opera by Richard Strauss

Performed in German (the performance will have synchronised Russian and English supertitles)

World premiere: 25 January 1909, Semperoper, Dresden
Russian premiere and premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 18 February 1913
Premiere of this production: 6 May 2007

Running time 1 hours 55 minutes
The performance without an interval

Age category: 16+


Music by Richard Strauss
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: Jonathan Kent
Production Designer and Costume Designer: Paul Brown
Lighting Designer: Tim Mitchell
Lighting Adaptation for the Mariinsky II by Andrei Ponizovsky and Yegor Kartashov
Musical Preparation: Marina Mishuk
Principal Chorus Master: Konstantin Rylov


All of Elektra´s thoughts are focussed on avenging the death of her father Agamemnon, killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisth. She avoids all communication with the murderers, patiently bearing the cruel treatment of her stepfather and the servants´ ridicule; she lives among the dogs and remains true to her decision to be a living reproof in this house, where the crime was committed. She awaits her brother Orest and hopes he will punish the evil couple. With a threatening expression on her face she openly declares to Clytemnestra that all her thoughts and desires are aimed at killing her and Aegisth with Orest´s help. At the same time two travellers arrive with news of Orest´s death. Elektra then begs her sister Chrysothemis to help her in her mission of revenge but Chrysothemis pulls away in terror. Elektra is filled with determination to carry out her plan alone and digs up the axe with which Aegisth killed Agamemnon. A stranger enters. Although his unusual tone initially troubles Elektra, she soon recognises him to be her brother when the old servants fall at his knees. One calls on Orest to act, and together they enter the queen´s palace. In a state of extreme anxiety, Elektra keeps watch at the gates and runs back and forth like a caged animal. Clytemnestra´s piercing scream is heard from inside the palace. When Aegisth returns home, with sly cordiality Elektra meets him and tells him that there are two messengers in the palace with "the mistress" who have brought news of Orest´s death. Aegisth enters the palace where Orest kills him. In ecstasy, Elektra begins a triumphant dance. "Those as happy as we can only be silent and dance!" She makes a few convulsive movements and then falls to the ground, lifeless.

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