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ELEKTRA, Vienna State Opera , 23 June 2017
Event DetailsCategory: Operas Event: ELEKTRA Date/Time: 23 June 2017 Venue: Vienna State Opera Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Wien / Vienna (Map)
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Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, and his wife Clytemnestra have four children: Iphigenia, Electra, Chrysothemis and Orestes. When the Greek fleet is ready to set sail for Troy, a calm keeps the ships in port. Agamemnon must sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to appease the goddess Artemis so that she will create favourable winds for his journey. Clytemnestra will never forgive her husband for this. During Agamemnon's absence fighting for Troy, Clytemnestra enters into a relationship with Aegisthus. When Agamemnon returns home, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus feign a joyous welcome. They then murder the defenceless man with an axe as he sits in his bath. After her father is murdered, Electra succeeds in bringing her young brother to safety. She herself nurses one thought: to avenge the murder.
Electra has dissociated herself from society and above all from Aegisthus and Clytemnestra; she lives in isolation, bound in her thoughts to Agamemnon. She unrelentingly nurtures her hate, counting on Orestes' return to avenge the murder. The five maid servants, supervised by the overseer, comment on Electra's behaviour: spiteful, pretentious, fearful. Only the youngest maid servant stands up for Electra and is chastened for doing so.
Electra invokes Agamemnon and goes into raptures over her bloody vision. Chrysothemis interrupts Electra's monologue and warns her sister: Aegisthus and Clytemnestra are planning to incarcerate her in a tower. When Chrysothemis implies that she will come to terms with them in order to realize her desire to be a mother, Electra scornfully puts her in her place.
Plagued by memories and anxiety dreams, the restless Clytemnestra tries to talk to Electra, hoping to find out from her what blood sacrifice or rites would bring her relief. Electra responds tantalizingly, enigmatically, cryptically, and frightens her mother with questions about Orestes. However, when Clytemnestra is brought news by her confidante, her dread gives way to an obvious sense of triumph. Electra is annoyed, until she learns the news from Chrysothemis – their brother Orestes is dead. Electra refuses to believe it, but must then give credence to the messenger's report. She decides to wreak vengeance herself, and determines that Chrysothemis should help her.
With tenderness and outward affection, Electra tries to win her sister's support for her plan to murder Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. However, Chrysothemis evades her sister, who curses her. Now Electra is resolved to perform the deed herself. A stranger arrives, passing himself off as a messenger who has come to tell Clytemnestra of the death of Orestes. Electra's despair moves him to ask her name. Only then does he reveal that he is her brother – Orestes! Electra urges him to murder the couple to avenge his father, a deed Orestes pledges to carry out swiftly.
Left alone, Elektra awaits further events ... Clytemnestra's death screams and the confusion of the maid servants assure her that revenge has in part been exacted.
Aegisthus, fetched by the servants, wants to hear the news of Orestes' death himself. With flattering words, Electra guides him to the place where she knows the avenger to be, who kills him shortly thereafter.
Consumed with joy that revenge has been exacted, Electra begins a last ecstatic dance.
Last update: 18 January 2017
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