Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Alban Berg, Maxime Pascal, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Language German with English surtitles
Prices EUR 48 / 68 / 89 / 99 / 126 / 148 / Introductory matinee: EUR 5
Previous dates
27 May
Time 7pm
29 May
Time 7pm
31 May
Time 7pm
2 June
Time 7pm
4 June
Time 7pm
6 June
Time 7pm
Other dates
© Gerhard Richter 2022 (02082022)
  • A joint project by

    Wiener Festwochen and MusikTheater an der Wien

  • Introductory matinee

    14 May, 11am, Halle E im MuseumsQuartier
    5 Euro

  • Introduction

    Every day, 30 min before the performance
    Admission free

Who is Lulu, the protagonist of Frank Wedekind’s tragedies Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1902)? Introduced and described as ‘the real beast, the beautiful wild beast’, Lulu experiences her rise, freedom and downfall alongside rich, paying men, only to end up murdered by Jack the Ripper. Desired as a femme fatale and femme fragile in equal measure, this character exists as an image that others conjure up of her. So who is Lulu? The victim of a machinery of desire and oppression, of captivity and liberation. But perhaps she herself is also an engine of dazzling effects. Alban Berg’s incomplete Lulu, the first opera composed using the twelve-tone technique, premiered in 1937. And in 2023, it is to be staged by choreographer and dancer Marlene Monteiro Freitas. Together with the young conductor Maxime Pascal, the artist has opted to use the fragmentary version of the opera. In the third act, the composition is complemented in open form with portions of the Lulu Suite. In the joint project of the Wiener Festwochen and the MusikTheater an der Wien, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra is in charge of the musical interpretation. Up on stage, the images come thick and fast, with Marlene Monteiro Freitas choosing to collaborate with an ensemble of singers and dancers for her first venture as opera director. Indeed, in Marlene Monteiro Freitas, the score rich in contrasts, the extravagance of the plot and the multi-faceted identity of Lulu herself have found an inspired and inspiring accomplice.

    • Synopsis

      Act I In a painter’s studio, Lulu is posing for a portrait. The newspaper editor Dr. Schön, who picked Lulu up off the streets, has arranged her marriage to the much older medical officer Dr. Goll. His son Alwa, a young composer, collects him from the studio to take him to the final rehearsal of his new work. No sooner is the painter alone with Lulu than the two of them begin an erotic chasing game. Lulu’s husband suddenly comes back. His jealousy is so intense that he has a heart attack and dies. – Lulu has married the painter whose portrait of her has made him a star. Dr. Schön tells Lulu that he is about to marry and demands that she break off all contact with him. Schön reminds the painter of his responsibility towards Lulu and tells him about her past and her promiscuity. The painter is so appalled that he commits suicide. – Dr. Schön has found Lulu a job as a dancer to help her find a new husband. During the performance of a play for which Alwa wrote the music, she notices Schön and his fiancée in a box and faints. In the dressing room an angry Dr. Schön demands that she continue dancing. Lulu turns the tables and forces Schön to write a farewell letter to his fiancée.
      Act II Lulu has married Schön. He watches suspiciously as the lesbian countess Geschwitz makes amorous advances toward Lulu. When Schön goes out, the shifty old man Schigolch, a schoolboy, an athlete and Alwa, who has long been in love with Lulu, arrive. Schön finds the house full his wife’s lovers and wants to force her to take her own life. But instead, Lulu shoots at Dr. Schön. Now this husband dies as well. Lulu is arrested. – Risking both her life and her fortune, Countess Geschwitz has helped Lulu escape from prison. The plan is now for the athlete to marry Lulu and leave the country with her, but he refuses to see it through. Alwa escapes with her.

    • Artistic Team

      Music Alban Berg Text Frank Wedekind, after the tragedies Earth Spirit and Pandora’s Box Concept, Director Marlene Monteiro Freitas Conductor Maxime Pascal Orchestra ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien With Vera-Lotte Boecker (Lulu), Bo Skovhus (Dr. Schön), Edgaras Montvidas (Alwa), Cameron Becker (Maler) Anne-Sofie von Otter (Gräfin Geschwitz), Kurt Rydl (Schigolch), Katrin Wundsam (Garderobiere / Gymnasiast), Martin Summer (Tierbändiger, Athlet), Paul Kaufmann (Prinz, Kammerdiener) as well as dancers and acrobats Light design Yannick Fouassier Set Yannick Fouassier, Marlene Monteiro Freitas Dramaturgy Armin Kerber Research João Figueira Musical assistance Cláudio Silva
      Choreographic assistance Andreas Merk, Hsin-Yi Hsiang Production management Joana Costa Santos, Soraia Gonçalves

    • Production

      Production Wiener Festwochen, MusikTheater an der Wien In collaboration with P.OR.K (Lisbon) Residency Estúdios Victor Córdon (Lisbon), O Espaço do Tempo (Montemor-o-Novo), CN D Centre national de la danse (Pantin), Fabbrica del Vapore (Milan)

    Press the Enter key to search or ESC to close
    The Wiener Festwochen would like to thank their main sponsors.