Cleveland Orchestra’s “Censored: Art & Power” festival: Berg, Krenek, Antheil, Martinů, Schulhoff, local partners

Posted on: February 21, 2020

Barbara Hannigan in the title role of Alban Berg’s “Lulu” at Germany’s Hamburg State Opera, 2017 (photo by Monika Rittershaus). Hannigan will sing the role this May at the Cleveland Orchestra’s Censored: Art & Power festival.

This May, the Cleveland Orchestra will present Alban Berg’s 1937 opera Lulu as the centerpiece of its Censored: Art & Power festival, which will examine the role of art in society, government censorship, and prejudice—using as a starting point Nazi Germany’s oppression of the arts. Soprano Barbara Hannigan will sing the title role in Lulu, conducted by Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. Cleveland Orchestra concerts featuring repressed and forbidden musical styles will include Ernst Krenek’s Die Nachtigall (1931) with soprano Audrey Luna, Erwin Schulhoff’s Symphony No. 5, George Antheil’s Ballet mécanique (with film), and Bohuslav Martinů’s Jazz Suite (1928). Multiple cultural partners will participate in the festival. The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque will show G.W. Pabst’s 1929 film Pandora’s Box, which was inspired by the same plays that Berg adapted for his opera. A gallery talk at the Cleveland Museum of Art will spotlight artists featured in Germany’s 1937 Degenerate Art Exhibition. The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage will host lectures, readings, and musical performances. Facing History and Ourselves—a nonprofit that uses history to challenge teachers and students to stand up to bigotry—will provide a reading and resource list influenced by the themes of Censored: Art & Power to educators.