• August 2021
  • Kilkenny

Elektra

The Greek myth of a family of killers living through the consequences of a divine curse. But this time around without the curse.

Relationships mediated through murder and revenge. The eponymous heroine left to eat with the dogs. Elektra is an opera steeped in derangement and blood lust. With searing vocal lines and orchestra aflame, Strauss pushes the boundaries of his musical art to depict the psychological distress of a world in which it’s anyone normal who stands out as strange.

THIS IS A FULLY STAGED OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE WITH PRE-RECORDED ORCHESTRA

SUNG IN GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SURTITLES

APPROXIMATE DURATION: 105 MINUTES WITH NO INTERVAL

THE PERFORMANCE ON 5 AUGUST HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO A YELLOW WEATHER ALERT IN PLACE UNTIL 10PM on 5 AUGUST

#INOELEKTRA

“Elektra is at once terrifying and elating, and to experience it is to go beyond the limits of reason into a world of naked, uncontrollable emotion” - The Guardian
“real dramatic fire” - The Guardian on Giselle Allen
“peaches and cream tone and melting sadness” - The Irish Times on Máire Flavin

PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH

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Cast and Creative Team

Cast

Elektra Giselle Allen
Chrysothemis Máire Flavin
Klytämnestra Imelda Drumm
Orest Tómas Tómasson
Aegisth Peter Marsh
Die Vertraute (The Confidante) Emma Nash
Die Schleppträgerin (The Train Bearer) Rachel Croash
Ein junger Diener (A Young Servant) Andrew Gavin
Ein alter Diener/Der Pfleger des Orest (An Old Servant/Orest's Tutor) Brendan Collins
Die Aufseherin (The Overseer) Mairéad Buicke
Fünf Mägde (Five Maids) Doreen Curran, Raphaela Mangan, Niamh O'Sullivan, Rachel Croash, Emma Nash

Creative Team

Conductor Fergus Sheil
Director Conall Morrison
Set, Lighting and Video Designer Paul Keogan
Sound Designer Kevin McGing
Costume Designer Catherine Fay
Movement Director Liz Roche
Assistant Conductor / Chorus Director Elaine Kelly
Répétiteur Aoife O'Sullivan
Irish National Opera Chorus
Irish National Opera Orchestra
Orchestra and off stage chorus recorded at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
Audio Production Ergodos

Synopsis

In 1910 the American music publisher Schirmer issued a defensively proselytising short guide to the opera by Australian pianist and composer Ernest Hutcheson. As well as a detailed motivic analysis, he included the following background/synopsis of the opera and explanatory breakdown of it into scenes. - Michael Dervan

“Agamemnon, on his return from the Trojan war, is treacherously murdered by his false wife Klyt.mnestra and Aegisth, her lover. Klytämnestra herself performs the deed, slaying Agamemnon with a hatchet while he is in his bath, the unmanly Aegisth merely assisting. The guilty pair then assume the government of Mycenae, and Orest, the young son of Agamemnon, is banished. Chrysothemis and Elektra, the daughters, are virtually held prisoners in the palace. We gather that they are not allowed to marry, for their children would naturally, according to the Greek ethical code, become avengers of Agamenmon. Elektra makes no attempt to conceal her abhorrence of Klytämnestra and Aegisth, and is therefore subjected to every imaginable indignity; she is clothed in rags, beaten by Aegisth, threatened with the dungeon, and her food (after she has refused to eat with the servants) is thrown to her with that of the dogs. Chrysothemis, of a more time-serving disposition, is treated with leniency. It is the sacred obligation of Orest to avenge his father’s murder. Counselled by the oracle of Apollo, he comes to Mycenae with an old attendant, bringing a fabricated story of his own death. By this artifice the two easily gain admittance to the palace and kill Klytämnestra and Aegisth. Most of the retainers at once declare themselves for Orest, and he quickly makes himself master of the town, amid general rejoicing. Elektra sings a paean of triumph and performs a ceremonial dance in honour of Agamemnon’s memory, but her weakened frame succumbs to the emotional strain and she suddenly falls dead."

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