Mon | Sep 25, 2017

'Elektra' at Carib 5 tomorrow

Published:Friday | April 29, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Nina Stemme (standing) in the title role and Eric Owens as Orest in Richard Strauss' Elektra.
Waltraud Meier as Klytämnestra.
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"A landmark of contemporary opera staging ... Nothing prepared me for the seething intensity, psychological insight and sheer theatrical inventiveness of this production."

- New York Times

"Magnificent...Shattering."

- New York Observer

Tomorrow, director Patrice Chereau's new production of Richard Strauss' Elektra is LIVE in HD, direct from the Met Opera in New York. It begins 11:55 am at Carib 5.

Strauss' blazing tragedy about an ancient Greek princess hell-bent on revenge comes to the Met in the final opera production by legendary director Patrice Chereau, who died in 2013. Esa-Pekka Salonen, who made a riveting Met debut leading Chereau's production of Janacek's From the House of the Dead in 2009, returns to conduct an extraordinary cast. It is headed by Nina Stemme as the obsessed and bloodthirsty title character. Waltraud Meier sings her first Met performance of Klytamnestra, Elektra's mother and the object of her fury, with Adrianne Pieczonka as Elektra's sister, Chrysothemis. Eric Owens is her exiled brother, Orest, and German tenor Burkhard Ulrich in his Met debut, is the corrupt monarch Aegisth.

Shortly after conquering the opera world with his scandalous masterpiece, Salome, Richard Strauss turned to Hugo von Hofmannsthal's recent adaptation of Sophocles' 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.

It opens in the courtyard of the Palace of Mycenae. The servants are wondering whether Elektra will be grieving over her father, as is her daily ritual. The daughter of King Agamemnon and Klytamnestra, Elektra, appears and locks herself up in solitude straight away. The servants all criticise and mock her, except for one who defends her.

Elektra remembers how Agamemnon was assassinated upon his return from Troy, slain with an axe by Klytamnestra and her lover, Aegisth. Devastated with grief, Elektra is obsessed with the revenge she intends to take along with her sister, Chrysothemis, and brother, Orest. The latter grew up far away from the palace, and Elektra is keenly waiting for him day after day.

Chrysothemis interrupts Elektra, who is caught up in her thoughts, and warns her that Klytamnestra and Aegisth have decided to lock her up in a tower. Chrysothemis asks her sister to renounce vengeance and let life take over again. Elektra rejects the idea with disdain.

Tickets are on sale for The Met Opera's 2015-16 season at the box offices of participating cinemas, and via the web at www.palaceamusement.com with a Palace Card.