Richard Strauss (1864-1949) 


Opera in one act
Libretto by : Hugo von Hofmannsthal after Electra by Sophocle

Elektra : Evelyn Herlitzius
Klytämnestra : Waltraud Meier
Chrysothemis : Adrianne Pieczonka
Orest : Mikhail Petrenko

Orchestre de Paris
Conductor : Esa-Pekka Salonen

Stage direction : Patrice Chéreau

BAC410 / Opera recorded at the Aix-en-Provence Festival

Last production staged by Patrice Chéreau, this « Elektra » will remain as the main and most striking lyrical event of these last years in Aix-en-Provence.

In 1903, Richard Strauss attended a performance of Elektra, a play by the Viennese poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal based on the tragedy by Sophocles. Three years later, Strauss came to an understanding with Hofmannsthal on a lyric adaptation of the play. Even though tepidly received at its premiere on 25 January 1909 in Dresden, Elektra quickly won over audiences and today occupies an enviable place in the repertoire of opera houses the world over. With its clear-cut contrasts and telluric power, it is one of the most scathing masterpieces of the whole lyric repertoire.
Elektra comes in the wake of Salome with the same dimensions (a single act lasting approximately an hour and three-quarters), a story taking place in ancient times, extreme feelings, and devastating violence. Frenzied unity of place, time and action, with the drama unfolding in the courtyard of the palace in Mycenae, in real time. It tells how Electra, daughter of King Agamemnon, keeps alive the memory of her father, murdered upon his return from Troy by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, and dwells only on vengeance. And how this vengeance finally comes about.
This production is leaded by three amazing singers: the German soprano Evelyn Herlitzius gave a tremendous, never-to-be-forgotten account of the title role, Waltraud Meier portrays a human and chilling Clytemnestra and Adrianne Pieczonka is a fantastic Chrysothemis.
Everyone’s loneliness and intimate struggles are Patrice Chéreau’s favorites theatrical themes. With Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Orchestre de Paris, this production of Elektra becomes an unforgettable experience.

Teatro alla Scala (Milano) from 18th of may 2014 and then Metropolitan Opera (New York), Finnish National Opera (Helsinki), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin)

“Enlightening. Electriying Elektra”

“Patrice Chéreau’s staging of Strauss’s famously chilling opera is a triumph for Aix”

“Dance of Death”

  • Director: Stéphane Metge
  • Bonus: Interview with Patrice Chéreau
  • Length: 110 min + 23 min - Image: NTSC, colour, 16:9
  • Audio: PCM Stereo, 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: FR / ANGL / ALL / ITAL / ESP
  • Zones: All Zones - 1 disc(s) - Release date: