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Strauss Elektra

Linda Watson
(Elektra), Jane Henschel (Klytämnestra), Manuela Uhl (Chrysothemis), René Kollo (Aegisth), Albert Dohmen (Orest), Andreas Hörl (Orest’s tutor), Jörg Schneider (A young servant), Carsten Sabrowski (An old servant) & Irmgard Vilsmaier (An overseer)
Vienna Philharmonic Choir & Munich Philharmonic Orchestra/Christian Thielemann (conductor)
Herbert Wernicke (original stage director)

Recorded live at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden Jan/Feb 2010

Opus Arte DVD: OA1046D


This production from Munich and seen there in 2000 * remains one of our most memorable live operatic experiences.

Wernicke died in 2002 and of his cast, only Jane Henschel's Klytämnestra [L] remains in the revival directed by Bettina Göschl.

Linda Watson [R] had never sung this rôle before filling in for Katarina Dalayman in this run of performances, but she is magnificent, and the filming made an even stronger impression than the live experience a decade ago; subtitles definitely help to bring out points that get missed in the opera house. Close-ups heighten the experience and this is really one of the very best filmed operas on DVD.

With the protagonists brightly lit by follow-spots, they are mostly framed in blackness. The only "normal" humanity is presented by Manuela Uhl as a delightful Chrysothemis [R; her image is from a useful video clip].

OpusArte's presentation is lavish, with a helpful essay by David Nice and a generous selection of full page images, red and black predominating. Balance with Thielemann's orchestra of 108 is ideally achieved.

A must-buy for Straussians, one that makes you think that this may be the best of his operas...

Peter Grahame Woolf

Some links to explore:

* http://www.musicweb/SandH/may00/elektra.htm