At the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Kirill Petrenko conducts this new production of Alban Berg's Lulu, directed for stage by Dmitri Tcherniakov and starring the soprano Marlis Petersen (Lulu).
Lulu is a femme fatale, a maneater. She marries men and then kills them, one after another, or pushes them to commit suicide. This opera, which mixes forbidden love stories, crimes and decadence of the heroine, is one of the greatest operas of the 20th century. Alban Berg died before he had a chance to bring his third act to an end, and the opera was premiered at the Zurich Opera House in 1937, two years after the composer's death. The piece shocked the audience and was far from being acclaimed by the critics. In 1979, Friedrich Cerha achieved the orchestration of the third act.
Alban Berg used the themes from two of Frank Wedekind's plays, Pandora's Box and Earth Spirit, which both were forbidden in Germany. Lulu's philosophical and sociological significance seems to denounce the nonsense of a society in search for modernity, trying to deal with the confusion of the values and the search for the power.
The staging of this new production is by one of the greatest Russian stage directors of the moment, Dmitri Tcherniakov, who staged a beautiful Wozzeck at the Bolchoi a few years ago. The conductor, Kirill Petrenko, is the Bayerische Staatsoper's musical director, and Opera Magazine described him as "one of the most passionate [conductors] of his generation". The cast stars coloratura soprano Marlis Petersen, singing Lulu – one of the most important roles of her career – a role that she performed in the greatest opera theatres worldwide.
Picture: © Wilfried Hösl.
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