Wozzeck, Franz

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(Berg: Wozzeck). A soldier, servant to the Captain. He has a son by Marie and the Captain taunts him about this. Wozzeck tells him that you have to be rich to have such high morals. Marie has an affair with the Drum‐major and the next time Wozzeck meets him, the two men fight. In his jealousy, Wozzeck takes Marie for a walk by a lake in the woods. He kisses her then cuts her throat. Frightened when Marie's friend Margret notices blood on his hands, he searches for the knife he used, throws it into the pond, then walks into the water and drowns himself. Wozzeck is a very simple fellow, not subtle or scheming. He has been aptly described by Stephen Walsh as a ‘representative of the downtrodden proletariat’. He does not find it easy to express himself or even to understand his own feelings (he was based on a true character, a soldier who was executed in 1824 for killing the mistress who had been unfaithful to him). Created (1925) by Leo Schützendorf.

Subjects: Opera.

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