Elektric depth virtually good at Covent Garden | Theatre | Entertainment | EUROtoday

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This notoriously tough and intense opera relies on a Greek fable and was first carried out in 1909 when Strauss was establishing himself because the pure successor to Wagner as the best and most modern opera composer of his age.

The story centres on an epically dysfunctional household: Elektra is the daughter of Klytemnӓstra and King Agamemnon, commander of the Greeks through the Trojan War, however Klytemnӓstra had taken a brand new lover, Ägisth, and the 2 of them had murdered Agamemnon. Elektra had vowed revenge, for which she was demoted from Princess to servant, which is the state we see her in firstly of the opera.

To make household relationships even worse, Klytemnӓstra has exiled Elektra’s brother, Orest, although worry that he too will need to avenge Agamemnon’s demise, and Klytemnӓstra points orders for him too to be killed.

Indeed, the one character within the story who just isn’t below sentence of demise or eager to kill anybody is Elektra’s sister Chrysothemis, who simply desires to convey peace to the household.

Strauss matches the seething depth of the plot with music of giant energy, performed to perfection by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, brilliantly carried out by Antonio Pappano.

One of the principle duties of an opera conductor is to realize the best steadiness between the singers and the music itself, and Pappano at all times achieves this. The impact when the music carries as a lot emotional energy because the story could be beautiful and that’s achieved by the present Elektra.

The emotional climax of the story comes when Orest returns secretly from exile, intent of killing his mom and her lover. At first, he and Elektra don’t recognise one another, however the aid and triumph after they lastly achieve this is without doubt one of the strongest musical moments in any opera.

This mix of motion and music is what opera is all about, and the singers, the orchestra and Antonio Pappano all play their components in making it work completely.

Swedish soprano Nina Stemme handles the calls for of the massively demanding title position in spectacular type. Rarely off the stage and at all times taking part in a big half within the singing and motion, she by no means lets her dominating voice or highly effective performing capacity flag.

She receives wonderful help from Finnish soprano Karita Mattila because the evil Klytemnӓstra and from American soprano Sara Jakubiak as Chrysothemis.

With these three sopranos dominating proceedings, there was not a lot alternative for the opposite singers to make a terrific impression however Polish bass-baritone Łukasz Goliński gave a wonderful efficiency within the comparatively small position of Orest.

The German director Christof Loy clearly did a wonderful job to convey the very best out of the singers, however I used to be considerably confused by some points of his manufacturing. The set was clearly designed to match early twentieth century Vienna, the place the opera was written, relatively than historical Greece the place the story got here from.

There have been consequently some incongruencies, such because the juxtaposition of electrical lighting with burning torches. Performing historical myths in trendy costume additionally usually appears to be like unsuitable, specific when the soldiers are sporting dinner jackets.

However, these are solely minor quibbles hardly distracting from the spectacular singing and taking part in of a tough opera whose music is never carried out so successfully.

Box Office: roh.org.uk or 020 7304 4000 (varied dates till 30 January; tickets £49 to £200)

Photos: by Tristram Kenton ©ROH 2024