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Friday, Oct. 31, 2003


Full version of 'Lulu' to premiere

Nissay Theatre in Tokyo will present the Japanese premiere of the three-act version of Alban Berg's opera "Lulu" from Nov. 22 to 24 to mark the venue's 40th anniversary.

Ryusuke Numajiri will conduct the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Nikikai opera troupe will sing and play in German, the original language of the play.

Berg (1885-1935), a disciple of Arnold Schonberg (1874-1951), the pioneer of 12-tone music, wrote the libretto on the basis of the plays "Erdgeist (The Spirit of the Earth)" (1895) and "Die Buchse der Pandora (Pandora's Box)" (1901) written by Frank Wedekind (1864-1918).

The opera revolves around Lulu, an amoral woman in a German-speaking country. All those who desired her were ruined. She eventually became a prostitute in London and was killed by Jack the Ripper.

Berg began composing the opera in 1928, but following the death of Manon Gropius, the daughter of Walter Gropius and Alma Mahler, the widow of composer Gustav Mahler, he discontinued the work and embarked on writing his violin concerto. Berg died before completing the opera.

An incomplete, two-act version of "Lulu" was first performed in Zurich on June 2, 1937. The death of Berg's widow in 1976 paved the way for Friedrich Cerha to complete Act Three.

Cerha published his complete version in 1979. On Feb. 24 the same year, the three-act version of "Lulu" was presented for the first time at the Paris Opera under the baton of Pierre Boulez.

At the Nissay Theatre, a double cast will perform the opera. The role of Lulu will be played by Akie Amou on Nov. 22 (6 p.m.) and 24 (2 p.m.), and by Michiyo Iida on Nov. 23 (2 p.m.).

Advance tickets cost 5,000 yen to 15,000 yen. For details, call (03) 3503-3111, (03) 3796-1831, (03) 5353-9522, (0570) 02-9999 or (03) 5802-9990, or go online to eee.eplus.co.jp

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