Strauss : Elektra

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Last production staged by Patrice Chéreau, this Elektra (Richard Strauss), filmed in Aix-en-Provence and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, was one of the main lyrical events of the decade.


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Strauss : Elektra

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 Elektra, 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 led 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.


Strauss : Elektra [DVD & Blu-ray]

Opera in one act
: Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Libretto : Hugo von Hofmannsthal after Sophocles’ Elektra

Elektra Evelyn Herlitzius
Klytämnestra Waltraud Meier
Chrysothemis Adrianne Pieczonka
Orest Mikhail Petrenko
Aegisth Tom Randle
Der Pfleger des Orest Franz Mazura
Ein junger Diener Florian Hoffmann
Ein alter Diener Donald McIntyre
Die Aufseherin / Die Vertraute Renate Behle
Erste Magd Bonita Hyman
Zweite Magd / Die Schleppträgerin Andrea Hill
Dritte Magd Silvia Hablowetz
Vierte Magd Marie-Eve Munger
Fünfte Magd Roberta Alexander

Coro Gulbenkian

Orchestre de Paris
Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Stage direction : Patrice Chéreau

Image gallery

“Enlightening. Electriying Elektra” – Classics Today

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

“Dance of Death” – The New Yorker

Technical informations

HD recording : Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Théâtre de l’Archevêché) | 07/2013
TV direction : Stéphane Metge
Release date : 25 May 2014
Distribution : Naxos Distribution

: BAC110
Duration : 133 min
Film : 110 min
Bonus : Interview avec Patrice Chéreau (23 min.)
Subtitles : ITAL / FR / ANGL / ALL / ESP
Booklet : FR / ANGL / ALL
Image : Color, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Region code : 0

Reference : BAC410
Duration : 133 min
Film : 110 min
Bonus : Interview avec Patrice Chéreau (23 min.)
Subtitles : ITAL / FR / ANGL / ALL / ESP
Booklet : FR / ANGL / ALL
Image : Couleur, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, DTS HD Master audio 5.1
Region code : A, B, C

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