Elektra (DVD) - Vienna State Opera
Composer: Richard Strauss
Record Date: 1989
Release Date: 2009
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera
Ensemble: Chorus of the Vienna State Opera
Label: Arthaus Musik
Region: Region Free, Worldwide
Shortly after conquering the opera world with his
scandalous masterpiece Salome, Richard Strauss turned to
Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s recent adaptation of Sophocles’s Electra for his next project. The resulting opera is an intense and still-startling work that unites the commanding impact of Greek tragedy with the unsettling insights of early-20th-century Freudian psychology. World premiere: Court Opera, Dresden, 1909. Met premiere: December 3, 1932.
Richard Strauss (1864–1949)
The story takes place in Mycenae, Greece, some years after the end of the Trojan War. This mythically resonant era has inspired opera composers for centuries. The Met’s production is set in an unspecified contemporary space.
Met performances of Elektra have been dominated by a succession of outstanding singing actresses who took on the tour-de-force title role: Rose in 1938, Astrid Varnay in 1952 and beginning in 1966, Birgit Nilsson. In the first few decades, Elektra frequently shared
the stage on double bills with such unlikely companions as
Gianni Schicchi, Pagliacci, or Menotti’s Amelia Goes to the Ball.
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