Alban Berg

The strength of the subconscious

Lulu is an opera about our most basic instincts, starring an enigmatic, dangerous and spellbinding woman. On today’s show, we’ll try to discover just who is Lulu and, to do so, we’ll travel to Vienna, the city where composer Alban Berg lived, a hotspot for the changes that transformed the world in the early years of the 20th century. Lulu is, above all, a reflection of its time.
To talk about that—about its symbolism and what its opening meant in 1937—we’ll speak with Dr. Alfred Pritz, Director of the Sigmund Freud University, and with French soprano Patricia Petibon who has embodied Lulu on numerous occasions.

With conductor Michael Boder we’ll attempt to discover the meaning of dodecaphonic music (music with no tonality), one of the essential components of the score we’re looking at today.

We’ll visit the Museum of Art History where we’ll come to understand why this opera has a unique structure and a peculiar symmetry with two completely differentiated parts, not just in terms of plot, but also musically. We’ll spend the night in Vienna, attending a very special party featuring a burlesque show, a place where Lulu would have felt right at home and where we’ll chat about seduction with Kalinka Kalaschnikow, one of the burlesque stars in Vienna’s nightlife. But also, since the men in Lulu are driven by sexual instinct, we’ll interview publicist Toni Segarra about the power of images with sexual content in advertising. On today’s show, we’ve got a juicy menu. Sex, death and psychoanalysis are the necessary ingredients for a story that will leave no one indifferent.

"Lulu" Salzburg Festival, 2010 UNITEL, ORF, 3sat
“Tosca” Bayerische Staatsoper 2010 UNITEL, BR, Arte
“Tosca” (A05004543) UNITEL 1976
Footage: Richard Seeley/ Scattoselvaggio/

Dr. Alfred Pritz
Kalinka Kalaschnikow
Patricia Petibon
Toni Segarra
Michael Boder
Patricia Petibon