Strauss' Elektra live in HD

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BRATTLEBORO >> The Metropolitan Opera to transmit live in HD Strauss' Elektra on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St., Brattleboro. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Patrice Chéreau's acclaimed staging Of Elektra, starring Nina Stemme in the title role.

Strauss's blazing tragedy about an ancient Greek princess hell-bent on revenge comes to the Met in the final opera production by the legendary director Patrice Chéreau, who died in 2013. Esa-Pekka Salonen, who made a riveting Met debut leading Chéreau's production of Janáček's From the House of the Dead in 2009, returns to conduct an extraordinary cast headed by Nina Stemme as the obsessed and bloodthirsty title character. Waltraud Meier sings her first Met performances of Klytämnestra, Elektra's mother and the object of her fury, with Adrianne Pieczonka as Elektra's sister, Chrysothemis; Eric Owens as her exiled brother, Orest; and German tenor Burkhard Ulrich, in his Met debut, as the corrupt monarch Aegisth.

The New York Times said of the production, "The director Patrice Chéreau's production of Strauss's Elektra has already been deemed a landmark of contemporary opera staging Nothing prepared me for the seething intensity, psychological insight and sheer theatrical inventiveness of this production [Ms. Stemme] brings a cool, focused voice, abundant power, chilling top notes and, in moments of doubt, anguished beauty to her singing Ms. Pieczonka's rich, clear voice conveys Chrysothemis's affecting vulnerability. Yet in moments of frustration and despair, her singing has bright, piercing power Mr. Chereau's take on Klytämnestra is the great revelation of this production, and Ms. Meier, one of the most compelling singing actresses in opera, carries it off with conviction and complexity The bass-baritone Eric Owens is a deeply sympathetic Orest his rich, muscular voice is suffused with suffering. As performed by the orchestra under Mr. Salonen, the rapturous, sighing reunion scene was overwhelming. You might have expected that, being a composer, he would emphasize the shocking, modernist character of Strauss's score. He almost did the opposite, drawing out every moment of Straussian lyricism, glowing string sound and delicacy, though the vehement outbursts were steely and terrifying. In the most unmannered way, he revealed the dramatic arc and restless sweep of the music."

General Admission is $22, Met Club Forever Members $20, students $10. Please call Sharry Manning 802-257-5717 or sjmpr@comcast.net for advance credit card purchases or questions.


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