Animal trainer (prologue); bass
Walter, the Painter; tenor
Dr. Ludwig Schon, newspaper editor; baritone
Alwa, his son, playwright; tenor
Schigolch, an old man; bass
Countess Geschwitz; mezzo-soprano
In the prologue, an animal trainer introduces the story as if
it were taking place in a circus, with Lulu, one of the acts,
represented by a snake.
husband, Dr. Goll, dies, having had a heart attack at discovering
Lulu in a compromising situation with a painter. The painter marries
her, but commits suicide after her former lover, Dr. Schon, tells
him of her past. Lulu, by nowa theatrical dancer, torces Dr. Schon
to break off his engagement after threatening to elope with a
prince, who loves her.
Lulu has married Dr. Schon, she continues to receive numerous
admirers, including her husband's son, Alwa. Eventually, she causes
a confrontation, during which she shoots Dr. Schon dead.
months later, Lulu, about to be jailed tor murdering Dr. Schon,
is saved by the Countess Geschwitz who is in love with her, and
who arranges to smuggle herself into jail instead. Lulu seduces
Alwa and they decide to run away together.
Lulu escapes to London with Alwa, the Countess, and the elderly
mysterious Schigolch. After the market crash, she is reduced to
prostitution. One of her clients is Jack the Ripper, who kills
both Lulu and the Countess.
Alban Berg's death, the opera was left unfinished without the
complete orchestration, and performances were given with the two
completed acts and a conflation of the third, performed to the
music of the composer's tulu Suite. The main reason tor this was
the composer's widow, who refused to release the unpublished material.
In 1976, after her death, the opera was completed, with Friedrich
Cerha's orchestration. The first performance of the complete Lulu
took place in Paris in 1979.