Morenike Fadayomi as Chrysothemis
©Matthias Jung

On Saturday September 22, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein opened its current season with the premier performance of Elektra, a one-act opera with music by Richard Strauss and a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. This opera was first performed in 1909 and was the first of many joint ventures between the two artists.  

The story is based on ancient Greek mythology. Elektra was the daughter of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae.  In the opera we first see her in the courtyard of the palace of Mycenae.  Her family is very dysfunctional and has been plagued by betrayal, cruelty and killings. Those who have survived, so far, are broken and wounded people haunted by terrible nightmares.  

Strauss and von Hofmannsthal interpreted this ancient story in a modern and expressionistic way.  There is a psychological examination of the characters and a great deal of emotion is expressed, although nearly all the focus is on Elektra. The style of the music was clearly influenced by Wagner and was played by a huge orchestra (around 100 musicians).  Like Wagner, Strauss characterised the figures in the story with leitmotifs.  

On Saturday, Linda Watson, a world-renowned Wagnerian soprano, superbly performed the complex and demanding role of Elektra.  Another Wagnerian whose performance stood out was Hans-Peter König (bass) in the role of Orestes.

The set throughout was the Palace of Mycenae, which also has a role as a metaphor for its inhabitants.  It revolves in a sort of vicious circle, it too is broken and wounded and, ultimately, we cannot know the full horror of what goes on inside.

There are just 3 more performances of Elektra in the next two weeks so you'll have to hurry if you don't want to miss this great opera. 

Jadwiga Bobrowska for RhineBuzz

düsseldorf festival!

The düsseldorf festival! kicks off on September 12 and runs until October 3 2012.

Now in its twenty second year, formerly known as the altstadtherbst, this splendid festival of the performing arts brings together hip hop, new circus, jazz, Baroque music, acrobatics, choral music, tai-chi, world music, dance, classical highlights, both well known and as yet undiscovered and so very, very much more!

Noemi Waysfeld 
September 16 Festival Marquee, Burgplatz
photo ©Alexis Rimbaud

A festival in the true sense of the word, the three weeks not only bring new and stimulating experiences to its curious audience, but also creates a precious time when artists from around the globe meet and exchange moments and ideas, often in the communal kitchen which is traditionally run by volunteers. Historical city tours are also on offer and with the venues all around town from the main festival marquee on Burgplatz to churches, K21 - the museum of contemporary art, the Tonhalle and the intimate Heinrich-Heine bookstore café and more, it's also a great way of discovering the endless stages we have in the city.

Zimmermann & de Perrot 
September 19 - 21 Festival Marquee, Burgplatz
photo ©Mario Del Curto Strates

All info how to purchase your tickets here

RhineBuzz has tickets for you to win for this great festival!
The first person who tells us the impressive venue for the concert "In paradisum" wins two tickets to this concert. 
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