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Exhibitions

VIII. Richard Strauss’s Elektra (2013-2016)

In 2013, Patrice Chéreau stages Elektra at the Aix Festival with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Having always wanted to direct an ancient tragedy, Patrice Chéreau finds in Richard Strauss's opera an opportunity to tackle the “basic simplicity” of Greek theatre. After Lulu and Isolde, he follows the destiny of another great heroine, Elektra, whose thirst for vengeance is comparable to that of Hamlet.

After the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra, and in the absence of their son Orestes, the desire for vengeance intensifies. Chéreau sees Clytemnestra as a loving and remorseful mother, contradicting the image of the insensitive and bloodthirsty queen usually portrayed in the libretto. With her, as with her two daughters Elektra and Chrysothemis, he highlights the power of barely-avowed feelings. He refuses to name a victim or prove one or the other right. After the queen is murdered by Orestes, the opera ends with an ecstatic dance. A petrified Elektra realises that her father has been avenged without her.

On October 7, 2013, three months after the first performance of Elektra, Patrice Chéreau dies. At the time, he is working on numerous revivals of the production planned throughout Europe and the United States.

Elektra de Richard Strauss (2013-2016)
Elektra de Richard Strauss (2013-2016) 2 images
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