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Berg - Lulu / Davis, Schafer, Bailey, Kuebler, Harries, Schone, Bardon, Glyndebourne


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Berg - Lulu / Davis, Schafer, Bailey, Kuebler, Harries, Schone, Bardon, Glyndebourne + Berg - Wozzeck / Vienna State Opera
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Berg's opera charts the rise and fall of a serial seductress, from life as a society hostess to prostitution and eventual death at the hands of Jack the Ripper.

Amazon.com

Alban Berg's second and last opera Lulu is one of the monuments of modernism, constructed around serial technique and containing scenes conceived of as Sonata-form, Suite, and so on. The bliss of Andrew Davis's conducting in this classic Glyndebourne production is that we forget all of this--Davis doesn't gloss over the music's intellectual content, but that's not what we think about as we watch and listen. Part of the production's strength is the prodigious performance by Christine Schafer as Lulu--for once we believe in the character's sexual energy and power; and Schafer makes her real enough as a person that we largely forget the work's intrinsic misogyny. The rest of the cast is admirable too: Norman Bailey brings something perversely sweet to the disreputable painter Schigolch; Kathryn Harries makes the dying words of Lulu's lesbian lover Geschwitz one of the work's lyric high points; David Kuebler is equally powerful as Alwa. The final duet between Lulu and her destroyer Jack the Ripper is one of Wolfgang Schone's great moments, but he is equally good as Dr Schon, the man Lulu marries and kills. This is a performance of energy and beauty, matched by a simple but effective production. --Roz Kaveney

Special Features

  • In German with English, Spanish, German, French, or Japanese subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Christine Schäfer, Kathryn Harries, Norman Bailey, Patricia Bardon, Stephan Drakulich
  • Directors: Graham Vick
  • Writers: Alban Berg
  • Producers: Jo Marks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 181 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00014NE76
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,026 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Berg - Lulu / Davis, Schafer, Bailey, Kuebler, Harries, Schone, Bardon, Glyndebourne" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

They described it as "Picture Perfect".
Volunteer of America
I'm so grateful to the Glyndebourne Festival for filming this in a very professional -- if stereo-only -- fashion.
Christopher Culver
Great cast, great musicianship, great production.
Kyle D. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Osvaldo Colarusso on February 26, 2004
Format: DVD
Lulu is a very complex work. This DVD makes justice to all of the complexness of the work: musical and dramatic. First of all: Christine Schäfer. Since Teresa Stratas she is the most impressive singer to play this difficult role. As she is a genuine coloratura , Schäfer can handle with all these crazy cadenzas with naturality. And her personification of Lulu is as ambigous as Wedekind( the play ' s writer) has though. But it isn' t only Schäfer that is fantastic in this DVD. Wolfgang Schöne is a convincent Schon and Jack the riper.Stephan Drakulich as The Painter and the Neger is very sexy and exciting . The old wagnerian bass-baritone Norman Bailey is a moving and repulsive Schigolch (and yet in a very good voice).Alwa, one of the most demanding tenor roles in all lyric repertoire, is very well sung by David Kuebler, and his naive looking is very moving during all the performance.Kathryn Harries as Geschwitz is fantastic too. Her final singing is a golden key for this performance. Far from one analytical aproach, Andrew Davies made a romantic and effective reading of the score. The London Philharmonic is in a special day, sounding realy as a great orchestra. The violin and piano solos, at the first scene of act three are very well played.
The staging, transposed for a modern time ( Lulu is atemporal) is fantastic by the simplicitiy of the sets and the coherence (the steps marking Lulu's ascension and fall !!!). Sexuality flows over all the singers.But always with naturality.And I would like to remark also that this mise en scene has a fine movie during the intermezzo of the second act, folowing all the instructions of Berg.
For this ( low) price you will have one of the best readings of the score , only comparable with that of Boulez (1978), and one very special staging of one of the most important opera of the history, maybe .....the last great opera.
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful By G P Padillo VINE VOICE on January 28, 2005
Format: DVD
I cannot say enough good about Glyndebourne's 1996 production of Berg's

opera recently (and finally) released on video here in the States.

Initially I believed I'd be disappointed in this unit set. Wrong. A tall,

brick semi-circular wall of red brick with offset white bricks that extend

as necessary into beams, creating an angular stage wide staircase joining

otherwise impossible to use doorways, etc. A bare floor with 3 or 4

concentric circles revolves (sometimes in opposite directions) as necessary

denoting scene changes etc. At its direct center is a vast round hole.

This circular concept is fascinatingly explored bookending Lulu's going

full circle - beginning and ending in the gutter. Interesting too watching

her rise from this hole (a really great visual) in her first scene to

sinking permanently into it in the final. Once again the team of Graham

Vick and Paul Brown shed new light on one of opera's best bad girl

stories. That said light is brilliant is a cause for celebration!

Andrew Davis leads the London Philharmonic in a reading of the score that

may well be the most heavily romantic I've encountered. Berg's exquisite

melodies have never sounded more obvious (and sometimes drawn out -

wondrously so) as here. The jazz elements never sound foreign or archly

intrusive as they sometimes can, but rather all of a piece. The audience -

already berserk at final curtain goes berserker still at Maestro Davis's

bow.

If ever a singer was made for a role it is Christine Schaefer. Ms.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 14, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
If you're singing and playing the role of "Lulu", you need not just the talent, but a lot of moxie to play someone who's a party girl, a dancer, a murderer, and a prostitute. And can also express just the right amount of "crazy", far beyond your average Lucia. Patricia Petibon handles the task admirably with her singing, facial expressions, and yes, her body as she is not dressed for winter in most of this. Also worthy of praise is Michael Volle as the exasperated Dr. Schon and the quietly menacing Jack The Ripper. This is from the Salzburg Festival, and thankfully they don't get too outrageous (the subject matter takes care of that), except for giving the patrons a bit of 3-D by playing the opening of the third act amongst the audience. The stage settings are spare with the emphasis on the backdrops...particularly the striped curtain behind the ringmaster during the opening that could be used to calibrate your HDTV, it's that brilliant. And you can't go wrong with the Vienna Philharmonic. A worthwile program from Salzburg.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Plaza Marcelino on October 12, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It might be said that the 20th Century brought along opera's entry into the adult age. Little by little, operas started treating "delicate" subjects in a more serious way, one the largely victorian 19th century never dreamt of. Perhaps the trend was started by Richard Strauss, first with Salome and later on with Elektra. And others followed gladly suit, Schönberg with his Moses & Aron, depicting on stage a savage orgy that even today, almost three quarters of a century later, stage directors have a hard time devising tastefully (and perhaps tactfully). Berg was no exception: the 20's saw his Wozzeck and its tormented characters, the 30's this, his unfinished crown jewel with its decadent world of wealth, lust and manipulation that is given here, as is now customary, in the Cerha completion of the last act that Berg's untimely death prevented the composer from finishing.

At last, this production allows for a credible stage Lulu; the Graham Vick production, filmed here almost ten years ago at Glyndebourne's then new theatre does away with the usual overaged singer attempting a rôle that is inextricably linked like few others to the visual image of its portrayer and has for us the excellent Christine Schäfer, not just looking the part (her young, attractive looks undoubtedly helped) but also despatching its fiendishly difficulty with ease and applomb.

The other parts are also effectively cast, rendering this a winning all-round team effort. Katryn Harries is a superior Geschwitz, David Kuebler an intriguing Alwa. The veteran Norman Bailey appears as Schigolch.
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Berg - Lulu / Davis, Schafer, Bailey, Kuebler, Harries, Schone, Bardon, Glyndebourne
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