Elektra by Richard Strauss
conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen — stage director Patrice Chéreau
Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Tragedy in one act
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Created on the 25th January 1909 at the Semperoper in Dresden
“Agamemnon!” Elektra’s father’s name escapes her lips in a choked cry as she is overwhelmed with grief. Since her father was assassinated by her mother, Elektra cannot escape her despair, calling out for him is her only solace. Consumed with nothing but the idea of revenge, she awaits the return of her brother Orest, for it is his destiny to avenge the murder of their father, albeit it a destiny that goes against nature. From this, Sophocles created a tragedy that was then revisited by Hugo von Hofmannsthal in the early 20th century, who saw in the classical myth the relevance it holds for the human psyche. From this universal and intimate call, Richart Strauss created a striking opera with an explosive musical score. Feverish suspense and irrepressible violence are packed into one act with the help of an agitated yet refined orchestra and female voices that evoke the immense distress of a family torn apart by violence. Loneliness and violence are at the heart of this theatrical piece by Patrice Chéreau. Together with the conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, they bring to life Elektra’s mad scramble and her lyrical cry.