Berg’s Opera Lulu and its Place in Germany’s Weimar Republic

Instructor:  Richard Brown

  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019
  • 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Bring a bag lunch

Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, first performed in 1925, secured his place in the highest ranks of composers of that time and place. His second opera, Lulu, has since sealed that place. Begun in 1928 it remained unfinished at his death in 1935. Its first performance, still unfinished, was in 1937. Berg’s orchestral sketches for the final act were eventually completed by Friedrech Cerha in 1976 and its first complete performance was given at the Paris Opera by Pierre Boulez in 1979. Its disturbingly realistic story and powerful score reveal much about this chaotic and highly creative time in Germany. The parallels to today’s world as well as its equally creative intensity are worth exploring.

Richard E. Brown is a retired music teacher, having spent thirty-nine years in the public schools of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. He holds a BME from Boston University and a MA in music history and theory from the University of Connecticut. He has also taught at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, The University of Maine, and Senior College in Belfast, Maine. He and his wife Diana, a retired music teacher and a professional flutist, moved to Stockton Springs, Maine in July of 1998.