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Opera in three acts

Composer Alban Berg · Libretto after the tragedies "Erdgeist" and "Die Büchse der Pandora" by Frank Wedekind
In German with German surtitles

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Cast for all dates

Musikalische Leitung
Kirill Petrenko
Inszenierung und Bühne
Dmitri Tcherniakov
Kostüme
Elena Zaytseva
Licht
Gleb Filshtinsky
Dramaturgie
Malte Krasting
Choreographische Assistenz
Tatiana Baganova

Lulu
Marlis Petersen
Gräfin Geschwitz
Daniela Sindram
Eine Theater-Garderobiere
Rachael Wilson
Ein Gymnasiast
Rachael Wilson
Ein Groom
Rachael Wilson
Der Medizinalrat
Christian Rieger
Der Bankier
Christian Rieger
Der Professor
Christian Rieger
Der Maler
Rainer Trost
Ein Neger
Rainer Trost
Dr. Schön
Bo Skovhus
Jack the Ripper
Bo Skovhus
Alwa
Matthias Klink
Ein Tierbändiger
Martin Winkler
Ein Athlet
Martin Winkler
Der Prinz
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke
Der Kammerdiener
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke
Der Marquis
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke
Der Theaterdirektor
Christoph Stephinger
Eine Fünfzehnjährige
Elsa Benoit (05-25-2015, 05-29-2015, 06-03-2015, 06-06-2015, 06-10-2015) , Leela Subramaniam (09-20-2015, 09-23-2015, 09-26-2015)
Ihre Mutter
Cornelia Wulkopf
Eine Kunstgewerblerin
Heike Grötzinger
Ein Journalist
John Carpenter
Ein Diener
Leonard Bernad (05-25-2015, 05-29-2015, 06-03-2015, 06-06-2015, 06-10-2015) , Johannes Kammler (09-20-2015, 09-23-2015, 09-26-2015)
Der Polizeikommissär
Nicholas Reinke
Schigolch
Pavlo Hunka
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester

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Anyone who sees her is already lost and anyone who wants to kiss her will, sooner or later, get bitten. In droves, men are dashed to pieces on the apparently so cuddly Lulu as if she were the rock of the Loreley. Corpses pave her way, she is a femme fragile and a femme fatale all at the same time, the "prototype of a woman", the most lethal female figure in the history of opera. But it is only the glance of men that makes her into the personae in which we meet her: She creates the image of a woman he  craves and on this constraining perspective the object of his lusts must again be destroyed. Alban Berg has described Lulu's path in subtle symmetry, with a score that bears within it the entire wealth of the history of music's form and colour.

Act One

Scene 1

Lulu has been in a relationship with Dr Schön, the editor of an influential newspaper, for a long time. He has known Lulu since she was a child.

Lulu is now married to married to a physician, Dr Goll.

Dr Schön and his son Alwa meet in the artist’s studio. Lulu is posing for the artist, who is painting her portrait.

Left alone with Lulu, the artist chases her round the studio proclaiming his love.

On his return, Dr Goll discovers his wife in the arms of the artist and immediately has a heart attack.

Scene 2

Lulu is now married to the artist, who has become successful and very rich, thanks to the patronage of Dr Schön.

She receives a visit from an old man, Schigolch, who is in some way part of her dubious past. Later she has a visit from Dr Schön. The latter informs her in no uncertain terms of his imminent marriage and tells her that he has decided to end their relationship.

Schön has a conversation with the artist in which he reveals the truth of his situation. Once the artist has learned the merest fragment of the story of Lulu’s past – and the fact that his wife is the mistress of his patron – he commits suicide.

Scene 3

As the protégé of Dr Schön, Lulu dances on stage at a performance for which Alwa has composed the music. From the stage, Lulu catches sight of Dr Schön and his fiancée in the audience. Lulu faints and refuses to dance any more. Dr Schön is extremely annoyed and goes backstage. He accuses Lulu of merely pretending to have fainted and insists that she should carry on dancing. After an agonizing conversation with Dr Schön, Lulu forces him to write a letter to his fiancée breaking off their engagement.

Act Two

Scene 1

Lulu is now married to Dr Schön but their life together has become a nightmare. He is irritated by simply everything, including the presence of Countess Geschwitz, a secret admirer of Lulu, in their lives. He imagines his wife has lovers hidden everywhere, even behind the curtain over the door.

Schön discovers Lulu at home in male company: that of his son Alwa, an athlete from the circus and a schoolboy. In a fit of rage he urges Lulu to kill herself but, instead, she shoots him.

Lulu is arrested.

Scene 2

After some time Lulu returns from prison.

Risking her own life, Countess Geschwitz has organized Lulu’s escape. The plan involves the countess changing places with Lulu in the prison bed while Lulu flees the country with false papers. As part of the plan Lulu is meant to be accompanied by Schigolch and the athlete in the role of her fiancé, but the athlete decides to have nothing to do with it.

In the end Lulu flees abroad with Alwa, the son of the deceased Dr Schön.

Act Three

Scene 1

Lulu is now on the run from the police and finds herself under fire on all sides from the people who are pursuing her: various blackmailers and tormentors demanding love and gratitude. The marquis, a pimp, threatens to hand her over to the police if she will not work in a brothel in Cairo. Countess Geschwitz demands love, and gratitude, as a reward for everything she has done for her. The athlete puts her under pressure with demands for money. Schigolch also asks for money for his new mistress.

Lulu flees from her pursuers.

Scene 2

Lulu is working as a prostitute. She ekes out an existence in poverty in a remote place with Alwa, Schigolch and the countess.

Lulu receives three clients one after the other: the dumb professor, the negro, who kills Alwa, and Jack the Ripper, who kills both Lulu and the countess.

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Biographies

Kirill Petrenko was born in Omsk in 1972 where he studied piano at the College of Music. At the age of eleven he gave his first public performance as a pianist with the Omsk Symphony Orchestra. In 1990 his family (his father a violinist and his mother a musicologist) relocated to Vorarlberg where his father worked as an orchestra musician and music teacher. Petrenko first continued his studies in Feldkirch before moving to Vienna to study conducting at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts. 

His first job after graduation took him directly to the Vienna Volksoper where he was hired by Nikolaus Bachler as Kapellmeister. From 1999 until 2002 Kirill Petrenko was General Music Director at the Meininger Theater. It was in 2001 in his role as conductor of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, in the production by Christine Mielitz and with scenery by Alfred Hrdlicka, that he first achieved international acclaim. In 2002 Kirill Petrenko became General Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin where, until 2007, he was credited with a series of highly significant productions.

During his time in Meiningen and Berlin his international career also began to flourish. In 2000 Kirill Petrenko made his debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, in 2001 at the Vienna Staatsoper and the Dresden Semperoper, in 2003 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the New York Metropolitan Opera and in 2005 at the Oper Frankfurt. In Lyon, in collaboration with Peter Stein, he conducted all three Pushkin-inspired operas by Tchaikovsky (Mazeppa, Eugene Onegin and Pique Dame) from 2006 until 2008, which were also performed as a cycle in early 2010.

After moving on from the Komische Oper Berlin Kirill Petrenko worked as a freelance conductor. During this period his projects included conducting a new production of Leoš Janáček's Jenůfa (Production: Barbara Frey) at the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2009. In Frankfurt he conducted Pfitzner's Palestrina (Production: Harry Kupfer) and Puccini's Tosca (Production: Andreas Kriegenburg). In 2011 he worked on two new productions of Tristan and Isolde at the Opéra National de Lyon and at the Ruhrtriennale.

To date, the most important orchestras Kirill Petrenko has been invited to conduct include the Berlin Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the BR Symphony Orchestra, the Bayerische Staatsorchester, the WDR Cologne Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic and the NDR Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Opern- und Museumsorchester, the Amsterdam Concertgebouworkest, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Kirill Petrenko has also conducted concerts at the Bregenz and Salzburg Festivals. From 2013 to 2015 he swung his baton for the new production of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen during the Bayreuth Festival.
 

Since September 2013 Kirill Petrenko has been General Music Director at the Bayerische Staatsoper. He will be working in this position until the end of the 2019/20 season. Since 2013, he has taken to the rostrum for premieres of Die Frau ohne SchattenLa clemenza di TitoDie SoldatenLucia di Lammermoor, Lulu, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsenk District and Tannhäuser as well as the world premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s South Pole and a revival of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen among other works. In June 2015, Kirill Petrenko was named future Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, starting this position in autumn 2019.

In the current season at the Bayerische Staatsoper Kirill Petrenko led an new production of Verdi's Otello  and Strauss' Salome. Furthermore, Kirill Petrenko conducts revivals of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Fidelio, and Parsifal as well as two Academy Concerts with the Bayerische Staatsorchester.

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