[Barbara Hannigan (Lulu), Anne Sofie von Otter (Countess Geschwitz), Jochen Schmeckenbecher (Dr. Schön) in Christoph Marthaler’s staging of Berg’s “Lulu”, Hamburg 2017. – Photo Credit: Monika Rittershaus]
This Sunday, the new Marthaler “Lulu” premieres in Hamburg, and it might be the most thoughtful “Lulu” ever because it has Barbara Hannigan and Anne Sofie von Otter
in a bowtie as its female leads, plus did I mention the staging is by Marthaler?
The premiere will be livestreamed on ndr.de (audio only), and if you cannot wait that long, there’s a 20+ minute interview feature with Hannigan and von Otter in a blend of English and German with many interesting thoughts on how approach Lulu and early music, how singing certain parts affects a person, how Geschwitz/Lulu can – in this production, staging it with a large age gap – be read as maternal rather than as the Predatory Lesbian Stereotype because Geschwitz may simply be a lonely person starved for affection and companionship, with an obsession that is, according to not Otter, not primarily sexual. Intriguing food for thought.
So now I jsut need to figure out which opera – why put two highlights onto the same premiere slot, universe? – to listen to first on Sunday night, and which to tape for later: “Semiramide” from Munich, or this “Lulu”.