Opera News: McIntyre, Mayes, Gartland, and Watson excel in Des Moines Metro Opera "Wozzeck"
"THERE WERE SURPRISES on July 14 with Kristine McIntyre’s emotionally shattering mounting of Alban Berg’s seminal twelve-tone masterpiece Wozzeck. . . Baritone Michael Mayes created a magnificently rendered portrait of the bedeviled protagonist that was heart-wrenching in its volatility and desperation. The poignant Marie of Sara Gartland was something of a revelation. Gartland delivered the character through a gleaming column of sound that remained incisive yet consistently beautiful throughout the range up to the top C. . . Robert Watson was a narcissistically brutal Drum Major. . . McIntyre and her creative team (all-female, including the fight director) conceived a hostile, totalitarian environment of regimented movement, sadly drab clothing and a series of mobile steel panels from designer Vita Tzykun that eerily resembled chopping blades as they successively revealed each scene. The opera’s pitiful characters didn’t stand a chance. Some may doubt that Wozzeck would be a hit in the Midwestern cornfields, but the ovations were staggering. This was easily one of the most satisfying experiences I have had in an opera house."