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Elektra (1981)

Richard Strauss' classic opera version of the ancient Greek tragedy about the princess Elektra, who dreams of avenging her father Agamemnon's murder by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Leonie Rysanek ...
Elektra
Astrid Varnay ...
Catarina Ligendza ...
Chrysothemis
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau ...
Hans Beirer ...
Aegist
Josef Greindl ...
Der Pfleger des Orest
Kurt Böhme ...
Ein alter Diener
Christopher Doig ...
Ein junger Diener
Olga Varia ...
Die Schleppenträgerin
Carmen Reppel ...
Die Vertraute
Colette Lorand ...
Die Aufseherin
Rolf Boysen ...
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Storyline

Richard Strauss' classic opera version of the ancient Greek tragedy about the princess Elektra, who dreams of avenging her father Agamemnon's murder by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover.

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Plot Keywords:

tragedy | german opera | opera | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama | Music

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1981 (West Germany)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Karl Böhm bei den Proben zu 'Elektra' (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Primal and ferocious
18 December 2003 | by (Oxford) – See all my reviews

I saw this performance of Strauss' "Elektra" when it premiered on television, and have not seen it since. It, nevertheless, made a profound impact on me. I am rarely impressed by "modern" re-imaginings of operas. Such productions are usually failures. The "innovative" elements tend to be aesthetically unappealing, and frequently distract from the music. Friedrich's version of "Elektra" is an exception.

The costumes and staging, in an abandoned factory if I remember correctly, give the production an apocalyptic feeling, which is appropriate, as the lives of the characters of the opera are being destroyed by their own actions. The director shows us their dark, violent, harsh world. He evokes the primal qualities present in myth, and creates a real sense of ferocity, which is rare in operatic productions. Such darkness and brutality might not be appealing to many viewers, but are in keeping with the sentiment of the story itself, and are effective here.

Although my memory of the production is fifteen years old now, as I recall, the performers are all very good. I was certainly impressed with them at the time I saw this production.


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