2008-02-26 Elektra (R.Strauss), Teatro Comunale di Firenze

Klytämnestra = Agnes Baltsa
Elektra = Susan Bullock
Chrysothemis = Christine Goerke
Aegisth = Stanford Olsen
Orest = Matthias Goerne
Der Pfleger des Orest = Uwe Griem
Die Vertraute =  Marcella Polidori
Die Schleppträgerin = Cinzia Rizzone
Ein junger Diener = Saverio Fiore
Ein alter Diener = Franco Boscolo
Die Aufseherin = Stefannia Kybalova
Erste Magd = Manuela Bress
Zweite Magd = Silvia Mazzoni
Dritte Magd = Larissa Schmidt
Vierte Magd = Sabrina Testa
Fünfte Magd = Daniela SchiIllaci

Seiji Osawa, conductor

Director - Robert Carsen

Information Plan
2007/2008 Season Opera

Tragedy in one act by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
music by Richard Strauss
conductor SEIJI OZAWA
singers and musicians

production New production in association with Tokyo Opera Nomori

place Teatro Comunale
road Corso Italia, 16
city Florence (FI)

phone 899.666.805 - 055 2779350

24-02-2008, h 20.30
26-02-2008, h 20.30
29-02-2008, h 20.30
02-03-2008, h 15.30
05-03-2008, h 20.30

I am bored....

For the third time I see this opera, Elektra by Richard Strauss. Yet another production. Vienna, Budapest and now Florence. Agnes Baltsa as Klytämnestra. This production is not bad. Actually it is a good one. The best of the 3. But I still have not learnt to love this opera. And with Seiji Osawa conducting; it is a one act opera lasting 1 h 50 mins, which is too long.

This was a black and white production. All in black except Klytämnestra and Aigist. It was a simple and compelling idea: the servants of the house acted like doubles to Elektra mimicking her moves and yet acted as the dogs that Elektra was living with according to the libretto. Everyone was in black dresses, Elektra's sister too. Hard and not necessary to see different except when singing.

The whole stage was a confined space with mural walls. Like a room and yet like outside with dirt on the ground. In the middle of the stage was a grave where a naked and dead Agamemnon was lying. It also worked as the "door" to the castle. Some times people would come into the stage or go out  from the front side door (not visible from the audience room) but other times they would just simply appear from the back of the stage where it seem not be any opening. Appearing from the a wall of black clad women. Klytämnestra on her bed was carried by the servant from the back suddenly appearing from the confined space as the whole stage was.

The production was really stylish and clean. Had I loved this opera then I would have been overjoyed by seeing it. At the same time for me it acted like a decider I think I will not go to Munich for a 4th production of the opera even with Agnes Baltsa as Klytämnestra.

It is not that this opera is without beautiful music, it has that. But as it is an 1 act  opera with no natural space for a pause/interval it is simply too long. And it is not a happy opera at all. Had it had a small comic relief it would not be too bad.

Singing was good. Chorus and dancers was fantastic. The ladies were great singers/actors. Orest was not at their level. Weak voice, little presence.

And too end it all, I did not take any photos. And I did not see Agnes Baltsa before or after the opera. I met an opera friend in the opera house we actually sat together. I was supposed to give her my address. And, guess what, I did not find her again. I was in the back of the opera house and in the front. Florence ain't my city... (McDonald's was good, does that count?)
This page was last updated: June 20, 2022