On March 17 and 18, premiere performances of "Elektra" by R. Strauss will take place. In December, the rich repertoire of our theater, which presents works of different styles of genres and eras, was replenished with this exciting musical drama, a vivid example of expressionism.
"Elektra" is very difficult material. Strauss and playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal, took the tragedy of Sophocles as the basis for the libretto, but as representatives of the twentieth century coming into its own, they focused on portraying the dark sides of the human psyche.
As Evgeny Khaknazarov noted in his review for the newspaper “Kultura” (English: “Culture”): “There is absolutely nothing to compare the new performance of Yuri Alexandrov with - as far as I know, now on the Russian opera stage one cannot find such a spectacle. The closest staging in style (but not in temperament) is "The Rape of Lucretia" in this particular theatre. I advise music lovers of Saint Petersburg not to miss this event ...”.
“Powerful orchestra and sonorous voices, especially women’s parts - these are generic features of “Elektra”, making it a priori the fiefdom of large opera houses. Therefore, the decision of Yuri Alexandrov to stage this bloody ancient drama in his Chamber Theatre was perceived not just as a sensation, but with a certain degree of skepticism: is it possible to inscribe a heartbreaking masterpiece of expressionism in a hall for two hundred seats, practically the home theatre of Baron von Derviz? It turned out that it is possible: it's all about taste, accents and the ability to find a balance in everything ... ", - writes Alexander Matusevich in a review for "Classicalmusicnews".
Ancient Greece unexpectedly appears in "Elektra" passionate, sensual and demonic. There is no place for love lyrics, choral scenes and expanded ensembles, the composer focuses all his attention on the most complex solo parts, exposing the conflict of the main characters to the limit. The St. Petersburg Opera is one of the few collectives that can boast of three cast of performers at once, whose virtuoso work is noted by critic Vladimir Dudin in his review: “The desire to make sure how the soloists would finish their parts to the final kept the listeners in their chairs. The vocal - in fact, the main - component of the performance in the theatre aroused admiration. It seemed that everyone sang just brilliantly, as if blessed by Strauss himself from his heaven. Every vocalist, especially singers, overcame the difficulties of the text with phenomenal passion. Each filled her character with individual features ...”.
About the production: https://www.spbopera.ru/afisha/2021-03/1549-yulektra
Read full text of the reviews in the "Press" section: https://www.spbopera.ru/pressa