The dystopian fashions of Elektra

Edmonton Opera Blog

The dystopian fashions of Elektra


Edmonton Opera’s upcoming production of Elektra takes you on a thrilling 100-minute journey into the mind of a woman possessed by hatred. Based on the Greek tragedy by Sophocles, this opera delves into the psychological dysfunction of its protagonist both through music and staging. While the story is set in ancient Greece, our new production goes far into the future with post-apocalyptic designs to reflect a crumbling, dystopian world.

Costume designer Deanna Finnman was inspired by the decaying nature of Elektra’s family, rocked by murder and betrayal. The glory of the house of Atreus ended when Elektra’s mother Klytämnestra killed Elektra’s father Agamemnon. Now, their mansion lies in ruins and Elektra spends her days in anguish.

The only person who retains a sense of royalty is Klytämnestra, since she and her lover Aegisth have taken over the kingdom after murdering Agamemnon. Klytämnestra is the queen bee of this post-apocalyptic world, and her costume is easily the most glamorous and colourful. Her maids are also better dressed than the other servants.

Elektra’s brother Orest has travelled back home after spending time in exile, and his costume is more desert-inspired. Elektra herself perhaps looks the most disheveled in the entire cast, considering that she no longer has any sense of self. Having spent her time dwelling outside the palace, her clothes are frayed and she appears completely neglected.


Even the scenic design presents a dark, shattered world. The set is based on a real-life house of horrors – Gonjiam Hospital in South Korea, an abandoned psychiatric facility where patients were apparently kept in abhorrent conditions leading to their deaths. The building has earned iconic status as one of the creepiest places on earth, with many reports of supernatural activity and unexplained screams.

The set invokes feelings of abandonment, despair, and rotting foundations to reflect Elektra’s own trapped world. Much like the deserted hospital, Elektra’s family home is no longer a place of humanity.


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Experience the dysfunction and dystopia in our post-apocalyptic production of Strauss's Elektra! Tickets are selling fast, get yours today from $40.

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