His anti-picture-book concept, with a stark set, proved a more effective fit for the vocally powerful, dramatically volatile Mr. Vickers. The production (which can be seen on video) and Mr. Vickers’s performance, were triumphs, and changed the general understanding of the opera.
The next year, Peter Hall, the director of the National Theater in London, invited Mr. Moshinsky to direct a production of Thomas Bernhard’s play “The Force of Habit,” which Mr. Moshinsky described in the BBC interview as a comedic parable in which a “group of circus performers try to play Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet, but can’t.” The production was a dismal failure, running for just six performances.
But that same year Mr. Moshinsky found his footing with an acclaimed production of Berg’s “Wozzeck” for the Adelaide Festival, presented by the Australian Opera (now Opera Australia). Over subsequent years he directed more than 15 productions for the