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Berg: Lulu - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [DVD] [2004] [2001]

 Exempt   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £14.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Berg: Lulu - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [DVD] [2004] [2001] + Bluebeard's Castle: London Philharmonic Orchestra (Solti) [DVD] [2008] + Leos Janacek - From the House of the Dead / Chereau, Boulez (Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2007) [DVD] [2008]
Price For All Three: £34.54

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German, Castillian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Feb 2004
  • Run Time: 176 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000189L10
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,614 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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 are 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.

On the DVD Lulu on disc is presented in disappointingly in NTSC format with a 4:3 picture ratio. Fortunately, the Dolby 2.0 digital sound is ideal for the fine detail of this complex score and these nuanced performances. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. --Roz Kaveney

Product Description

DVD Glyndebourne Festival Opera Orch. Ntsc/23456

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunner. 22 Dec 2004
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.
The London Philharmonic, not an ensemble one usually associates with 20th century music, play stupendously and are very well conducted by an Andrew Davis that shows an absolute understanding of the score.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunner 6 Jun 2005
By A Customer
I agree entirely with the previous reviewer: this peformance is a stunner. Schaefer beautifully captures the outward changes in Lulu as the drama progresses, from sex kitten to dominatrix and thence to whore, demonstrating a talent as actress that is quite a revelation to those who know her more as an outstanding lieder singer!! The stage management is also inspired: the concentric circles of the staging reflecting the circular pattern of Lulu's own rise and fall; the ingenious staircase, creating a third dimension when it is needed; the creation of a party atmosphere in the twinkling of an eye; the horror of the stews in which Lulu meets her fate at the hands of Jack the Ripper. I could go on at length, but I want to single out the performance of the veteran Norman Bailey, still going strong after a long and distinguished career and making a suitably seedy Schigolch, a symbol of Lulu's shady past and wretched demise at the end of the opera. In short, a brilliant DVD that makes Berg's admittedly difficult music much more approachable.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!!! 15 Dec 2007
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's interesting how snotty a lot of Berg and 2nd-Viennese pupils and other hangers-on got when it looked as if this opera was going to be taken out of their hands and simply released onto any opera stage as the great, funny, complex, sinister piece it is, after the 3rd act completion and marvellous Boulez/Chereau production. My revelation was a production in the 80s or early 90s by ENO. I thought: How can they do this? They haven't the intellectual apparatus, the money, the vast orchestral resources...? But it turns out any company can do it as long as they're razor-sharp and on their toes and got a good enough band. They can play it like Cosi Fan Tutte. I love this production, it's sharp, funny, disconcerting, Christine Schafer is marvellous, all of them them effortless (imagine saying that in the 70s!). No one is pretending it's the greatest opera of the 20th C, some recreated lost world-shaking masterpiece - it isn't, it's just up there as one of the best, along with all the others. Oh and Stravinsky loved it, described the sound of the saxophone floating out over its vast decadence (he knew the value of a press-release). I sometimes think if Kurt Weill had gone another way he might have written this.
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