Of Berg's operas I prefer Wozzeck only just. Wozzeck and Lulu for a while were just operas that I appreciated highly(seeing as expressionistic music is not usually a style I listen to), but on three viewings for each opera over the past three or four days, both are wonderful operas, powerful dramatically with tormented titular characters and while it is in a style that takes a while to get used to because it's very atonal and angular the music is wonderful. And as much as I do love the Julia Migenes Johnson Met production, after seeing the whole thing on Youtube as I had heard so many good things about Teresa Stratas' interpretation this is my favourite Lulu. I just wish that it would be released commercially or on a DVD(if not already) with sharper picture quality and sound that doesn't make the singers so distant when they're at the back of the stage, because musically and dramatically this is one powerful production. The production is quite dark but considering the tone of the opera this was appropriate, and the orchestra perform Berg's difficult score with power and passion with Boulez's conducting never rushing or dragging. Chereau does a fine job with the stage direction, with the final scene between Lulu and Jack the Ripper incredibly intense. The performances are simply wonderful, with Teresa Stratas singing Lulu with intelligence and great dramatic commitment, both as a femme fatale and a tormented victim. Yvonne Minton is a fine Countess Geschwitz, and Franz Mazura is a genuinely menacing Dr Schon. Overall, a superb Lulu and my favourite production of the opera. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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