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Berg: Lulu

8 customer reviews

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(Nov 21, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Patricia Petibon is Lulu to the life. She sings Berg s taxing music with easy, tonal beauty; the roles numerousacuti pose no problem. As The Weekend Australian observed: Her top register, in particular, has a rich, luminous quality ... that she exploits to great effect

Lulu is opera s rawest exposition of the fatal risks of untamed erotic power. No man who meets Lulu does not want her - but, like the wind, she cannot be possessed. As happens to the heroine herself, the men who attempt to subdue her, and the one woman who also adores her, are destroyed by the flip side of the life force that pours through Lulu: death

This is one of the most remarkable productions of the 21st century matched by the remarkable Patricia Petibon. Acclaim for this Lulu: Using her light, supple voice like a musical instrument, Petibon slithers into each successive skin with which Olivier Py sheathes this timeless mythic character (Le Figaro). The French director presents a terrifying tragedy, with a colorful human circus ... Petibon has the right degree of sensuality and a highly charged style... (Opera)

This live DVD of the Liceu s 2010 hit production by Olivier Py also stars Franz Grundheber and Julia Juon. Michael Boder s conducting brings out the sensuality and psychological disequilibrium of Berg s 12-tone score

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Patricia Petibon, Michael Boder, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona
  • Directors: Patricia Petibon, Michael Boder, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Catalan, German
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052GKCH8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,783 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 5, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Berg managed to complete only the first two acts of Lulu before his death in 1935. The final act in short score was orchestrated by Friedrich Cerha and first presented in 1979. That is the version performed here. Berg's music, although serial, retains the vestiges of tonality in its brilliant use of emotional resonance: there is never a hint of aridity in this exemplary score. The character of Lulu has the complexity and moral ambiguity that makes her endlessly fascinating. She is not merely a seductress. She is a force of nature: primal and disturbing but never evil. Although she destroys the men she attracts like moths to a forest fire, she herself is consumed and manages to retain our sympathy. Like Flaubert's Madame Bovary, we recognize (maybe even applaud) Lulu's rebellion against life's endless sterility. The film Pandora's Box, starring a beautiful Louis Brooks as Lulu, has a comparable acceptance of her destructive flight to freedom.

This production stars Patricia Petibon as the anti-heroine who inspires lust, longing, and ultimately pity and wonder. The role is nearly super-human in its singing and acting requirements. The star is brilliant, carrying the entire opera on her shoulders, embodying all of Lulu's complex humanity. Petibon is often required to perform nude, clothed only in a transparent body stocking, yet she always manages to convey a dignified insouciance that must be seen to be appreciated. Her singing is absolutely magnificent in what is one of the most fiendishly difficult roles in the repertory. Simultaneously conveying sexiness and gravitas, Petibon delivers a stunningly nuanced performance that brings Lulu to life as a three dimensional, living and breathing character of haunting poignancy and pity. The rest of the cast are equally gifted.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By THE BLUEMAHLER on November 24, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alban Berg (1885-1934) may be the most notorious member of the Second Viennese School, even more so than leader Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) and Anton Webern (1883-1945). Berg, the most romantic of the school, was as influenced by Gustav Mahler as Schoenberg. Berg died young and did not live long enough to compose a large a body of work. However, he did compose what may very well be the two most repulsive operas ever written. Even Schoenberg was aghast, and urged his younger colleague to discontinue writing such filth. A premature death stopped Berg from finishing his final opera, "Lulu." He completed two of the three acts and the final act was completed in the short particell format. Some forty years later, Friedrich Cerha completed the orchestration for the third act, which premiered under the direction of Pierre Boulez. Both "Wozzeck" and "Lulu" are extreme operas from an extreme composer. One would think that this fact would make opera fans receptive to interpretive stagings.

Olivier Py belongs to that school of enfant terrible stage directors working in European opera today. Py, while creating mixed reactions in Europe, is among the most in-demand and successful stage directors. Singers clamor to work for him, his productions usually sell out within a matter of hours, and are almost always considered newsworthy events. The European climate for opera stems from a different mindset altogether. Most telling was a recent newscast covering the expressionist nightmare "Magic Flute" staged by Martin Kusej. This "Flute" received wildly mixed reactions. The audience was torn between passionate applause and equally passionate catcalls.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By pekinman on February 26, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Lulu was one of the first operas that I connected with on a permanent basis along with, oddly, Wagner's Siegfried and Britten's The Turn of the Screw. Perhaps it takes a twisted personality to love Berg's final masterpiece, happily complete here in the posthumous 3 act version with orchestrations by Friedrich Cerha. I grew to know and love this opera from the old DG set conducted by Karl Böhm and starring Evelyn Lear as Lulu in a fine performance from Berlin. I loved the Böhm so much I bought my first duplicate of any opera on record in my early collection, the Dohnanyi 2 act version with Anja Silja. I wore those sets of lps out long ago and switched to the historical first performance of the complete 3 act version from Paris conducted by Pierre Boulez and starring Teresa Stratas. Then I got my hands on two filmed versions, an early live performance from Silja in 1969 and, later from 1980, a grainy video with Levine conducting a so-so production with Julia Migenes.

The Silja and Migenes Lulus preserve, in rough and ready video, two famous performers in this tremendously difficult part. There are other filmed versions I haven't seen, notably Christine Schäfer's from Glyndebourne, but all in all very few commercially recorded or filmed Lulus. There aren't many sopranos around who can sing this part. Patricia Petibon sweeps the boards, in my experience with this score. She is an astonishing Lulu. Her singing and acting are masterful and seemingly effortless. Watching her performance brought several other actresses to mind, Garbo, Deneuve and Monroe more often than not. Petibon has a chameleon quality to her.

Her costumes, when she's wearing more than just that spectacular set of false eyelashes!
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