Performed in German (with synchronised Russian supertitles)
World premiere: Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Premiere of this production: 06 May 2007
Running time: 1 hour 55 minutes
World premiere: 25 January 1909, Hofoper, Dresden
Russian premiere: 18 February 1913, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Premiere of this production: 6 May 2007, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Elektra is a one-act opera by Richard Strauss, to a German-language libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal adapted from his drama of 1903—the first of many such collaborations between composer and librettist. It was first performed at the Dresden State Opera on January 25, 1909, and remains a part of the standard operatic repertoire.
"Press Release: The Return of a Legendary Opera: Premiere of Richard Strauss’ Elektra at the Mariinsky Theatre (May 2007)" -
All of Elektraґs thoughts are focussed on avenging the death of her father Agamemnon, killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisth. She avoids all communication with the murderers, patiently bearing the cruel treatment of her stepfather and the servantsґ ridicule; she lives among the dogs and remains true to her decision to be a living reproof in this house, where the crime was committed. She awaits her brother Orest and hopes he will punish the evil couple. With a threatening expression on her face she openly declares to Clytemnestra that all her thoughts and desires are aimed at killing her and Aegisth with Orestґs help. At the same time two travellers arrive with news of Orestґs death. Elektra then begs her sister Chrysothemis to help her in her mission of revenge but Chrysothemis pulls away in terror. Elektra is filled with determination to carry out her plan alone and digs up the axe with which Aegisth killed Agamemnon. A stranger enters. Although his unusual tone initially troubles Elektra, she soon recognises him to be her brother when the old servants fall at his knees. One calls on Orest to act, and together they enter the queenґs palace. In a state of extreme anxiety, Elektra keeps watch at the gates and runs back and forth like a caged animal. Clytemnestraґs piercing scream is heard from inside the palace. When Aegisth returns home, with sly cordiality Elektra meets him and tells him that there are two messengers in the palace with "the mistress" who have brought news of Orestґs death. Aegisth enters the palace where Orest kills him. In ecstasy, Elektra begins a triumphant dance. "Those as happy as we can only be silent and dance!" She makes a few convulsive movements and then falls to the ground, lifeless.