»She was created to cause mischief, to entice, to seduce, to poison and to murder, without anyone noticing.« With these words the animal trainer introduces us to the »snake«; he transports us into the world of the circus and delivers us up to that »archetype of womanhood« – Lulu! With her aura of animalistic seduction, this man-killing vamp is the embodiment of the femme fatale. But is Lulu not the ideal object of projection for all those who are ruined by their own double standards and impotence? This »Destroyer of All« (Karl Kraus) is mired in ambiguity: »I have never wanted to appear to be anything other than what people believe me to be; and nobody in the world has ever perceived me to be anything other than what I am.«
Alban Berg created the libretto to his three-act opera »Lulu« by reworking two tragedies by Frank Wedekind, »The Earth Spirit« and »Pandora’s Box«. This modern masterpiece, based on a twelve-tone row, was still unfinished at the time of Berg’s death in 1935. The truncated work was given its world premiere in Zurich in 1937, and it was only in 1979 in Paris that »Lulu« was heard with a third act according to the completion by Friedrich Cerha. With the use of a new, somewhat condensed version of the final act by Eberhard Kloke, Stefan Herheim’s production of the work will now bring the demise of Lulu to Dresden audiences with refined sophistication.
Opera in three acts by Alban Berg. Performed in German with surtitles
Premiere 04 Feb 2012