Friday, 19 January 2001
A small Copenhagen playhouse is staging one of Europe's theatrical events of the year: the reunion of composer Tom Waits and director Robert Wilson on a production of George Buchner's 'Woyzeck'. This is Wilson and Waits’ third collaboration, succeeding 'The Black Rider' and 'Alice'. The production, with music by Tom Waits and lyrics by his wife Kathleen Brennan, is the first to feature an all-Danish cast of actors and musicians. Sound designer Nicolaj Aarup has miked his 10-strong cast with DPA 4065 headset microphones, teamed with Samson UT6 wireless systems. "I've worked with a lot of headset mics, but I've never had such an excellent performance," says Aarup. "The 4065 gives me so much headroom, it doesn't matter if the actors are whispering or shouting, I can get the true voices coming out of my system. It's like listening to them in the dressing room, only louder. "Tom Waits thoroughly approved of the vocal sound, although sometimes we had to add a little effect to 'squeeze' the sound because it was almost too good. His score sets out to paint a very rough and harsh picture, and it would be inappropriate to make it sound too clear and smooth." The Betty Nansen production of 'Woyzeck' has attracted attention from theatre impresarios all over Europe, and it is hoped that the show will play internationally in 2001.