Thursday, January 17, 2013

Welsh National Opera stages Berg’s Lulu, screens Pandora's Box starring Louise Brooks

Welsh writer and Louise Brooks fan Dilwyn Roberts-Young has let me know that the Welsh National Opera will be staging Alban Berg’s 1937 opera Lulu, as well as screening the 1929 silent film  Pandora's Box with live musical accompaniment on February 20th. The opera and screening of Blwch Pandora (the Welsh title of Pandora's Box) are part of the Welsh National Opera season devoted to "Free Spirits." Here is what their website has to say:

"Free Spirits is the first of our themed seasons. It brings together two of the greatest operas of the 20th century, Janáček’s The Cunning little Vixen and Berg’s Lulu. Both pieces pose profound questions about how much freedom we desire and how much we can tolerate and still remain a functioning society.

She is a vision of freedom too pure to be allowed to last. Everyone is drawn to Lulu, intoxicated by her; those in her thrall are like moths to a flame. Her flame burns bright and fast but sooner or later it will be extinguished by the very things it once fed upon.

Berg’s second and final opera is a masterpiece – total theatre. Anyone wishing to see the greatest works in the repertoire must include Lulu in their list. Few composers invite their audiences unflinchingly to confront humanity’s darkest regions in the way that Berg does here. Lulu promises a shattering but rewarding experience for those who encounter it.

Welsh National Opera has an important association with this great composer’s work: WNO gave the first British performances of Lulu in the 1970s and won acclaim and awards for our 2005 production of Wozzeck. David Pountney is one of the world’s most influential opera directors. This production of Lulu is his first new production in his role as our Chief Executive and Artistic Director."

The cast includes:
Lulu - Marie Arnet / Countess Geschwitz - Natascha Petrinsky / Wardrobe Mistress/Schoolboy - Patricia Orr / Doctor Schön/Jack the Ripper - Ashley Holland / Alwa - Peter Hoare / Artist/Negro - Mark le Brocq / Schigolch - Richard Angas / Prince/Manservant/Marquis - Alan Oke / Athlete / Acrobat - Julian Close

Conductor - Lothar Koenigs / Director - David Pountney / Set Designer - Johan Engels / Costume Designer - Marie Jeanne Lecca / Lighting Designer - Mark Jonathan

Lulu is a co-production with the National Theatre in Prague. The running time is approximately 3 hours 30 minutes including two intervals. The opera will be sung in German with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff and Llandudno). Download the 2012/2013 season brochure by clicking here. It contains an image of Louise Brooks, and links the actress to the character of Lulu.

1 comment:

  1. Early coverage "Lulu, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff" at


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