William Kentridge at the Opera

This film screening, presented to complement the exhibition William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows, is included with Museum admission. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In 1925 Alban Berg based his first opera, Wozzeck, on the 1837 Georg Büchner play about a man’s life being destroyed by the casual sadism of military bureaucracy. This William Kentridge collaboration with New York’s Metropolitan Opera sets the tragedy during World War I, focusing on a soldier (Peter Mattei) whose madness and paranoia ultimately lead to murder.

“It is a radical opera. . . . All the hallucinations that Büchner writes for Wozzeck are things that would never be seen in the 1830s, but were literally there in the 1910s.” —William Kentridge

The MFAH film department is supported by Tenaris; The June Leaf and Robert Frank Foundation; the Vaughn Foundation; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Nina and Michael Zilkha; Franci Neely; Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick; Ms. Laurence Unger; L'Alliance Française de Houston; and ILEX Foundation.

All Learning and Interpretation programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive generous support from Macey and Harry Reasoner; the Claire and Theodore Morse Foundation; and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Endowment funds are provided by the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; Caroline Wiess Law; Windgate Foundation; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Ballard; Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Tate; the Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation; Virginia and Ira Jackson; the Favrot Fund; CFP Foundation; Neiman Marcus Youth Arts Education; gifts in memory of John Wynne; gifts in memory of Peter Lotz; and gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.

The exhibition “William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows” is organized by The Broad, Los Angeles.

In Houston, major support is provided by:
Bobbie Nau

Additional generous support is provided by:
John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation
Bettie Cartwright
JBD Foundation
Beverly and Howard Robinson
Leslie and Russ Robinson


Directed by William Kentridge with Luc de Wit/Directed for live cinema by Gary Halvorson
(USA, 2020, 111 minutes, in German with English subtitles © 2020 The Metropolitan Opera)
Brown Auditorium Theater


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