Photo: Dominic Photography
Royal Opera House
Elektra (1906-8)Duration: 100 minutes
Tragedy in one act
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal (G,Cz,E,F,I)
Major roles: 2dramS,M,T,Bar; minor roles: 5S,2M,A,T,2B,mimes; chorus 3(III=picc).picc.3(III=corA).heckelphone.4.Ebcl.2bhn.bcl.3.dbn- 8(V-VIII=ttba).6.btpt.4.1-timp(2).perc(3-4):glsp/tgl/ tamb/SD/whip/cyms/BD/tam-t-cel-2harp-strings(vln8.8.8, vla6(=vlnIV).6.6,vlc6.6,db8)
Reduced scoring: 3(II,III=picc).3(III=corA).3(III=Ebcl).bcl.3(III=dbn) -188.8.131.52-timp.perc:glsp/tgl/tamb/SD/whip/cyms/BD(with cym)/tam-t/2cast- 2harp-strings(vln8.8.8,vla6(=vlnIV).6.6,vlc6.6,db8).
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for all countries except Germany, Italy, Portugal, Danzig, and the former territories of the USSR.
Conductor: Ernst von Schuch
Company: Dresden Hofoper
|KLYTEMNESTRA, widow of Agamemnon||Mezzo Soprano|
|ELEKTRA, daughter of Klytemnestra||Soprano|
|CHRYSOTHEMIS, daughter of Klytemnestra||Soprano|
|AEGISTH, Klytemnestra's paramour||Tenor|
|OREST, son of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra||Baritone|
|Tutor to Orest||Baritone|
|Confidante of Klytemnestra||Soprano|
|Trainbearer of Klytemnestra||Soprano|
|2nd and 3rd Maids||2 Mezzo Sopranos|
|Chorus of servants||chorus|
Time and Place
Maids try to wash away the blood in the palace where Agamemnon was murdered by his wife Klytämnestra and her lover Aegisth. The princess Elektra, in dishevilled state, enters the courtyard for her daily ritual of lamenting her dead father. She swears vengeance and awaits the return of her brother Orest to enact the deed. Her sister Chrysothemis warns her of the royal couple's plans to imprison Elektra and describes her yearning for motherhood. Elektra scorns her and, on hearing that Klytämnestra suffers nightmares of vengeance, is determined to confront their mother. Feigning a reconciliatory tone, Elektra gains Klytämnestra's confidence, and they remember happier times when Agamemnon was alive. The Queen, plagued physically and mentally, begs her daughter to help but Elektra promises that only death can bring relief and describes how Agememnon's murder will be avenged. Klytämnestra receives a message and leaves with joyous laughter. Chysothemis returns to tell Elektra that two strangers have arrived with news of the death of Orest. Elektra demands that the two sisters carry out the deed themselves but Chrysothemis refuses. Alone, Elektra digs up the axe that murdered her father. One of the strangers reveals himself as Orest, and brother and sister are reunited. Orest enters the palace and Klytämnestra's death cries are heard. Aegisth returns and Elektra lights his way into the palace to meet his doom. As the court celebrates the return of Orest, Elektra dances in triumph and falls lifeless to the ground. Chrysothemis hammers on the closed doors of the palace calling her brother's name.
History, Mythology, Relationships, Literary
Birgit Nilsson, Regina Resnik, Marie Collier, Gerhard Stolze, Tom Krause, Tugomir Franc, Margareta Sjöstedt, Margarita Lilowa, Gerhard Unger, Leo Heppe, Pauline Tinsley, Helen Watts, Maureen Lehane, Yvonne Minton, Jane Cook, Felicia Weathers, Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti