Tragedy in one act - 1909

Composer Richard Strauss · Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
In German without surtitles due to the stage design.

Wednesday, 13. April 2016
07:30 pm – 09:20 pm

Duration est. 1 hours 50 minutes

Prices K , € - /- /- /- /- /- /- /10


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Simone Young
Production Assistant
Herbert Wernicke
Sören Eckhoff

Gabriele Schnaut
Evelyn Herlitzius
Edith Haller
Ulrich Reß
René Pape
Der Pfleger des Orest
Christoph Stephinger
Die Vertraute
Marzia Marzo
Die Schleppträgerin
Anna Rajah
Ein junger Diener
Matthew Grills
Ein alter Diener
Peter Lobert
Die Aufseherin
Helena Zubanovich
Erste Magd
Okka von der Damerau
Zweite Magd
Rachael Wilson
Dritte Magd
Heike Grötzinger
Vierte Magd
Eri Nakamura
Fünfte Magd
Golda Schultz
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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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

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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

14. Februar 1909
(Münchner Erstaufführung)

Hof- und Nationaltheater

ML Felix Mottl, IN Anton Fuchs, BB Richard Fischer, KM Hermann Buschbeck

Zdenka Faßbender, Maude Fay, Margarete Preuse-Matzenauer, Paul Bender, Raoul Walter *

10. Oktober 1927


ML Hans Knappertsbusch, IN Max Hofmüller, BB Adolf Linnebach

Gertrude Kappel, Felicie Hüni-Mihacsek, Hedwig Fichtmüller, Paul Bender, Fritz Fitzau

15. Januar 1952


ML Georg Solti, IN Heinz Arnold, BB Helmut Jürgens, KM Rosemarie Jakameit

Inge Borkh, Annelies Kupper, Res Fischer, Ferdinand Frantz, Franz Klarwein

11. August 1963


ML Joseph Keilberth, IN Hans Hartleb, BB Helmut Jürgens, KM Liselotte Erler

Astrid Varnay, Hildegard Hillebrecht, Jean Madeira, Hans Günter Nöcker, Fritz Uhl

19. Dezember 1972


ML Wolfgang Sawallisch, IN Günther Rennert, BB und KM Rudolf Heinrich

Danica Mastilovic, Claire Watson, Astrid Varnay, Franz Crass, Fritz Uhl


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Simone Young studierte in ihrer Heimatstadt Sydney Klavier und Komposition. Nach Stationen als Chefdirigentin des Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras und als Künstlerische Leiterin sowie Chefdirigentin an der Australian Opera in Sydney und Melbourne war sie von 2005 bis 2015 Intendantin der Staatsoper Hamburg und Generalmusikdirektorin des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Hamburg. Darüber hinaus gastierte sie an zahlreichen Opernhäusern, darunter die Wiener Staatsoper, die Opéra national de Paris, das Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, die Metropolitan Opera in New York und die Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. Neben ihrer umfangreichen Operntätigkeit dirigierte sie u.a. die Berliner, Wiener und Münchner Philharmoniker sowie das Klangforum Wien. (Stand: 2018)

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