Unusually for a violinist, Veronika Eberle has made her opera stage debut! For the new production of Alban Berg’s Lulu at the Staatsoper Hamburg, director Christoph Marthaler and conductor Kent Nagano have returned to the composer’s original manuscript of Act III, and rather than presenting it in the more familiar posthumous orchestration, it is instead stripped back to the piano short score left by Berg. Berg interrupted his work on the Lulu score to write his violin concerto, spurred on by the death of the 18 year old Manon Grupius, daughter of Alma Mahler, and dedicated it to her ‘in memory of an angel’. Although he completed the violin concerto, Berg died before he could return to the score of Lulu and in his production, Marthalar intertwines the two works, setting the complete violin concerto as an epilogue following Countess Geschwitz’s (Anne Sofie von Otter) final cries of ‘Lulu, my angel’.
Veronika Eberle, who had already appeared earlier in the opera as a violinist, performs the concerto from the stage, next to the lifeless body of Lulu (Barbara Hannigan).
“…die enorm talentierte und sichere deutsche Violin-Virtuosin Veronika Eberle den einsamen Geigenpart mit solcher Hingabe und sehnsuchtsvollem Ton, dass dies allein schon das Publikum mitreißt.” (Die Spiegel)
“Played here with great poise and emotion by Veronika Eberle, who had already appeared as an on-stage violinist at the beginning of the act, the effect was cathartic in coming to terms with the whole evening’s drama”. (Bachtrack.com)
Veronika performs with the cast of Lulu again on the 15 February. More information here.