'Lulu' lands in Rome after fifty years,
by GIUSEPPE PENNISI
As discussed here a few years ago ('Seldom Performed', 11 April 2010, and 'When God and Man Collide', 19 August 2010), Alban Berg's Lulu is rarely performed in Italy, for several reasons: the difficulties of producing a music drama with fifteen soloists (in over thirty different roles) and an orchestra with the ability to marry a nearly Wagnerian symphonic approach with the twelve-tone row system as well as providing support to complex vocal lines (with traditional forms like rondo, arioso, cavatina, ensemble — always on the verge of becoming concertati). As summarized in my previous articles quoted above, the plot is based on two long and verbose plays by Frank Wedekind written around 1905 when, in Vienna, psychoanalysis was receiving increasing intellectual curiosity.
Lulu is generally known to our readers, because, over the last few years, the opera has had several productions not only in Germany, but also in the UK [Shimmer, Sizzle and Shock, Roderic Dunnett, 23 March 2013], the USA [A Painterly Production, Maria Nockin, 6 December 2015] and Canada. The protagonist remains basically innocent even though she devours men (and women) in her life...
Copyright © 22 May 2017