"Calm returns, but in the depths of my heart,Alas, the storm rages on. Alas, the storm rages on."
Iphigénie, Acte I
In order to fulfil the oracle’s prediction, Iphigénie must kill any stranger landing on the shores of Tauride. Alas, it is Oreste, Iphigénie’s own brother, who appears, having murdered their mother Clytemnestra in order to avenge the death of their father Agamemnon: such is the accursed lineage of the Atrides, condemned for generations to inflict death after death… Will this chain of hereditary bloodletting be perpetuated by Iphigénie? In 1779 Gluck’s score for Iphigénie en Tauride seemed to inspire a new emotion – neither completely theatrical nor altogether operatic – in which his contemporaries believed they had witnessed the long-awaited resuscitation of Greek tragedy. This production by a great theatrical reformer is a fitting response to a work by a reformer of opera. In 2006, audiences crossing the threshold of the Palais Garnier were greeted by the motionless silhouettes of the performers waiting for them on stage and seemingly holding up a strangely disturbing mirror. In Krzysztof Warlikowski’s stunning first production for the Paris Opera, the characters in the twilight of their existence are still haunted by their past.