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ELEKTRA

R. Strauss
To

"Simply must-see material." – Operawire

Elektra feverishly awaits the return of her brother to avenge their father, who was slain years earlier by their mother and her new lover. Driven by an obsessive combination of rage and grief, Elektra feeds her thirst for revenge with primal single-mindedness in this groundbreaking work of musical modernism.

For three consecutive seasons, powerhouse soprano Christine Goerke has thrilled COC audiences with her portrayal of Brünnhilde through Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas. She now returns for another defining performance as the hair-raising, unforgettable Elektra.







Connect with us on social by using #COCElektra | @CanadianOpera

UNDER 30? Get your $22 tickets here.


Details

On stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., Toronto.

Performance time is approximately one hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.

Late seating cannot be accommodated.



Sung in German with English SURTITLESTM


Download the 2019 Winter House Program.




CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS

Elektra Christine Goerke
Chrysothemis Erin Wall
Klytämnestra Susan Bullock
Orest Wilhelm Schwinghammer
Aegisth Michael Schade

Conductor Johannes Debus
Director James Robinson
Associate Director Omer Ben Seadia
Set Designer Derek McLane
Costume Designer Anita Stewart
Lighting Designer Mimi Sherin

Price Family Chorus Master* Sandra Horst


*Sandra Horst and the COC Chorus are generously underwritten by Tim & Frances Price

With the COC Orchestra & Chorus
Synopsis

SYNOPSIS IN A MINUTE

Klytämnestra, Queen of Thebes, has murdered her husband Agamemnon, upon his return from the Trojan Wars, with the help of her lover, Aegisth. Elektra, her daughter, has sent her younger brother Orest to a place of safety in another country. While others, including Elektra’s sister Chrysothemis, accept the new regime, Elektra alone keeps alive the memory of her father, praying for the day Orest will return to avenge the murder of their father. When Orest returns, and the terrible revenge has taken place, Elektra dances herself to death.

FULL SYNOPSIS

The household servants complain about Elektra. Only one maid comes to her defence. Elektra summons Agamemnon’s spirit—a ritual she enacts daily at the hour of his death.

Chrysothemis begs Elektra to adopt a more conciliatory manner towards Klytämnestra and Aegisth so that life might return to normal and that she may go on to have a family of her own, but Elektra dismisses her.

When Klytämnestra appears, she complains to Elektra that she is suffering from tortuous nightmares and a mysterious illness. Elektra tells her that the dreams will stop only when she is killed by her son. Klytämnestra’s shock at this suggestion is soon relieved, however, when news reaches the palace that Orest has died in exile.

Elektra asks Chrysothemis to assist in the killing of their mother and her lover, and when Chrysothemis refuses, Elektra plans to kill them both herself.

At this moment a messenger arrives who at first claims to have been an eyewitness to Orest’s recent death, but soon reveals his true identity to Elektra. He is her brother, alive and returned to avenge the murder of their father.

Orest enters the palace and kills Klytämnestra. Elektra then leads Aegisth into the palace where he too is slain. Joyful to the point insanity, Elektra dances and collapses in death.

GALLERY




All production photos a scene from the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Elektra, 2019, (top to bottom, left to right) Christine Goerke as Elektra (at left); Christine Goerke as Elektra and Wilhelm Schwinghammer as Orest; Erin Wall as Chrysothemis (foreground) and Christine Goerke as Elektra; all photos: Michael Cooper

Listen
Aria: "Allein!" ("Alone!")

Elektra enters as she does daily, at the very hour of the murder of Agamemnon, her father, at the hands of her mother and step-father. She relives the horror of it and revels in the dream of an even more bloody revenge.


Aria: “Ich kann nicht sitzen” (“I cannot sit”)

Chrysothemis longs for her sister Elektra to cease railing against their mother, Klytämnestra. Only then will they both be allowed to leave the castle. Her burning desire is to leave and be able to marry and bear children.


Aria: “Schweig, und tanze!” (“Be silent and dance!”)

Overcome with a mad joy at the act of vengeance that has finally been committed, Elektra dances herself to death.



Music credit: Richard Strauss' Elektra. Birgit Nilsson (Elektra), Marie Collier (Chrysothemis), and Sir Georg Solti, conductor, with the Wiener Philharmoniker, 1967. Decca.
READ

Christine Goerke is Elektra

Every now and then, a performer steps into a role with such breathtaking authority it becomes impossible to imagine anybody else attempting the part. Christine Goerke is one such artist, offering an interpretation that sets a generational standard.

READ MORE

Director's Notes: James Robinson on Elektra

What intrigued me about Elektra 20 years ago still fascinates me today. In the hands of Strauss and Hofmansthal, Sophocles' tragedy is less political in nature. Rather, it is a harsh psychological drama that focuses on a brutal and dysfunctional household.  In a sense, the epic is distilled into the domestic, the political is given over to the personal. 

READ MORE



Want to study up before you attend?

Free, insightful and informative chats are presented by featured guest speakers, 45 minutes before every main stage COC performance.

Time/Duration: 20-minute chats, 45 minutes prior to every opera performance.
Tickets: No ticket necessary, free when you attend an opera. Arrive early as seating is limited.

Pre-show Chats

WATCH

Christine Goerke, February 2019

An excerpt of soprano Christine Goerke performing "Allein! Weh, ganz allein" from R. Strauss' Elektra. Johannes Debus conducts the COC Orchestra.






Erin Wall, February 2019

An excerpt of Chrysothemis' "Ich kann nicht sitzen" from R. Strauss' Elektra, featuring soprano Erin Wall. Johannes Debus conducts the COC Orchestra.




Johannes Debus, January 2019

COC Music Director Johannes Debus takes us through Richard Strauss' goose bump-inducing score for his operatic thriller, Elektra.






Christine Goerke, January 2019

Offstage is back with the incredible Christine Goerke. We discuss 2019 resolutions, her most embarrassing moment on stage, and the one thing opera needs more of!




BUZZ

“★★★★... bloody marvellous.” Toronto Star

“A remarkable performance.” Ludwig Van Toronto

“Five star Elektra” operaramblings

“Christine Goerke owns the title role in Richard Strauss’ Elektra.” The New York Times

“The perfect mid-winter jolt.” The Globe and Mail

“Simply must-see material.” Operawire

  • On stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., Toronto.

    Performance time is approximately one hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.

    Late seating cannot be accommodated.



    Sung in German with English SURTITLESTM


    Download the 2019 Winter House Program.



    CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS

    Elektra Christine Goerke
    Chrysothemis Erin Wall
    Klytämnestra Susan Bullock
    Orest Wilhelm Schwinghammer
    Aegisth Michael Schade

    Conductor Johannes Debus
    Director James Robinson
    Associate Director Omer Ben Seadia
    Set Designer Derek McLane
    Costume Designer Anita Stewart
    Lighting Designer Mimi Sherin

    Price Family Chorus Master* Sandra Horst


    *Sandra Horst and the COC Chorus are generously underwritten by Tim & Frances Price

    With the COC Orchestra & Chorus
  • SYNOPSIS IN A MINUTE

    Klytämnestra, Queen of Thebes, has murdered her husband Agamemnon, upon his return from the Trojan Wars, with the help of her lover, Aegisth. Elektra, her daughter, has sent her younger brother Orest to a place of safety in another country. While others, including Elektra’s sister Chrysothemis, accept the new regime, Elektra alone keeps alive the memory of her father, praying for the day Orest will return to avenge the murder of their father. When Orest returns, and the terrible revenge has taken place, Elektra dances herself to death.

    FULL SYNOPSIS

    The household servants complain about Elektra. Only one maid comes to her defence. Elektra summons Agamemnon’s spirit—a ritual she enacts daily at the hour of his death.

    Chrysothemis begs Elektra to adopt a more conciliatory manner towards Klytämnestra and Aegisth so that life might return to normal and that she may go on to have a family of her own, but Elektra dismisses her.

    When Klytämnestra appears, she complains to Elektra that she is suffering from tortuous nightmares and a mysterious illness. Elektra tells her that the dreams will stop only when she is killed by her son. Klytämnestra’s shock at this suggestion is soon relieved, however, when news reaches the palace that Orest has died in exile.

    Elektra asks Chrysothemis to assist in the killing of their mother and her lover, and when Chrysothemis refuses, Elektra plans to kill them both herself.

    At this moment a messenger arrives who at first claims to have been an eyewitness to Orest’s recent death, but soon reveals his true identity to Elektra. He is her brother, alive and returned to avenge the murder of their father.

    Orest enters the palace and kills Klytämnestra. Elektra then leads Aegisth into the palace where he too is slain. Joyful to the point insanity, Elektra dances and collapses in death.





  • All production photos a scene from the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Elektra, 2019, (top to bottom, left to right) Christine Goerke as Elektra (at left); Christine Goerke as Elektra and Wilhelm Schwinghammer as Orest; Erin Wall as Chrysothemis (foreground) and Christine Goerke as Elektra; all photos: Michael Cooper

  • Aria: "Allein!" ("Alone!")

    Elektra enters as she does daily, at the very hour of the murder of Agamemnon, her father, at the hands of her mother and step-father. She relives the horror of it and revels in the dream of an even more bloody revenge.


    Aria: “Ich kann nicht sitzen” (“I cannot sit”)

    Chrysothemis longs for her sister Elektra to cease railing against their mother, Klytämnestra. Only then will they both be allowed to leave the castle. Her burning desire is to leave and be able to marry and bear children.


    Aria: “Schweig, und tanze!” (“Be silent and dance!”)

    Overcome with a mad joy at the act of vengeance that has finally been committed, Elektra dances herself to death.



    Music credit: Richard Strauss' Elektra. Birgit Nilsson (Elektra), Marie Collier (Chrysothemis), and Sir Georg Solti, conductor, with the Wiener Philharmoniker, 1967. Decca.
  • Christine Goerke is Elektra

    Every now and then, a performer steps into a role with such breathtaking authority it becomes impossible to imagine anybody else attempting the part. Christine Goerke is one such artist, offering an interpretation that sets a generational standard.

    READ MORE

    Director's Notes: James Robinson on Elektra

    What intrigued me about Elektra 20 years ago still fascinates me today. In the hands of Strauss and Hofmansthal, Sophocles' tragedy is less political in nature. Rather, it is a harsh psychological drama that focuses on a brutal and dysfunctional household.  In a sense, the epic is distilled into the domestic, the political is given over to the personal. 

    READ MORE



    Want to study up before you attend?

    Free, insightful and informative chats are presented by featured guest speakers, 45 minutes before every main stage COC performance.

    Time/Duration: 20-minute chats, 45 minutes prior to every opera performance.
    Tickets: No ticket necessary, free when you attend an opera. Arrive early as seating is limited.

    Pre-show Chats

  • Christine Goerke, February 2019

    An excerpt of soprano Christine Goerke performing "Allein! Weh, ganz allein" from R. Strauss' Elektra. Johannes Debus conducts the COC Orchestra.






    Erin Wall, February 2019

    An excerpt of Chrysothemis' "Ich kann nicht sitzen" from R. Strauss' Elektra, featuring soprano Erin Wall. Johannes Debus conducts the COC Orchestra.




    Johannes Debus, January 2019

    COC Music Director Johannes Debus takes us through Richard Strauss' goose bump-inducing score for his operatic thriller, Elektra.






    Christine Goerke, January 2019

    Offstage is back with the incredible Christine Goerke. We discuss 2019 resolutions, her most embarrassing moment on stage, and the one thing opera needs more of!




  • “★★★★... bloody marvellous.” Toronto Star

    “A remarkable performance.” Ludwig Van Toronto

    “Five star Elektra” operaramblings

    “Christine Goerke owns the title role in Richard Strauss’ Elektra.” The New York Times

    “The perfect mid-winter jolt.” The Globe and Mail

    “Simply must-see material.” Operawire


Banner photo features Bryna Berezowska (Children, Youth and Family Programs Manager), by Gaetz Photography.

ELEKTRA

R. Strauss
To

"Simply must-see material." – Operawire

Elektra feverishly awaits the return of her brother to avenge their father, who was slain years earlier by their mother and her new lover. Driven by an obsessive combination of rage and grief, Elektra feeds her thirst for revenge with primal single-mindedness in this groundbreaking work of musical modernism.

For three consecutive seasons, powerhouse soprano Christine Goerke has thrilled COC audiences with her portrayal of Brünnhilde through Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas. She now returns for another defining performance as the hair-raising, unforgettable Elektra.







Connect with us on social by using #COCElektra | @CanadianOpera

UNDER 30? Get your $22 tickets here.

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