American soprano Laura Aikin -- who locked & loaded the smoking barrel of her sawed-off shotgun as lead Lulu last night at Teatro alla Scala's premiere -- spoke to Milan-based daily, Corriere della Sera last week about singing the ferocious protagonist of Alban Berg's last opera (Opera Chic was there -- you weren't -- full review coming tomorrow).
In an article titled, "Ho l'energia di Lulu ma non le somiglio" ("I have the energy of Lulu but I'm not like her") Aikin spoke about the tragic heroine of Berg’s modern opera and Scala’s Peter Stein Lulu production that was conducted by Milanese Maestro, Daniele Gatti (despite the fact that his beloved Inter was simultaneously going head-2-head in a Champions League match with Moscow).
For this staging, German theater and opera director Peter Stein imagined his Lulu like the epic protagonist of G.W. Pabst's films, (can't forget Pandora's Box): Louise Brooks with her iconic black bob, which Aikin affected onstage. All translations copyright Opera Chic k thnx!
On conductor Daniele Gatti and Berg’s composition: “I tremendously like his interpretation: romantic and passionate" […] “Berg always kept in mind the personalities of his characters -- lethal and destructive, innocent and corrupt – and his music is intrinsic to these contrasts, it's passionate and overwhelming.”
Is Lulu a symbol of a new and dangerous form of femininity?: "At this point it's already the fifth time I've sung Lulu and the character never ceases to amaze me. Lulu isn't the most beautiful woman in the world, but the men that she's with see it like that. She comes from nothing, born into poverty, she could have had it all, but she throws it all away. The bourgeois world doesn't interest her and a sense of normality even less. She wants to live dangerously, to carry the utter ruin to the people she's around...she likes sex, she uses it with the maximum freedom and aggressiveness, without consequences). Men she takes, leaves, and manipulates. But in the end she's the victim."
Is she an abstract archetype or real? "She's totally real. The readings of Peter Stein rigorous and intense, emphasize this depiction. Lulu is flesh and blood."
And have you ever tried to open Pandora's box? "Luckily I can do it on the stage. I'm not at all like Lulu in my real life. I've been married for sixteen years to a Milanese lawyer, Gianluca Pojaghi, and we have two gorgeous kids, Marcello and Virginia. Virginia's only five years old but she loves to come with me to the opera houses. She followed me to the Lulu rehearsals and sat on Stein's knee. To listen to Berg for her is normal, like a sweet song."