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Encyclopedia > Lulu (opera)

Lulu is an opera by the composer Alban Berg. The libretto was adapted by Berg himself from Frank Wedekind's plays Erdgeist (1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (1903). The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... Portrait of Alban Berg by Arnold Schoenberg, c. ... A libretto is the complete body of words used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, sacred or secular oratorio and cantata, musical, and ballet. ... Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (July 24, 1864 - March 9, 1918) was a German playwright. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Erdgeist is the Spirit of the Earth whom Johann Wolfgang von Goethe describes in Faust, Part 1, widely considered to be one of the greatest works in the history of German literature. ... Year 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandoras Box) is a play by Frank Wedekind, written in 1903, upon which Alban Bergs opera Lulu was based. ... 1900 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ...


Conception and composition

Berg first saw Die Büchse der Pandora in 1905 in a production by Karl Kraus, but did not begin work on his opera until 1929, after he had completed his other opera, Wozzeck. He worked steadily on the score until 1935, when the death of Manon Gropius, the daughter of Walter Gropius and Alma Mahler, prompted him to break off work to write his Violin Concerto. 1905 (MCMV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... Karl Kraus (April 28, 1874 - June 12, 1936) was an eminent Austrian writer and journalist, known as a satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright, and poet. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Wozzeck is the first opera by the Austrian composer Alban Berg (1885-1935). ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of Bauhaus. ... Alma Mahler Alma Maria Mahler-Werfel (née Schindler) (August 31, 1879 – December 11, 1964) was noted in her native Vienna for her beauty and intelligence. ... Alban Bergs Violin Concerto was written in 1935 (the score is dated August 11, 1935). ...

Berg completed the violin concerto swiftly, but the time he spent on that meant he was unable to complete the opera before his death later in 1935 – he had completed the work up to bar 268 of Act III, Scene 1, leaving the rest of the work in short score with indications of instrumentation for much of it. Sheet music is written represenation of music. ... Instrumentation is the study and practice of writing music for a musical instrument. ...

The opera was first performed in an incomplete form in 1937. Erwin Stein made a vocal score of the whole of Act III following Berg's death, and Helene Berg, Alban's widow, approached Arnold Schoenberg to complete the orchestration. Schoenberg at first accepted, but upon being sent copies of Berg's sketches he changed his mind, saying that it would be a more time-consuming task than he had thought. Helene subsequently forbade anybody else to complete the opera, and for over forty years only the first two acts could be given complete, sometimes with parts of Berg's Lulu Suite played in place of Act III. 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Erwin Stein (1885-1958) was a Viennese musician and writer, prominent as a pupil and friend of Schoenberg, with whom he studied between 1906 and 1910. ... Schoenberg redirects here. ...

Lulu made its American debut at the Santa Fe Opera (New Mexico) 61-62 season, with the American soprano Joan Carroll in the title role. The Santa Fe Opera is an opera company located 7 miles north of Santa Fe in the U.S. state of New Mexico on a former guest ranch of 199 acres where, in addition to the theatre, the site offered a variety of facilities such as office space, rehearsal space... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ...

Helene's death in 1976 paved the way for a new completed version to be made by Friedrich Cerha. Published in 1979, this version premiered on February 24 of the same year at the Opera Garnier and was conducted by Pierre Boulez. Year 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Friedrich Cerha (born 17 February 1926 in Vienna) is a Austrian composer and conductor. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Palais Garnier, Paris The Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra de Paris as well as the Opéra Garnier, is a 2,200 seat opera house in Paris, France. ... Pierre Boulez Pierre Boulez (IPA: /pjɛʁ.buˈlɛz/) (born March 26, 1925) is a conductor and composer of classical music. ...

Celebrated sopranos who have portrayed the difficult title-role include Anja Silja (who later sang the Countess Geschwitz), Teresa Stratas, Nancy Shade and Karan Armstrong. Anja Silja, German soprano, born April 17, 1940 in Berlin. ... Teresa Stratas (b. ... Nancy Shade (born on May 31, 1949, in Rockford, Illinois) is a celebrated spinto soprano, best known as a singing-actress. ... Karan Armstrong, born in Havre, Montana, on December 14, 1941, is an American soprano. ...


Premiere, June 2, 1937
(Robert Denzler)
Lulu high soprano Nuri Hadzic
Countess Geschwitz dramatic mezzo-soprano Maria Bernhard
A High-school Boy ("Der Gymnasiast") contralto Feichtinger
A Theatrical Dresser
A Groom
The Banker high bass
The Painter, Lulu's second husband lyric tenor Paul Feher
A Negro lyric tenor
Dr Schön, editor-in-chief heroic baritone Asger Stig
Alwa, Dr Schön's son, a composer young heroic tenor Peter Baxevanos
Schigolch, an old man high character bass Schigolch
An Animal Tamer heroic buffo bass
Rodrigo, an athlete heroic buffo bass Emmerich
The Prince, a traveller in Africa /
The Manservant /
The Marquis
buffo tenor
The Theatre Manager low buffo bass
The Professoer
A Clown
A Stagehand
The Police Commissioner
The Doctor, Lulu's husband
A Fifteen-year-old Girl opera soubrette
Her Mother contralto
A Woman Artist mezzo-soprano
A Journalist high baritone
A Manservant lower baritone
Jack the Ripper heroic baritone
Pianist, stage manager, attendants of the prince, policemen, nurses, wardresses,
dancers, party guests, servants, workers

Look up soprano in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A mezzo-soprano (meaning medium soprano in Italian) is a female singer with a range usually extending from the A below middle C to the F an eleventh above middle C. Mezzo-sopranos generally have a darker (or lower) vocal tone than sopranos, and their vocal range is between that... In music, an alto is a singer with a vocal range somewhere between a tenor and a soprano. ... A bass (or basso in Italian) is a male singer who sings in the deepest vocal range of the human voice. ... This article or section seems to contain too many examples (or examples of poor quality) for an encyclopedia entry. ... Baritone (French: ; German: ; Italian: ) is most commonly the type of male voice that lies between bass and tenor. ... Soubrette is a term to describe a leggiero soprano in classical music. ...


Prologue: A circus ringmaster introduces the various animals in his menagerie. The last is Lulu herself, who is carried on stage and introduced as a snake. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Menagerie is the term for a historical form of keeping wild and exotic animals in human captivity and therefore a predecessor of the modern zoological garden. ... blue: sea snakes, black: land snakes Superfamilies and Families Henophidia Aniliidae Anomochilidae Boidae Bolyeriidae Cylindrophiidae Loxocemidae Pythonidae Tropidophiidae Uropeltidae Xenopeltidae Typhlopoidea Anomalepididae Leptotyphlopidae Typhlopidae Xenophidia Acrochordidae Atractaspididae Colubridae Elapidae Hydrophiidae Viperidae A snake is a scaly, limbless, elongate reptile from the order Squamata. ...

Act I

Scene 1: Lulu, the wife of Dr. Goll, an elderly doctor, is having her portrait painted. Dr. Schön, a newspaper editor who rescued Lulu from the gutter and with whom she is now having an affair, is also present. Presently, his son Alwa arrives, excuses himself, and he and Dr. Schön leave. The Painter makes heavy passes at Lulu. Dr. Goll unexpectly walks in, and finding the two of them alone, promptly collapses and dies of a heart attack. Roman-Egyptian funeral portrait of a young boy A portrait is a painting (portrait painting), photograph (portrait photography), or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. ... Acute myocardial infarction (AMI or MI), more commonly known as a heart attack, is a disease state that occurs when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted. ...

Scene 2: Lulu has now married the Painter. She receives a telegram announcing Dr. Schön's engagement, which seems to trouble her. She is visited by Schigolch, a tramp who seems to have featured in her past in some unspecified way. Dr. Schön arrives, referring to Schigolch as Lulu's father. He has come to ask Lulu to stay out of his life from now on. She is unmoved by his request and leaves after her husband, the Painter, arrives. Dr. Schön tells the Painter about their affair, and insists he confront his wife about it. The Painter leaves, ostensibly to confront Lulu, but instead, he slits his own throat. Lulu appears to be unmoved by this suicide, and simply tells Dr. Schön "You'll marry me all the same." Telegraphy (from the Greek words tele = far away and grapho = write) is the long distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters, originally over wire. ... Look up Lee Thirlwell in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Rather than surrender to US soldiers, the Mayor (Bürgermeister) of Leipzig Germany, committed suicide along with his wife and daughter on April 20, 1945. ...

Scene 3: Lulu, working as a dancer, is sitting in her dressing room with Alwa. The two discuss various things, including a Prince who is in love with Lulu and wants to marry her. Lulu leaves to take the stage, but refuses to go on because Dr. Schön and his fiancée are in the audience. Dr. Schön, comes in to try to convince her to perform. When the two are left alone, she tells Schön that she is thinking of leaving with the Prince for Africa. Dr. Schön realises that he cannot live without her, and is convinced by Lulu to write a letter to his fiancée breaking off his engagement, which Lulu herself dictates. Lulu then calmly continues with the show. A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...

Act II

Scene 1: Lulu has now married Dr. Schön, who is full of jealousy over her many admirers. One of them, the lesbian Countess Geschwitz, visits her to invite her to a ball, but leaves in the face of Dr. Schön's disapproval. When the two go out, the Countess returns and hides. Two other admirers, the Acrobat and the Schoolboy, also enter, and all begin to talk to Lulu when she returns. Presently, Alwa arrives, and the admirers hide as Alwa declares his love for Lulu. Dr. Schön returns, spots the Acrobat, and begins a long argument with Lulu, during the course of which he discovers the other admirers. He gives Lulu a revolver, and orders her to kill herself, but she shoots Schön instead. The police arrive to arrest Lulu for the murder. rEVOLVEr (2004) is the fourth studio album release by Swedish thrash metal band The Haunted. ...

Interlude: The interlude consists of a silent film (accompanied by Berg's palindromic score). In it, we see Lulu's arrest, trial, conviction and imprisonment. Then we see her deliberately contract cholera and be transferred to hospital. The Countess Geschwitz visits her, and gives her her clothes, so that Lulu can escape disguised as her, which she does. Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... Cholera (or Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera) is a severe diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. ...

Scene 2: The Countess Geschwitz, Alwa and the Acrobat are gathered in the same room as Act II, Scene 1. They are awaiting Schigolch, who is to take the Countess to the hospital. She is going to sacrifice her own freedom by taking Lulu's place so that nobody will discover she has escaped until it is too late. The Acrobat says he is going to marry Lulu and move with her to Paris where the two will work in an act together. Schigolch leaves with the countess, then returns with Lulu, who is so ill from her disease that the Acrobat abandons his plan, and goes off to summon the police instead. Schigolch is sent off to buy train tickets, and, left alone, Alwa and Lulu declare their love for each other and agree to go away together. City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ...


Scene 1: Lulu and Alwa are now living in Paris. The scene is a party in a casino. Lulu is being blackmailed into working in a Cairo brothel by the Acrobat and a pimp; she is still wanted for Dr. Schön's murder and they will turn her in if she does not do as they say. Schigolch arrives, asking for money. She is eventually convinced to lure the Acrobat away to a hotel and murder him. After they have gone, news arrives that shares in the railway, which the party guests all owned and had so much confidence in, have crashed. The party quickly breaks up, and in the confusion, Lulu manages to change clothes with a young man. She escapes with Alwa just before the police arrive to recapture her. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Scene 2: Lulu and Alwa are now living with Schigolch in poverty and are on the run in London. Lulu is working as a prostitute. She arrives with a client, a professor (played by the same actor as Dr. Goll, Lulu's first husband). The Countess Geschwitz then arrives with a portrait of Lulu which she has brought from Paris. Alwa hangs it on the wall. Lulu goes out, and returns with another client, the Negro (played by the same actor as the Painter, Lulu's second husband). He refuses to pay in advance, and kills Alwa in a struggle. Schigolch removes the body while Geschwitz contemplates suicide, an idea she gives up when she realises that Lulu is not moved by it. Eventually, Lulu goes out and returns with a third client (played by the same actor as Dr. Schön, Lulu's third husband). He haggles over the price, and is about to leave when Lulu decides she will sleep with him for less than her usual fee. This client, who is actually Jack the Ripper, murders Lulu, and then on his way out kills the Countess as well, who swears her love to Lulu as the curtain falls. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Jack the Ripper is the pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area of London, England in the second half of 1888. ...


The large-scale structure of Lulu is often said to be like a mirror - Lulu's popularity in the first act is mirrored by the squalor she lives in during Act III, and this is emphasised by Lulu's husbands in Act I being played by the same singers as her clients in Act III.

This mirror-like structure is further emphasised by the film interlude at Act II at the very centre of the work. The events shown in the film are a miniature version of the mirror structure of the opera as a whole (Lulu enters prison and then leaves again) and the music accompanying the film is an exact palindrome - it reads the same forwards as backwards. The centre-point of this palindrome is indicated by an arpeggio played on the piano, first rising, then falling (shown here on the top staff): Look up Palindrome in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Various arpeggios as seen on a staff Notation of a chord in arpeggio In music, an arpeggio is a broken chord where the notes are played or sung in succession rather than simultaneously. ... A short grand piano, with the top up. ... In musical notation, the staff or stave is a set of five horizontal lines on which note symbols are placed to indicate pitch and rhythm. ...

The mirror-point from Alban Bergs opera Lulu. ...

The tone rows

Although some of Lulu is freely composed, Berg also makes use of his teacher Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique. Rather than using one tone row for the entire work, however, he gives each character his own tone row, meaning that the tone rows act rather like the leitmotivs in Richard Wagner's operas. Twelve-tone technique (also dodecaphony) is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. ... In music, a tone row or note row is a permutation, an arrangement or ordering, of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale. ... A leitmotif (also spelled leitmotiv) is a recurring musical theme, associated within a particular piece of music with a particular person, place or idea. ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ...

This is the tone row associated with Lulu herself:

The tone row associated with Lulu in Alban Bergs opera, Lulu. ...

From this one tone row, Berg derives tone rows for some of the other characters. The tone row associated with Alwa, for example, is arrived at by repeating Lulu's tone row over and over and taking every seventh note, like this:

Demonstration of how Alwas tone row is derived from Lulus in Alban Bergs Lulu. ...

This results in the following tone row:

Alwas tone row in Alban Bergs opera Lulu. ...

Similarly, the tone row associated with Dr. Schön is arrived at by repeating Lulu's tone row (as in the previous example) and taking the first note, missing one note, taking the next, missing two, taking the next, missing three, taking the next, missing three, taking the next, missing two, taking the next, missing one, taking the next, missing one, taking the next, missing two, taking the next, and so on, like this:

Demonstration of how Dr. Schöns tone row is derived from Lulus in Alban Bergs Lulu. ...

This results in the following tone row:

Dr. Schöns tone row in Alban Bergs opera Lulu. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Lulu (opera) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1473 words)
Lulu is an opera by the composer Alban Berg.
Lulu leaves to take the stage, but refuses to go on because Dr. Schön and his fiancee are in the audience.
Lulu is being flmailed into working in a Cairo brothel by the Acrobat and a pimp; she is still wanted for Dr. Schön's murder and they will turn her in if she does not do as they say.
Lulu: Staging (1507 words)
Lulu also gives us the opportunity to look in on the work of the director and the producer of the opera.
In place of the third act “those fragments of Act III that Berg had incorporated in the Lulu Suite were presented, as ‘background music’ to a mainly pantomimed reconstruction of the final episode of the play, the murder of Lulu and the Countess by Jack the Ripper” (Perle 1985:266).
What was seen on the stage of the Paris Opera was a vulgar and contemptible tragedy that converted the music of all three acts in relation to what was transpiring on the stage, into some sort of general background music at best and an utter irrelevancy much of the time” (ibid., 291).
  More results at FactBites »



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