Login      
Elektra
PREMIERE1/25/1909 — Königliches Opernhaus (Dresden)
COMPOSERRichard Strauss   
LIBRETTISTHugo von Hoffmannsthal   
 
Synopsis

Elektra, Op. 58, is a one-act opera by Richard Strauss, to a German-language libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, which he adapted from his 1903 drama Elektra. The opera was the first of many collaborations between Strauss and Hofmannsthal. It was first performed at the Königliches Opernhaus on 25 January 1909. It was dedicated to his friends Natalie and Willy Levin.

While based on ancient Greek mythology and Sophocles' tragedy Electra, the opera is highly modernist and expressionist in style. Hofmannsthal's and Strauss's adaptation of the story focuses tightly on Elektra, thoroughly developing her character by single-mindedly expressing her emotions and psychology as she meets with other characters, mostly one at a time. (The order of these conversations closely follows Sophocles' play.) The other characters are Klytaemnestra, her mother and one of the murderers of her father Agamemnon; her sister, Chrysothemis; her brother, Orestes; and Klytaemnestra's lover, Aegisthus.

Various aspects from the myth are minimized as background to Elektra's character and her obsession. Other facets of the ancient story are completely excluded, in particular the earlier sacrifice by Agamemnon of his and Klytaemnestra's daughter Iphigenia, which was the motivation for Klytaemnestra's subsequent murder of Agamemnon. These changes tightened the focus on Elektra's furious lust for revenge. The result is a very modern, expressionistic retelling of the ancient Greek myth. Compared to Sophocles's Electra, the opera presents raw, brutal, violent, and bloodthirsty horror. Some scholars detect hints of incest in Elektra's dysfunctional family relationships. Norwegian musicologist Ståle Wikshåland has analysed the use of time and temporality in the dramaturgy of Elektra.

Elektra is the second of Strauss's two highly modernist operas (the other being Salome), characterized by cacophonous sections and atonal leitmotifs. These works contrast highly with his earliest operas and his later period. The reception of Elektra in German-speaking countries was mostly divided along traditionalist and modernist lines.

MOST PRODUCED SINCE 2000
RANKTITLEPRODUCTIONS
71Elektra26
71Elektra26
71Manon26
71Siegfried26
75Götterdämmerung25
76La clemenza di Tito23

View Technical/Production Listing for this title
Don’t see your company’s next performance?
Join OPERA America as an Organizational Member to post your productions to the National Opera Calendar and Performance Database. Learn more.

 
STORED ADMIN COOKIE *
actor id: 0
name:
company:
email
ind id: 0
memb level: 0
expiration date: 12:00:00 AM
current url: /Applications/schedule/details.aspx
Login As
* Visible only to OPERA America Administrators for testing purposes. Shows security cookie contents.
 
 
————
National Opera Center
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
212.796.8620   •   Info@operamerica.com
CONNECT WITH US
                 

PARTNERS
 
Terms of Service   •   Privacy Policy   •   Copyright Policy   © Copyright 1995–2022 OPERA America Inc.