The Met: Live in HD – Elektra
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. The drama unfolds in a single act of rare vocal and orchestral power.
The genius director Patrice Chéreau (From the House of the Dead) didn’t live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the Met. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme—unmatched today in the heroic female roles of Strauss and Wagner—who portrays Elektra’s primal quest for vengeance for the murder of her father, Agamemnon. Legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as Elektra’s fearsome mother, Klytämnestra. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass-baritone Eric Owens are Elektra’s troubled siblings. Chéreau’s musical collaborator Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Strauss’s mighty take on Greek myth.
Learn before you go! Attend a free talk at these locations to join fellow opera lovers or learn more about this opera: April 26, 4 p.m. at Dirigo Pines; April 27, 5:30 p.m. at Brewer Public Library; and April 28, 5:30 p.m. at Orono Public Library.
Adults $25 / Seniors $20 / Students $10, prices include all fees.
And now a word from our blogger:
Once again the milk of human kindness is utterly depleted as the incorporation of tragedy predestines the outcome of an early twentieth century setting deep in the chasms of Greece. This is a most psychological thriller in its rarest form delving into the inner doldrums of the human mind. The story engages a primal scream for vengeance, murder, and the breaking of ones mental state, enough to enter into such a realm. Strauss elaborates this mythological masterpiece with an overwhelming onslaught of orchestral musical power, enticing the scenes and interpolating the unleashing of the masterful voices loosed within this entrancing tale which encompasses Elektra’s very soul to the brink at the edge of the world from where there is no return.