This season soprano Iwona Sobotka takes centre-stage of Barbican Centre for a powerful account of Berg’s Lulu Suite in a programme also featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The program will also be presented in Elbphilharmonie and Baden-Baden Festspiele.
A haunting portrait of the darker aspects of human nature, Berg’s Suite condenses the story of his opera Lulu. In Paris, the fatally charming Lulu rises through society as a dancer and artists’ muse before travelling to London, where she meets her demise at the hands of Jack the Ripper.
Beethoven’s final Symphony spans a journey from turmoil to transcendence, an inescapable classic not just because of its historical resonance, but because it sounds so terrifically good. In its closing moments, the traditional finale of a Classical symphony is supplanted by a musical miscellany reaching back to genres from across history, culminating with a choral fantasia based on the words of Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy.