Notes & Reviews:
When Lulu premiered in Zurich in 1937 it immediately created a scandal. The sexually explicit topic and dubious characters of the drama barely cause a stir in the modern theatre world, but the Opera's staging is accompanied by the divided opinion as to how to interpret the figure of Lulu. Arthaus presents a staging produced at the Zurich, which offers an unusual and remarkable solution: it returned to the incomplete two-act version seen at the premiere.
I'll urge all opera lovers to acquire the Zurich Opera's two-act version of Lulu led by Franz Welser-Möst on Arthaus Music. Thanks to the imaginative theatrical conception of stage director Sven-Eric Bechtolf and, especially, an intensely sensual performance of Laura Aiken in the title role, this "difficult" work never seemed more musically cogent and dramatically potent, revealing itself to all but the least adventuresome listeners to be among the greatest creations for the musical stage we have ever seen, or are likely to see.
Welser-Möst has an excellent cast - Alfred Muff (Dr. Schön), Peter Straka (Alwa), and Cornelia Kallisch (Countess Geschwitz) are especially strong... The American soprano Laura Aiken is extraordinarily qualified to represent Lulu - vocally, dramatically, and, yes physically... and radiates erotic power every moment she's on stage. Aiken moves effortlessly from Sprechstimme to traditional singing and shapes Lulu's music sensitively and confidently. Aiken presents her character as a "lethal victim," to use the title of the Moritz feature.
Bay Are Reporter
Laura Aikin... sings Lulu as radiantly as Ann Panagulias or Agneta Eichenholz, executes Bechtolf's blocking with the agility of a Chinese acrobat, and delivers the role from so deep inside that you are, as you must be, transfixed from first to last.
Run Time: 164 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian
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Works DetailsBerg, Alban : Lulu
- Performers: Peter Straka (Tenor); Alfred Muff (Bass); Cornelia Kallisch (Mezzo Soprano); Laura Aikin (Soprano)
- Conductor: Franz Welser-Möst
- Ensemble: Zurich Opera Orchestra
- Period Time: Modern
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1929-1935