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One-act opera by Richard Strauss

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About the opera

  • Run time: 1hrs 45min, no intermission
  • Sung in: German
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Opera house: Vienna State Opera

Christine Goerke takes on one of opera’s most challenging roles as the title heroine of Strauss’s blazing one-act drama, based on the ancient Greek myth of murder and revenge. Camilla Nylund reprises her acclaimed portrayal of Chrysothemis, Elektra’s sister, and Michaela Schuster sings their nightmare-haunted mother, Klytämnestra. Günther Groissböck is Orest, the long-lost brother whose return brings events to a terrifying climax, and Thomas Ebenstein sings Aegisth. Alexander Soddy conducts the monumental and highly influential score.

Ticket information

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Vienna State Opera

Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna, Google Maps

How to get there:

Subway: U1, U2, U4 to Karlsplatz
Trams: 1, 2, D, 62, 71 to Opernring

Music and Libretto

Born in Munich into a family of musicians, Richard Strauss (1864–1949) began his musical studies at the age of four, began composition studies aged 11 and in 1883 became a protégé of the conductor Hans von Bülow, who encouraged him to study the music of Wagner. Strauss’s early masterpieces include several orchestral tone poems and many songs. Around the end of the 19th century, Strauss turned his attention to opera. His first two operas, Guntram (1893) and Feuersnot (1901), received lukewarm responses, but Salome (1905) was a major success. It was followed by the even more intense Elektra (1909), Strauss’s first collaboration with the Viennese author and poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874–1929). Their partnership continued until Hofmannsthal’s death and produced some of Strauss’s most successful operas, including Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Arabella.

Conductor Alexander Soddy

Klytämnestra Michaela Schuster

Elektra Christine Goerke

Chrysothemis Camilla Nylund

Aegisth Thomas Ebenstein

Orest Günther Groissböck