American Lulu Olga Neuwirth
American Lulu

A new interpretation of Alban Berg's opera Lulu by Olga Neuwirth


Co-produced by The Opera Group, Scottish Opera, Bregenzer Festspiele and the Young Vic in association with the London Sinfonietta


Co-commissioned by Komische Oper Berlin and The Opera Group, London




Alban Berg’s Lulu has been a talking point since the composer died in 1935, leaving the third act incomplete. Of the several endings that have been written since, none has emerged as a definitive solution. Award-winning Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth looks at the entire opera afresh, with a radical reworking of the unfinished score. Her American Lulu premiered in Berlin in 2012. Now in a new production, it opens at Bregenzer Festspiele before heading to Scotland for its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival.


Seductress, victim, manipulator: Lulu lives off men as both tortured and torturer, purveyor of ecstasy and angel of death. Caught up in greedy games and seedy schemes and with lovers driven to despair around her, Lulu makes an inexorable rise to the highest levels of power, money and fame. But her descent is just as swift. Twenty years on, as the scarred Lulu looks back on her life, she faces a squalid history of sex, murder and violence.


Neuwirth sets the action against the backdrop of the US civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1970s, transporting audiences to the smoky jazz clubs of the Deep South. Re-interpreting Berg’s score for a jazz-inspired ensemble, she integrates her own distinctive voice to create a soundworld that casts new light on the whole opera. American soprano Angel Blue sings Lulu and renowned British jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth is Eleanor. Leading contemporary music specialist Gerry Cornelius conducts and John Fulljames (The Adventures of Mr Brouček 2010) directs.


Part of the Edinburgh International Festival. 


Music of Act I and II adapted and reorchestrated by Olga Neuwirth

Text of Act I and II adapted by Olga Neuwirth and Helga Utz using translations into English by Richard Stokes and Catherine Kerkhoff-Saxon

Music and text for Act III by Olga Neuwirth and translated into English by Catherine Kerkhoff-Saxon 


American Lulu was performed at:


Bregenz Festival, Austria

Fri 16 Aug 2013

Sat 17 Aug 2013


King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Fri 30 Aug 2013

Sat 31 Aug 2013


Young Vic, London

Fri 13 Sep 2013

Sat 14 Sep 2013

Tue 17 Sep 2013

Wed 18 Sep 2013

Fri 20 Sep 2013 

Sat 21 Sep 2013 

Mon 23 Sep 2013 

Tue 24 Sep 2013


Sung in English with English supertitles 1 hr 40 mins approximately