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Elektra

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Irene Theorin, Waltraud Meier, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Robert Gambill, and Rene Pape star in this Strauss opera with Daniele Gatti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic and Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, along with direction by Nikolaus Lehnoff.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: German, Italian, English, French, Spanish, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004KDO2OI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,014 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

5 star
56%
4 star
44%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By wolfgang731 on April 21, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Elektra should be used as a textbook example of how to bring contemporary relevance to an opera without disfiguring it to the point where it becomes wholly unrecognizable. I found the set design to be an amazing and equally imposing creation; an askew, industrial gray cube with rectangular windows spread across two walls, with asymmetrical doorways all framing a raked and tilted courtyard, dotted with potholes and an entrance to a subterranean portion of the palace, more German expressionism than antiquity but it all works superbly. History (and Sophocles, of course) tells us that Elektra takes place in ancient Greece; however, this production has a certain ambiguity with respect to the time and place in which the drama unfolds but that doesn't take away one bit from the overall effect. Yes, Aegisth strolls in wearing a three piece suit reminiscent of William Powell's Nick Charles, Klytemnestra in a dark fuchsia sequined evening gown and coat and her minions resembling members of some Nazi party organization, in tapered and austerely tailored garments in light gray with short finger wave hairdos and dark red lips. One would think that these costumes contrasted with Elektra's black frock, bare feet and pale face would prove jarring but it definitely works; an effective contrast between debauched opulence and wretched squalor. Somehow, it just all seems correct. I'm not a huge fan of so called "modern/ contemporary" productions, let alone Regietheatre that manage to eviscerate the composer's intent and vision, but admit that oftentimes, they can be powerful and that's certainly the case with this Elektra, even though the costumes are really the only thing with which the director has taken liberties, some other smaller details notwithstanding.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DDD VINE VOICE on April 18, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Salzburg performance of Elektra has been cast with major voices and should go to the top of the list of available performances. Of course had DVD been available fifty years ago two names could easily have trumped all the existing versions: Borkh and Varnay. But we must deal with reality and focus on what Theorin, Westbroek, Pape and Meier bring to the proceedings. Elektra is a very difficult role, one that I hope Theorin will not sing that often. It truly stretches her to the outer limits of her abilities, but having said that it is a performance in which she is truly committed which to some degree can compensate for any vocal frailties or shortcomes.

Theorin's Elektra (there is also another new DVD featuring Linda Watson, but I have not heard it) is the most recent entry. She gives a thoroughly involved performance. There is not a moment when she fails to convey her hatred for her mother and her contempt for her sister. True there are a couple of moments vocally when she is taxed beyond her capabilities but overall she is superior to Johanssen in the Zurich performance and vocally more steady than Marton in the Kupfer production in Vienna. Had Nilsson been able to commit the role to film ten years earlier--1970 rather than 1980 we doubtless would have had a performance for the ages; as it is the document that we have is not the Nilsson I remember in her prime; Actually Nilsson had to be heard live in the house as any recording in some way compromised her voice.

The production is by Lenhoff which means that you are going to have to deal with his need to update the setting. In this case the updating is less expreme than, say, Lohengrin or Dialogue of the Carmelites. The setting is severes and appropriate: a stone courtyard with a severely raked stage.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 10, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
The 2010 production of Elektra for the Salzburg Festspiele is an impressive production, Nikolaus Lehnhoff's staging as intense and claustrophobic as a staging of Strauss' opera ought to be. In addition, this production also benefits from a superlative cast including Iréne Theorin, Waltraud Meier, Eva-Maria Westbroek and René Pape, with Daniele Gatti conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker. It doesn't come much better than this and it does live up to expectations ...unless you already have a strong preference for another production.

Unsurprisingly, for a director like Lehnhoff working with such an opera, the stage setting is a reflection of the internal torment of Elektra, fixated as she is on the death of her father Agamemnon and the desire for vengeance against his murderers, her mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. She's waiting on her brother Orestes to exact that vengeance for her, but, hearing of his death from her sister Chrysothemis, she prepares to carry out the foul deed herself. Lehnhoff envisages the tempestuous fluctuations of Elektra's state of mind as a grey barren landscape, undulating and tilted, full of fractures and chasms from which horrors torment her and into which she is about to drop into at any moment. It's reminiscent of his 1999 stage setting for Wagner's Parsifal, forcing one to draw interesting comparisons between Wagner's score for that opera and Strauss', the themes being similar in respect of Elektra in an eternal state of suffering and torment seeking release or purification.
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