Alban Berg


after the tragedies Erdgeist and Pandora's box by Frank Wedekind

arranged by the composer

Alban Berg’s unfinished opera after Frank Wedekind’s tragedies Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1902) was first performed in 1937. Introduced as “the true animal, the wild, beautiful animal”, Lulu accompanies the rise and fall of her lovers and husbands until she is murdered by Jack the Ripper. Portrayed as both a femme fatale and a femme fragile, the titular heroine appears as the portrait that is painted of her by others. Is Lulu the victim of a juggernaut of masculine oppression and bourgeois hypocrisy, or is she herself a monstrous juggernaut of seduction? Following her invitation to stage Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire at the Wiener Festwochen in 2021, the choreographer and dancer Marlene Monteiro Freitas, born in Cape Verde, finds an inspirational accomplice in Lulu. Together with the French conductor Maxime Pascal, a passionate advocate of the modern, she has chosen an open-ended form for the unfinished third act which is supplemented by parts of Berg’s Lulu suite.

A joint project by Wiener Festwochen and Theater an der Wien

In German with surtitles

Introduction to the work 30 minutes before the performance

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