Metropolitan Opera brings lesbian heroine Lulu back

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 20 2001 11:00 PM ET

Lulu, the Alan Berg (Wozzeck) opera that has been absent from the Metropolitan Opera for 13 seasons, is scheduled for five performances this season. The production features German soprano Christine Schafer in the lead as a woman who causes the death of three husbands, commits adultery, and carries on a lesbian relationship on the side. Though Lulu claims, “I have never pretended to be anything but what men see in me,” when it turns out that all they see is sex, she turns for emotional fulfillment to the one person who views her with more than lust, the Countess Geschwitz (Hanna Schwarz). Lulu, which was incomplete but fully sketched out when the composer died in 1935, has long been considered to contain one of the most unsympathetic leading ladies in the operatic canon.