To La Monnaie this evening to see Krzysztof Warlikowski’s version of Alban Berg’s Lulu. This is the third Warlikowski production we have seen at La Monnaie, following on from Medée and Macbeth. When I think back to what I wrote in my previous posts, I could see echoes, particularly the distraction of what I call recurring visual ‘gadgets’ (among them, cigarettes, Lolita-style sunglasses, ‘singers getting undressed down to their underwear’, gratuitous vulgarity, glass boxes and visual references to iconic films and characters – on this occasion, notably, Heath Ledger’s Joker). But the similarities also included courageously bold risk-taking, a lavish production and superlative singing and acting. Indeed, Warlikowski’s bold risk-taking has on this occasion paid off royally. In the first place, whilst respecting and reinforcing the plot line of Wedekind’s original, he has successfully provided a convincing new take on the story. In the second place, he has, counter-intuitively, confronted a notoriously complex work (both in terms of plot and music) with further complexity and it works, because the basic plot line is respected throughout. The whole cast acted and sung well but Barbara Hannigan, in the title role this evening, was outstanding, convincingly depicting Berg’s femme fatale as truly mad, bad and dangerous to know.