Roman Synakewicz
ifk Junior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2019 bis 30. June 2020

“A most daring operetta”: Gender and Cultural Transfer in Olga Neuwirth’s American Lulu


This dissertation project pinpoints the relevance of intertextuality and social discourse in Olga Neuwirth’s American Lulu, a specific example of contemporary music theatre that critically refers both to the reception of art and to current political issues. How does the opera, which claims an explicitly feminine perspective on the Lulu subject, fit into existing discourses on gender and cultural transfer? To answer this question the project relies on a detailed intertextual analysis of the opera’s formal properties and relevant sociocultural circumstances, as well as reception and genre histories.


Roman Synakewicz studied Musicology at the Humboldt University Berlin and Newcastle University. His Master’s thesis on polysystematic notation analyzed the characteristics and usage of new notation types for string instruments in contemporary music. During this time, he also took extracurricular lessons in composition with Helmut Zapf. After moving to Vienna toward the end of his Master’s studies, he worked as proofreader for the complete edition of the Alban Berg foundation and as assistant manager for the Orchester Wiener Akademie. In 2019 he began doctoral studies on gender, cultural transfer, and intertextuality in Olga Neuwirth’s American Lulu at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.


„Fidelio-Netzwerke“, in: Julia Ackermann und Melanie Unseld (Hg.), BEETHOVEN.AN.DENKEN – Das Theater an der Wien als Erinnerungsort, Wien 2020

22 June 2020
  • Lecture

„American Lulu“: Mediale Transformationsprozesse im Musiktheater

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Welche Herausforderungen stellt die Praktik des Adaptierens an ein intermediales Kunstwerk? Wie zeigt sich das Spannungsverhältnis zwischen medialem und kulturellem Transfer in Olga Neuwirths Musiktheater?