Berg: Lulu (complete opera recorded in December 2016) BLU-RAY

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ALBAN BERG
Berg: Lulu (complete opera recorded in December 2016) BLU-RAY
Metropolitan Opera / Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter / Lothar Koenigs

[ Nonesuch Classics Blu-Ray+DVD / 2 Blu-ray Disc/DVD ]

Release Date: Friday 10 March 2017

Rated: G - Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993Suitable for General Audiences

Alban Berg's monumental opera Lulu, which he left unfinished when he died in 1935, had its posthumous premiere in its incomplete version in 1937, with the three-act version that has become standard premiering in 1979. The opera tells the tragic story of a young woman who, as a victim of a harsh society, torments a series of men by whom she is objectified, desired, abused, and eventually killed.

Berg adapted the libretto from Frank Wedekind's two Lulu plays, Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora's Box, 1904). He wrote the music using the 12-tone style conceived of his teacher, Arnold Schoenberg, but with a nod to Romanticism that makes it unusually accessible for something written by a Schoenberg disciple.

The Metropolitan Opera's new production of Alban Berg's Lulu, directed by accliamed South African visual artist William Kentridge, premiered in 2015 and starred Marlis Petersen in her final performances as Lulu, a role she has made "hers and almost hers alone" (Opera News) in 10 different productions over 18 years.

Kentridge received acclaim for his previous work at the Met directing the company premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's The Nose in 2010. This new Lulu, conducted by Lothar Koenigs, featured Susan Graham as the Countess Geschwitz, Daniel Brenna as Alwa, Paul Groves as The Painter/African Prince, Johan Reuter as Dr. Schön/Jack the Ripper, and Franz Grundheber as Schigolch. Lulu's production team included co-director Luc De Wit, set designer Sabine Theunissen, costume designer Greta Goiris, lighting designer Urs Schönebaum, and projection designer Catherine Meyburgh, all of whom also worked on The Nose.

Picture Format: 1080i 29.97 HD 16:9

Colour mode: colour

Region Code: All Region

Disc Format: BD25

Duration: 182 mins

Sound: (1) Dolby TrueHD 24-bit Surround (2) Dolby TrueHD 24-bit Stereo

Subtitles: English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

."Koenigs ensures maximum clarity from the strings and woodwind, especially in the orchestral interludes. It's cool, clever playing that throws unusual focus on the seamy saxophone line that coils itself round each character's description of Lulu. Peterson is tirelessly intelligent and musical…there is luxury support from Susan Graham, Paul Groves and Martin Winkler…it's not a perfect performance. It's not a perfect opera. But altogether it's as fascinating as its heroine" BBC Music

"All the principals are strongly cast. There is as much frisson to Susan Graham's voluptuously sung Countess Geschwitz as there is to Johan Reuter's Dr Schön/Jack the Ripper, oozing power and entitlement from every phrase…conducting, singing, direction: they're all of a piece, working to domesticate Berg's feral beast, and making it the funniest, least absurd and most approachable Lulu on film" Gramophone

The Met: Live in HD: Lulu Trailer