Monday, July 8, 2013

Audio version of Frank Wedekind's Lulu Play, Pandora's Box

New on LibriVox and the Internet Archive is an audio recording of Frank Wedekind's famous play, Pandora's Box. This LibriVox recording is based on the English-language translation by Samuel Atkins Eliot, Jr. Readers of this blog can follow the two prior links to listen to the recording, or listen via the embedded player shown below.

Tragedies of Sex, by Frank Wedekind,
in translation by Samuel Eliot, Jr.
First American Edition (collection of the
Louise Brooks Society).

Pandora's Box / Die Büchse der Pandora (1904) is the second half of the German dramatist's two 'Lulu' plays. The first is Earth Spirit (1895). Both depict a society "riven by the demands of lust and greed."

In 1929, G.W. Pabst directed the second silent film version Pandora's Box, which was loosely based on Wedekind's play. Pabst's version starred Louise Brooks. Both Wedekind plays also served as the basis for the 1935 opera, Lulu, by Alban Berg, which premiered posthumously in 1937.

Following the events of Earth Spirit, Pandora's Box charts the downward spiral of Lulu and her companions. Here, Lulu once again plays the role of unwitting temptress (or femme fatale), a siren-like libertine who seals the destruction of her friends and lovers.

The premiere of Pandora's Box, a restricted performance due to difficulties with the censor, took place in Nuremberg on February 1, 1904. The 1905 Viennese premiere, again restricted, was instigated by the satirist Karl Kraus.

Cast of the LibriVox recording (Audio edited by Chuck Williamson)

Lulu: Amanda Friday
Alva Schon: Chuck Williamson
Schigolch: Alan Mapstone
Rodrigo Quast/Kungu Poti: Wupperhippo
Alfred Hugenberg: Charlotte Duckett
Countess Geschwitz: Caprisha Page
Bianetta/Kadidia: Sally Mc
Ludmilla Steinherz/Narrator: Elizabeth Klett
Magelone: Margaret Espaillat
Count Casti Piani: Algy Pug
Puntschu: Alan Weyman
Heilmann/Dr. Hilti: bala
Bob: rookieblue
Detective: Grendel B. Lightyear
Jack: Bob Gonzalez

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