A production by Opera Vlaanderen and the Aalto Theater Essen, newly staged for Theater Basel. In German with German and English surtitles. Recommended ages: 14 and over
A gripping psychological thriller about revenge, obsession and madness. Richard Strauss’ masterpiece – following the cross art-form project the «Oresteia» and the drama «Idomeneus» last season – continues our examination of ancient myths including the figure of Elektra. Based on Hugo von Hofmannshtal’s play with the same title, the composer concentrates entirely on the myth’s female characters, tracing the depths within those characters’ souls with extreme expressivity and the archaic force of sound.
Blood demands blood: Elektra still has the treacherous murder of her father by her mother and her lover before her eyes. Ever since she has only thought of one thing – revenge. This she wishes to achieve with the help of her brother Orestes and longingly awaits his return. Her sister Chrysothemis is not the source of much help as she closes her eyes to the past, yearning for freedom and a normal «woman’s fate» as a wife with several children. But Elektra knows no future. All her thoughts are aimed at fulfilling her murderous plan for revenge.
«Families have their traumas. They are all perpetrators, they are all victims,» states the director David Bösch, showing in highly emotive images what oppressive and traumatic consequences the father’s murder has for the characters. Caught in the inescapable net of their own guilt-laden family, Elektra and her siblings are drawn ever deeper towards bloody revenge.
The conductor is Music Director Erik Nielsen, who has already proven his great love of the soundscapes of the early 20th century with «The Dead City».
Preisstufe VII (von 30.– bis 118.–)