Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin
The cast of Wiener Staatsoper’s first-ever performance of Lulu in 1968 reads like a Who’s Who of then-contemporary Austro-German opera: the 28-year-old Anja Silja, Martha Mödl, Waldemar Kmentt, Hans Hotter, Hilde Konetzni, Manfred Jungwirth, Heinz Zednik, and Karl Böhm presiding over a production by Otto Schenk.
Berlioz apparently couldn’t decide if his was an oratorio or an opera, so he labeled it a “légende dramatique.” Since its 1846 Paris premiere, it remains on both opera stages and in concert halls, with its first Met staging in 1906.
When Neil Shicoff celebrated the 40th anniversary of his 1975 stage debut as Ernani in Cincinnati, no one had any idea that it would, essentially, mark the end of his career. In 2014 he added the roles of Canio (at Wiener Staatsoper) and Calaf (at Volksoper Wien) to his repertoire to great acclaim.
Where were you in 1975?