Opera Scotland

Pierrot Lunaire Pierrot by Moonlight


Arnold Schoenberg (born Vienna, 13 September 1874; died Los Angeles, 13 July 1951)


Cycle of poems (1884) by Albert Giraud, in German translation by Otto Erich Hartleben.



First Performance: Berlin (Choralion-Saal), 16 October 1912.

First Performance in UK: tbc.

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh 1964.



It is definitely stretching the definition of opera to allow Pierrot Lunaire, even if we do include others of Schoenberg's works for solo voice, such as Erwartung. However it is traditionally performed in pierrot costume and sometimes by a singer/reciter and a mime artist, so may perhaps just be included among music-theatre works. Described as a Melodrama for voice and chamber ensemble, after a sticky start, Pierrot Lunaire enjoyed a scandalous success at its first performance in Berlin. It is one of the earliest examples of 'sprechgesang', or 'speech song', and combines new forms of atonal music with cabaret-style performance.

The Cast

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