Fri, 20. Oct 2023, 19:30
Like a call issuing from a mythical distant past, Richard Strauss’ »Elektra« summons the magic of eerie gloom and archaic brutality. An almost inevitable »tremendous increase to the very end« (Strauss) in musical tension plunges the listener deep into Electra’s world, which is shaped by grief, pain, and thirst for vengeance. Humiliated and tormented by her family, Electra, the daughter of the king of Mycenae, devotes her life to a single obsessive goal: day in and day out, she invokes the memory of her father, who was murdered treacherously by her mother Clytemnestra and Clytemnestra’s lover Aegisthus, and she waits for the return of her brother Orestes, who is supposed to avenge his father’s murder. The deed must be paid back in kind. Vacillating between hatred, hysteria, weakness, hubris, deep sadness, obsession and sarcasm, Electra has lost every connection to the people around her. She is unkempt and has rejected her femininity.
In his monumental one-act opera for dramatic voices and a giant orchestra, inspired by the powerful eloquence of his perfectly matched librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, the fin-de-siècle composer created a musical and psychological portrait that is extremely stirring in its expressiveness and overpowering in its tonal force. In Strauss’s own words, it brought him to the utmost limits of »psychological polyphony«
approx. 1:45 hr – without interval