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As well as being the big success of last year’s Aix-en-Provence Festival, this production was the swansong of the legendary French director Patrice Chéreau, who died in October 2013. Given carte blanche with lengthy rehearsal periods and a large hand in casting, Chéreau has deliberately rejected the expressionist clichés usually associated with productions of Elektra for something more thoughtful and dramatically cohesive. Elektra is no longer the furious harridan eyeballing her freakish mother and deriding her supine sister, but a woman of restless dignity existing in a depersonalised environment of bare walls and staircases. Evelyn Herlitzius is exceptional in the title role, delivering top notes that are searing and incisive, while Adrianne Pieczonka gives a riveting performance as Chrysothemis. Only Waltraud Meier’s poised, bourgeois Klytaemnestra fails to make much impact. Strauss’s compelling score is given a wonderfully lyrical reading by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Orchestre de Paris.

Franz Wulf Read the full review on Agora Classica

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