and your colleagues, the development of the character comes. Of course, unlike many of the roles that I sing with frequency, there are no real “benchmark” performances or performers for the Drum Major, which is also liberating in a way.
How does the challenging music of Wozzeck compare to singing in his Lulu?
The musical challenges for Wozzeck are myriad and like Lulu, they require an extra portion of concentration when you’re on stage. There’s so much more that can go wrong and so few places to hang onto if you do get waylaid! But unlike Lulu, Wozzeck is not serial or at least not entirely, which means that the atonality of the score is not...