Free Spirits

"The first of our themed seasons brings together two of the greatest operas of the 20th century, Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen and Berg’s Lulu.

Both works study a free spirit who exists outside the boundaries of social morality, and therefore poses a threat to that morality. Inevitably, she ends up dead, as the alternative would be the collapse of society itself. What is riveting about the pairing of these pieces is that they were composed within a decade of each other by two men living less than 100 miles apart treating, in essence, the same subject but coming to radically opposite conclusions."

David Pountney

Download David Pountney's Free Spirits essay Two bad sisters: Lulu and Vixen Sharp Ears


The Free Spirits in the brochure are, starting from the top left hand corner, Anna Ahkmatova, Josephine Baker, Louise Brooks, Virginia Woolf, Leonora Fini, Lotte Lenya, Alma Mahler, Leonora Carrington and finally, Mae West.