«At the centre of it all, of course, is one of the great star roles of opera. With its terrifyingly high range and seemingly unstoppable coloratura, Lulu is not just a role that will challenge even the most indefatigable of singers, but also one that demands real acting from its star. The opera will always make its mark musically, but the action demands that we believe Lulu can seduce anyone she chooses. In my experience, the only Lulu who has ever completely achieved this was Christine Schafer at Glyndebourne in 1996. Schafer had no truck with winking, bumping or grinding, but simply stood there, imperturbably.»
É verdade, sim senhor: Christine Schäfer é a protagonista absoluta de Lulu (A. Berg). Pela agilidade, corrosão moral e inequívoco sentido dramático. Vi-a no Met, em 2001, numa inolvidável récita, com Levine dirigindo a orquestra. Doravante, a grande Schäfer entrou para o meu top 10.
Anos antes, havia deslumbrado o público de Glyndebourne, numa produção que não cesso de referenciar, por todas as razões e... por Schäfer, evidentemente.
Londres – ossia o Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – não levava à cena a magistral Lulu desde 1983. Inacreditável...
Claro está, a peça lírica do austríaco não é um produto mainstream. So what?!
(Anja Silja como Lulu)
A critica – inglesa, a única, for the moment – enaltece as qualidades de Pappano & Orquestra. Os intérpretes - Agneta Eichenholz e P. Langridge, a par da magnífica J. Larmore - também são dignos de vénias.
«Antonio Pappano conducted a superb performance which eloquently made that very case, with voluptuous, incisive playing by the ROH orchestra, and a first-class ensemble cast including Jennifer Larmore, Michael Volle, Klaus Florian Vogt, Philip Langridge and Gwynne Howell.
Lulu herself, murderous, man-eating and "the root of all evil" in the decidedly unliberated view of her young creator, the playwright Wedekind, was sung with bristling, vocal athleticism by Agneta Eichenholz, an ironic, icy half-smile constantly playing on her stunning, porcelain features. Musically, there was no lack of conviction. The production was another matter. Loy's stripped down anti-vision - men in suits against a grey screen, with one chair as a prop - must have been baffling to anyone lacking prior knowledge, and the amplified German dialogue intensified the sense of alienation and dislocation. Perhaps that was the point. It's a hard evening - some of the audience looked weak with the effort and there were empty seats after the interval. It's worth it for the extraordinary music of the last act, but afterwards you feel in need of something sweet and frothy with an umbrella, a straw and a cherry on top.»
«What we get is a wonderfully detailed account of this rich, teeming score from conductor Antonio Pappano. He, the cast and the orchestra have obviously prepared this formidably difficult music with great care, and the hard work shows in the diaphanous orchestral textures and the security of the singing. Perhaps Pappano's approach could have been more dramatically incisive, especially in the final scene where the music almost congeals as the tension ratchets up. Yet with so little intent, let alone intensity, coming back from the stage, it's easy to understand why he seemed to be holding back.»
Já a mise-en-scène... não leva a melhor:
«Some directors have sought to soften its edges with comedy or lard it with visual glamour, but Christof Loy's new production rigorously refuses any such sentimental concession or moral compromise: his interpretation is bleak, raw and ice-cold.»
Para os que – como eu, infelizmente – não podem deslocar-se a Londres, movidos por esta Lulu, aqui ficam duas indispensáveis leituras da ópera: a áudio, completada post mortem por F. Cerha, com a fantástica Stratas, sob a direcção de Boulez, e a vídeo, por Schäfer, Schäfer, Schäfer, Schäfer e G. Vick.