by Leighton Kerner
A visit to Lulu on April 12 at the Met suggested that Christine Schafer has most of the right stuff for the tremendous title role…The petite Austrian soprano invests the role’s often careening vocal line with telling touches of wiliness, nastiness, fear and longing… As for the others retained from last season’s cast, it was a case of previous virtues sustained and previous weaknesses repaired. James Courtney has brought new focus to his characterization of Dr. Schon and Jack the Ripper, and his singing of the dual roles seems tidier than last year. Hanna Schwarz has become a flawless Countess Geschwitz, handling her rich music with mastery and projecting the woman’s tragedy (Geschwitz dies for love of Lulu) without becoming maudlin. Franz Mazura’s Schigolch, David Kuebler’s Alva, Clifton Forbis’s Painter and Steven West’s Acrobat were all familiar and vivid…
The late John Dexter’s staging perfectly translated Berg’s instructions.