Tragedy in one act
Composer Richard Strauss · Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
In German without surtitles
Saturday, 02. February 2008
08:00 pm – 09:50 pm
Duration est. 1 hours 50 minutes
Prices IDownload Cast List (PDF) To List of Performances
- Musikalische Leitung
- Johannes Debus
- Inszenierung, Bühne, Kostüme, Licht
- Herbert Wernicke
- Sören Eckhoff
- Agnes Baltsa
- Gabriele Schnaut
- Ricarda Merbeth
- Reiner Goldberg
- Gerd Grochowski
- Der Pfleger des Orest
- Andreas Kohn
- Die Vertraute
- Anita-Roseanne Salven
- Die Schleppträgerin
- Elif Aytekin
- Ein junger Diener
- Kenneth Roberson
- Ein alter Diener
- Rüdiger Trebes
- Die Aufseherin
- Irmgard Vilsmaier
- Erste Magd
- Cynthia Jansen
- Zweite Magd
- Helena Jungwirth
- Dritte Magd
- Heike Grötzinger
- Vierte Magd
- Lana Kos
- Fünfte Magd
- Edith Haller
- Bayerisches Staatsorchester
- Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
Elektra's father: murdered. Her mother and her paramour Ägisth were his murderers. The disheveled Elektra is determined to avenge the parricide. She has the axe for the deed but not the strength. Then her brother Orest appears … Armor-plated emotions! – whipped up by a gigantic orchestra. An aristocratic cast of singers. An enthusiastically cheered staging by Herbert Wernicke. A shattering drama of the Soul.
On his return from the Trojan War, King Agamemnon was murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, wishes to avenge her murdered father. She is awaiting the return of her brother, Orestes, who was removed from the court as a child after the murder of his father.
The maids taunt and jeer at Electra, who is forced to live as an outcast before the palace gates. The only one to remain loyal to her is the youngest of the maids, who is abused by the others as a result. Electra invokes the ghost of her dead father and conjures up the image of his murder before her mind’s eye. She has a vision of the day on which she and Orestes will have their bloody revenge.
Her sister, Chrysothemis, warns Electra that their mother, Clytemnestra, is planning to have her locked up. Chrysothemis, who longs passionately for love and a life of fulfilment, is afraid that she might meet with a similar fate. She blames her sister for the situation in which they both find themselves. Clytemnestra is tortured by nightmares in which Orestes appears to avenge his father. She approaches her daughter, hoping that Electra will say something to stop her having these dreams. She does not, however, understand what Electra means when the latter tells her that she will no longer be plagued by these nightmares once the right person has been killed by the axe. Just as Electra, overcome by hate, flings her plans for revenge in her mother’s face, the Queen receives the news of Orestes' death. She laughs at her daughter scornfully and disappears into the palace.
Electra is now determined to carry out her plan for revenge on Clytemnestra and Aegisthus with the sole help of Chrysothemis. But Chrysothemis refuses to become involved.
A stranger now appears, claiming that he is the messenger who has come to inform the court of Orestes’ death. When Electra curses the messenger and announces who she is, the messenger reveals himself as Orestes. He has come to avenge their father. Before Electra can hand him the axe with which Agamemnon was slain and which she has kept for Orestes, he is called into the palace to appear before the Queen. The Queen’s scream, as she dies, release Electra from her suspense.
Aegisthus now returns. Electra greets him with feigned friendliness, confirms the news of Orestes’ death and accompanies Aegisthus into the palace, where Orestes awaits him.
In her joy at the vengeance which has been wreaked, Electra is hardly aware of Chrysothemis when the latter comes to tell her that Orestes has arrived and has killed Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.
Translation: Susan Bollinger
© Bayerische Staatsoper
Premiere of Richard Strauss' "Elektra" on October 27, 1997 in the Nationaltheater
Elektra in München
* Reihenfolge der Partien: Elektra, Chrysothemis, Klytämnestra, Orest, Aegisth
ML = Musikalische Leitung, IN = Inszenierung, BB = Bühnenbild, KM = Kostüme
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Hof- und Nationaltheater
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ML Georg Solti, IN Heinz Arnold, BB Helmut Jürgens, KM Rosemarie Jakameit
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ML Joseph Keilberth, IN Hans Hartleb, BB Helmut Jürgens, KM Liselotte Erler
Astrid Varnay, Hildegard Hillebrecht, Jean Madeira, Hans Günter Nöcker, Fritz Uhl
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ML Wolfgang Sawallisch, IN Günther Rennert, BB und KM Rudolf Heinrich
Danica Mastilovic, Claire Watson, Astrid Varnay, Franz Crass, Fritz Uhl
Herbert Wernicke studierte Musik in Braunschweig und an der Akademie der Bildenden Künste in München. Nach ersten Regiearbeiten für das Schauspiel in Darmstadt inszenierte er dort 1978 Händels Oratorium Belsazar. 1991 inszenierte er in Brüssel zum ersten Mal Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungen, seit 1993 bei den Salzburger Festspielen u. a. L’Orfeo, Boris Godunow, Der Rosenkavalier, Fidelio und Les Troyens. Weitere Engagements führten ihn an die Opernhäuser von Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, London, New York und zum Festival von Aix-en-Provence. An der Bayerischen Staatsoper inszenierte er Judas Maccabäus (1980), Der fliegende Holländer (1981), Elektra (1997) und Das Rheingold (2002). Seine Produktion Actus Tragicus am Basler Theater wurde 2001 mit dem Bayerischen Theaterpreis ausgezeichnet. Herbert Wernicke starb am 16. April 2002 im Alter von 56 Jahren in Basel während seiner Arbeit an Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungen an der Bayerischen Staatsoper.