Tragedy in one act by Richard StraussIn German with German and English surtitlesMusical Director: Sebastian Weigle; Director: Claus Guth
After the success of his Salome in 1905 at the Dresden Court Opera, which broke all the musical boundaries that had prevailed until then, Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was in search of new material. He found this in Hugo von Hofmannsthal's play Elektra, which he encountered in a production by Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Apart from abridgements and a few changes - most notably an expansion of the recognition scene between Elektra and her brother Orest - Strauss used the text unchanged as the libretto of his new opera. This first collaboration between the Bavarian composer and the Austrian poet represents the beginning of a fruitful cooperation that continued in 1911 with Der Rosenkavalier and five other joint works. Hofmannsthal's examination of the studies on hysteria by Siegmund Freud and Josef Breuer, written around the same time as Elektra, found expression in Hofmannsthal's characterization of the title figure and was further deepened by Strauss's avant-garde musical language. Claus Guth's new production replaces Falk Richter's take on the work, which premiered at the Frankfurt Opera on October 2, 2004.