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Premiered in Amsterdam in 2011, Trojahn’s opera picks up the story of Elektra two weeks after the despatch of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra. No prizes for guessing that things aren’t going so well in the House of Atreus. This time it’s Helen of Troy who gets the chop, her daughter Hermione surviving to unite with Orest (lucky her). Trojahn’s work continues Strauss’s intense and at times sulphurous orchestral palate with some startling effects for soloists, vocal ensemble and orchestra, and Marc Albrecht’s conducting is concise and exciting. Dietrich Henschel’s Orest is a model of clarity and Sarah Castle’s beautifully sung and even-toned Elektra captures the character’s resolution and passion. Rosemary Joshua’s gleaming soprano suits Helena’s solipsism and Romy Petrick’s soars even higher as Hermione. It could all be very overwrought, but at an hour and a quarter it doesn’t get the chance to slip into chaos, and Trojahn’s careful structuring of arias and ensembles provides coherence to the piece. Do be warned about the unbridled scream that opens the opera (I nearly joined in).

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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