Born out of Daniel Barenboim’s and Patrice Chéreau’s mutual desire to work together, the production of Wozzeck at the Théâtre du Châtelet offers clean, uncluttered sets with geometric cubes that are at once reminiscent of Giotto, Paul Klee and Russian constructivism. The characters' faces stand out against a backdrop of shadows, evoking Daumier or Ensor and the expressionist artists.
The accentuated hues and shades of the lighting and the constant reconfiguration of the space via the moving coloured blocks reflect Wozzeck’s inner turmoil. To recount the story of this “so predictable yet so incomprehensible” murder committed by a man gripped by madness, Chéreau refuses to offer an explanation: “all hypotheses are valid and at the same time, the mystery remains”. The director is also thinking of Büchner’s Lenz, another literary exploration of a case of madness that his German studies enabled him to discover.Wozzeck also marks Patrice Chéreau’s first encounter with the singer Waltraud Meier who sings the role of Marie, Wozzeck’s companion. Their mutual desire to explore the complexity of a character as a means to understand a role will lead them to work together on other projects in the future.
Back to top