Richard Strauss’s thrilling and audacious adaptation of Greek tragedy receives a new staging by the award-winning Christof Loy. This uncompromising opera, about a daughter intent on bloody revenge and a mother driven to madness, has provoked critics to lively debate and both shocked and excited audiences since its 1909 premiere. Antonio Pappano conducts music that combines violence with episodes of exquisite tenderness in his first Strauss interpretation for The Royal Opera since 2002. The outstanding cast includes Swedish soprano Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde in last Season’s Der Ring des Nibelungen) in the title role, and Finnish soprano Karita Mattila in her role debut as the haunted queen Klytämnestra. They are joined by American soprano Sara Jakubiak, making her Royal Opera debut as Chrysothemis, German bass Christof Fischesser as Orest and American tenor Charles Workman as Ägisth.
Klytämnestra plotted with her lover Ägisth to murder her husband King Agamemnon. Her daughter Elektra sent her brother Orest away to protect him. She is now an outcast in her mother’s home, and her wild appearance and repeated honouring of her dead father provoke Klytämnestra’s anger. Elektra longs only for revenge, after which she will dance in triumph. Her sister Chrysothemis is desperate to escape from the palace and to find love. Klytämnestra is wracked with guilt and Elektra tells her it will only be assuaged by the queen’s own violent death. News comes that Orest is dead and Klytämnestra mocks her daughter. Then a mysterious man arrives at the court just as Elektra is planning to take revenge into her own hands.
Elektra recognizes the man as her brother, Orest. She is overjoyed. Orest begins to take his vengeance by brutally murdering his mother. Ägisth arrives, unaware of what is happening. Orest strikes him down too. Orest is acclaimed by the court and Elektra finally performs her dance of triumph, which comes to a deadly conclusion.
Elektra opens at the Royal Opera House on 29 May 2020, with subsequent performances on 2, 5, 8, 12, 15 and 18 June 2020. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas throughout the UK and further afield on Thursday 18 June 2020.
Position of Music Director Maestro Antonio Pappano generously supported by Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE.
Tickets available from the Royal Opera House website and Box Office